Skip to Content
CSE as AND gate University of Washington Computer Science & Engineering
 CSE 590W - Computers and Disabilities, Spring 2009
  CSE Home   About Us    Search    Contact Info 


Computers are playing an ever more important role in assistive technology for a wide range of disabilities. In this seminar, we will explore the state of the art and current research in computer-based assistive technology for blindness, deafness, cognitive impairment, and other disabilities.

The seminar will include a mix of lectures, invited speakers, and field trips to local organizations near UW that provide assistive technology services for people with disabilities. If you wish to present your work or experience with assistive technologies at the seminar, please contact Susumu Harada at harada [at] cs [dot] washington[dot] edu.

First meeting is on April 1st.

Organizers: Richard Ladner and Susumu Harada


The SLN for this seminar is 12204.

No particular background is required. Non-computer science majors and undergraduates may (and are encouraged) to attend with permission of the instructors.

Be sure to sign up for the mailing list (below) to be kept informed about any room/time changes.

Project requirement (for undergraduates only)

If you are an undergraduate student, you will need to satisfy the following project requirement in order to receive your 1 credit.

Each student will choose a disability group to investigate, and write a short 5 page paper about that group and what access technologies they use generally, with a focus on computer accessibility. The paper should include coverage of the following topics:

It would take a lot more pages than 5 to cover a disability like blindness. You may want to narrow your scope if you choose blind users as your group.

The following are the due dates for the project deliverables:

  1. Due April 22 or earlier: Project proposal
    Email to ladner [at] cs [dot] washington[dot] edu and harada [at] cs [dot] washington[dot] edu. Approval decision will be made within a few days of the receipt of your proposal.
  2. Due May 27: Project submission
    Post your paper (in Microsoft Word or PDF format) on the GoPost bulletin board under the "Paper submission" discussion area by creating a new conversation and attaching your file to this conversation with the subject line of the form "Full_name: Paper_title".
  3. Due June 5: Peer review
    Each student must read at least 3 other reports and comment on each paper by going to the GoPost bulletin board under the "Paper submission" discussion area and reading the papers attached to the conversations and posting your comment as a reply.

Seminar format

Presentations are generally 30-40 minutes followed by 10-20 mintues of discussion. Field trips will typically involve meeting on campus at around 9am and carpooling to the site, and returning to campus between 11am and noon. More detail for each field trip will be provided in the preceeding weeks.

All talks and discussions are in CSE 303 in the Paul Allen Center on Wednesdays at 9:30 - 10:20 am. Field trips will be held on the same days (Wednesdays), unless otherwise noted.

Mailing list

Subscribe to the seminar mailing list and also check out the archive for past postings.

List of speakers and field trips:

Date Topic/Field Trip Speaker/Hosting Site
4/1 Report from CSUN 2009 (Technology & Persons with Disabilities Conference)1 PowerPoint icon(PPT, 8MB) Shani Jayant
Computer Science and Engineering, UW
4/8 Introduction to Accessibility Research PowerPoint icon(PPT, 4.7MB) Richard Ladner
Computer Science and Engineering, UW
4/15 Making it in the assistive technology industry Richard Mander
4/22 From the creator of JAWS: Windows screen reader Charles Oppermann
4/29 Prosthetics technology in the developing world PowerPoint icon(PPT, 10.1MB) Winfried Danke and Raymond Pye
Prosthetics Outreach Foundation
5/6 Field trip: Seattle Lighthouse
leave UW at 9:30am, return by noon
(meet in the CSE atrium at 9:25 and we will carpool from there via a van)
Kirk Adams
Seattle Lighthouse
5/13 Technology, Disability, and Employability in Latin America PowerPoint icon(PPT, 8.9MB) Joyojeet Pal
University of Washington
5/20 Speech recognition access technologies PowerPoint icon(PPT, 0.3MB) Ed Rosenthal
Next Generation Technologies
5/27 Field trip: UW Center for Technology and Disability Studies Maria Kelley
UW Center for Technology and Disability Studies
6/3 Field trip: Microsoft Accessibility Home of the Future Dan Hubbell

Additional Resources

Relevant academic conferences and resources:

Resources related to each presentation/field trip above:

  1. Report from CSUN 2009 by Shani Jayant

CSE logo Computer Science & Engineering
University of Washington
Box 352350
Seattle, WA  98195-2350
(206) 543-1695 voice, (206) 543-2969 FAX
[comments to harada]