Education & Outreach

Executing ACCESS Lab's mission requires building research capacity by encouraging students and researchers to work across disciplinary boundaries and understanding the needs and challenges in the accessibility space. These objectives are what guide the education and outreach activities of ACCESS Lab and its members.

CS 898: Accessible Computing

This inter-disciplinary class offered annually introduces advanced graduate students to topics related to assistive technologies and accessibility. Students learn about the characterstics of sensory, physical, and cognitive disabilities and how various computing technologies can be leveraged to meet needs. Graduate students from various disciplines (such as computer science, computer networks, biomedical engineering, psychology) are encouraged to take this class to work together  on group projects and address challenges from various perspectives. Researchers from various disciplinary backgrounds (such as vision science, human factors, biomechanics, aging studies) are invited to the class to weigh in on how their discipline interfaces with the objectives of the class and what perspectives the students must keep in mind when they design and develop potential solutions through group class projects. In addition to benefits for graduate students, the class discussions help foster research collaborations among faculty/researchers involved in the class.

Level-Up Middle School and High School Assistive Technology Camps 

Every summer, Envision organizes Level-Up Assistive Technology (AT) camps where middle-school and high-school kids with vision impairments are introduced to the various ways technology can assist them with their daily lives. As part of these camps, they also visit the ACCESS Lab to learn about the research being done and assistive technologies being developed. The ACCESS Lab uses these opportunities to encourage students to consider careers in computer science and engineering by highlighting the role these disciplines can play in the creation of various assistive technologies. More details about the Level Up programs can be found here.

 Summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program NSF Logo

ACCESS Lab participates in the NSF-sponsored Networked Cyber-Physical Systems (NetCPS) REU at WSU. This REU program brings undergraduate students from around the U.S. to WSU over a 9-week period in the summer. REU participants that work with ACCESS Lab are introduced to challenges faced by people with disabilities and encouraged to design solutions to make a difference. This visit to ACCESS lab is often the first time these participants have thought about leveraging their computing backgrounds towards service learning and leaves a lasting impression on how they can make a difference in the future.