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Week 1 (3/29): Introduction

Introduction to Accessibility Technology
Learning Goals Overview of accessibility and its relationship to computation; Introduction to Disability studies; History of disability rights

Slides Introduction to Course

Accessible Markdown for Introduction to Course

Slides Introduction to Accessibility

Accessible Markdown for Introduction to Accessibility

Take-home Exercise You will need to submit the learning goals homework and a canvas discussion on understanding experiences of people with disabilities by next class.

Guest lecture
Lecture by Kurt Johnson, Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine on Disability Policy and Law
Slides Linked handout on canvas

Reading: Please pick two readings from this Walking While Blind in Manhattan During the Pandemic; Q&A with Jamison Hill; The AmazonBasics Microwave With Alexa Shows How Gimmicks Are Gold; How blind people use iPhones; Talking intersections with race, disability, and police violence; Deaf people face unique challenges as pandemic drags on; and respond to the thread on the Canvas discussion

Prep for Activity 1

Week 2 (4/5): Screen readers

Readings and other Preparation This is a first introduction to disability and an important starting place through providing a disability studies perspective up front in the class.
Introduction to screen readers and begin forming teams for homework 1.

Learning Goals Understand a disability-centered perspective and its impact on designing accessibility technologies, get introduced to screen readers.

Slides Linked slides on canvas
Activity 1 presentations
Learning Goals Understand how people with disabilities currently use accessibility technologies; Exposure to a variety of AT

Week 3 (4/12): Screen Readers/Bandwidth and Access

Readings and other Preparation

Introduction to Switch Access
Learning Goals Introduction to switch controls and building interfaces for use by people with limited mobility

Slides TBD

Activity2 and HW1 work time.

Guest lecture
Lecture by Brett Humphrey, Microsoft on screen readers
Learning Goals Practical stories on screen reader implementation and use

Week 4 (4/19): Accessible Media

We will learn about best practices to make certain types of media accessible.

Monday Slides Captioning

Accessible Markdown for Captioning


Discussion & in-class activity.
Learning Goals
  • Understanding how to write good alt text
  • Differences between image description and UI description
  • Understanding video description
  • Awareness of where and why alt text is missing on the web
Homework 1 final presentations.
Slides to be uploaded by students on canvas

Week 5 (4/26): More alt text, captions and sound recognition


Optional Readings

Tutorial on machine learning, intro to homework 2, and work time.
Slides coming soon
Guest Lecture
Lecture by Cynthia Bennett

Week 6 (5/3): Activism, advocacy and power


Homework 2 check-in
Lecture We will have office hours with each team with a progress update on their HW2.
Accessibility work, activism and advocacy
Slides coming soon

Week 7 (5/10): Corporate accessibility

Final presentations for homework 2.
Process Refer to the presentation component of homework 2 spec, coming soon..
Guest lecture
Guest lecture by Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Chief Accessibility Officer at Microsoft.
Slides coming soon

Week 8 (5/17): Accessibility’s overlooked spaces

Final project check-in
Process Please be prepared to present your project idea for five minutes. The class will discuss and provide feedback on this.
Accessibility’s overlooked spaces
Slides coming soon

Week 9 (5/24): Accessibility checking!

Accessibility testing
Readings (optional)
Final project check-in
Discussion post due Understanding testing and repair for accessibility
Process Teams present project status for in-class discussion (Class will extend until 9pm on this day).

Week 10 (5/31): Final project Check-in

No Class – Memorial Day
Project Email Check-in
Open office hours
Will be held during regular lecture timing.

Finals week: Final presentations.

Final project presentations
Logistics 6:30 pm to 9 pm on June 9th. Zoom link can be found on Canvas.