Teach Access Curriculum Development Awards

The Teach Access collaboration was established in 2016 to foster the teaching of accessible technology design and development to undergraduates in computer science, design, human computer interaction, user experience research, and related fields.

Reminder: These awards are intended for the introduction and promotion of accessibility knowledge in course content (also known as “teaching accessibility”) and not for the accessibility retrofit or remediation of existing instructional materials or content (also known as “teaching accessibly”).

Please also check out our frequently asked questions.

Overview

Technology industry representatives, academic partners, and leaders of major disability advocacy organizations have joined together to implement meaningful mechanisms for achieving our mission. The list of Teach Access members and supporters can be seen here. Together, we believe that a more technologically accessible future depends on the creation of an accessibility-aware workforce, starting with post-secondary learning opportunities.

To accelerate the creation and delivery of accessibility-infused college curricula, Teach Access will be providing direct awards to full-time, part-time, adjunct faculty, or instructional staff at US-based institutions of higher education (community colleges or four-year universities). Awards of $5,000 each will be given to faculty to develop modules, presentations, exercises or curriculum enhancements or changes that introduce the fundamental concepts and skills of accessible design and development into their existing courses.

The awards are intended to foster innovative ways of incorporating the teaching of accessible technology into existing courses, rather than triggering development of completely new courses. To expand the impact of the awards, award recipients will be required to present their work at appropriate venues within their institutions as well as publicly on the Teach Access website. Awardees are also encouraged to present their innovative work at conferences, symposia, and workshops.

Measuring results

Upon completion of their courses, faculty awardees will provide summary reports on their curriculum development, student outcomes, institutional response, and the perceived effectiveness of their presentations as well as an evaluation of the Curriculum Development project and its effectiveness. Based on periodic outreach and these final reports, these evaluations will determine whether and how the Curriculum Development awards will be expanded in subsequent years.

Teach Access will maintain a database of awardees’ newly enhanced curricula which will include detailed information on the development and presentation of the material. The project will track the use of the database by other faculty at other institutions and will request reporting of curriculum material use by visitors to the site.

Pre- and post-testing of students’ knowledge about the subject matter will be required of award recipients, with Teach Access providing a small, basic set of key questions. The results of these tests will be matched against the varied approaches the faculty are using to teach the material, and an analysis of the student outcomes based on presented material will be a highlight of the project’s final report and recommendations.

Students who have been exposed to inclusive design and development concepts through this project will be invited to join an online community with Teach Access industry members for future job opportunities, for networking among the students themselves, and for determining whether and how the students’ exposure to inclusive curricula is being carried into their professional and post-graduate work lives.

Ultimately, the project’s success will be measured by the level of accessibility of technology introduced into the market in the coming years and decades.

Required activities and deliverables

  • It is the expectation that course materials developed as a result of these awards will be accessible (following WCAG 2.1 standards) and made broadly available. Course materials will be posted on the Teach Access website for use by other faculty, and proper citation of the authors of the original materials will be required when reused.
  • Award recipients will be required to show evidence that they have made at least one presentation of their new course components to other faculty and administrators within their institutions, via appropriate mechanisms such as faculty meetings, school-wide presentations, department meetings, central curriculum-sharing tools, or similar means.
  • Pre- and post-testing of student knowledge of accessibility information will be required of award recipients; Teach Access will provide the set of key questions about technology accessibility to be administered to students. Results of the tests will be made available to each grantee, and answers will be anonymous and will not be used to determine student grades for their respective courses.
  • Faculty awardees will be asked to submit to Teach Access a summary report on their curriculum development, student outcomes, institutional impact, and the perceived effectiveness of their presentations as well as an evaluation of the award project process and its effectiveness.

Outreach and tracking of effects

  • Teach Access members will promote the awards, the recipients, and their results widely, on the largest social media platforms in the world.
  • Faculty will not be expected to track students post-graduation; however, industry members of Teach Access will offer to accept resumes and contact information from students for possible future employment opportunities and ongoing research.

Project funding and support

  • Financial support for the awards is being provided through sponsorship from corporate members of Teach Access.
  • Award payments will funnel to faculty through their universities and colleges. Teach Access faculty grants do not allow the charge of any indirect institutional costs. Total funding may not exceed $5,000. These funds may be used in flexible ways to support staff salary and benefits, summer salary, extra-contract work, or student employees. Funds can also support travel, materials and supplies, or other project expenses.
  • Teaching resources (standards, guidelines, and best practices) are available on the Teach Access website to assist awardees in their course enhancement activities.
  • Non-Profit Connection is the fiscal agent for Teach Access and will be managing the dispersal of funds to faculty.
  • Teach Access will create opportunities for collaboration among awardees.

Limitations

  • Awards are not intended to trigger development of completely new courses but rather innovative ways of incorporating the fundamentals into existing courses.
  • No institutional overhead or indirect costs will be allowed.
  • Proposals must include an explanation of how award funds will be spent, and award recipients will be expected to use the funds appropriately to further the mission of Teach Access.
  • These awards are intended for the introduction and promotion of accessibility knowledge in course content. It is not the intent of these funds to be used solely for the accessibility retrofit or remediation of existing instructional materials or content. Award recipients are expected to produce materials that do conform to established accessibility standards. See this link for a selection of resources for how to make education more technologically accessible.
  • If award recipients do not teach the courses proposed for enhancement, funds must be returned.

Timeline

  • Mon 4/27/20 – Call for Proposals available
  • Mon 6/1/20 – Submissions due at 5pm PT
  • 6/2/20-6/15/20 – Review process
    • Proposals will be reviewed by a panel of active Teach Access members (including representatives from academia, industry, and advocacy).
  • Wed 7/1/20 – Awards announced to recipients
  • Mon 7/13/20 – Awards announced to public
  • July-August 2020 – Curriculum enhancements developed
    • Teaching resources (standards, guidelines, and best practices) are available on the Teach Access website to assist awardees in their course enhancement activities.
    • Awardees prepare modules, lectures, classroom activities, or other components to be added to existing syllabi.
  • Fall 2020-Spring 2021 – Teach curriculum
    • Awardees incorporate newly developed materials in courses during the 2020-2021 academic year.
    • Awardees conduct pre- and post-testing of students’ knowledge about the subject (using the set of questions provided by Teach Access).
  • June 2021 (or earlier if course has been completed)
    • Awardees show evidence that they have presented their new course components to other faculty and administrators within their institutions.
    • Awardees make course components available for reuse by other faculty, with proper citation.
    • Awardees to submit to Teach Access a summary report on their curriculum development, student outcomes, institutional response, and the perceived effectiveness of their presentations as well as an evaluation of the project process and its effectiveness.

Principal Point of Contact and FAQs

For all questions related to this competition, please email facultygrants@teachaccess.org. Teach Access will maintain a public list of questions and answers during the application period, for any questions not already answered in this document.

Please also check out our frequently asked questions.

Criteria for Selection

Submissions will be judged on impact, outreach, sustainability, and evaluation plans. Faculty who have not taught accessibility topics in their courses before are particularly encouraged to apply.

Eligibility

Faculty members (full-time, part-time, or adjunct) or instructional staff who meet following criteria:

  • Have read our FAQs page
  • Teacher of an existing course in computer science, design, user experience research, human-computer interaction, or related field (see our FAQs for more information about “related fields”)
  • Teacher at a two- or four-year university or college in the United States
  • Preference will be given to instructors who have not received a past Teach Access Faculty Grant. If you are a previous grantee and you wish to receive consideration for this round of awards, you may submit an application for a different course than previously awarded.
  • Planning to teach this course in the 2020-2021 academic year. Teach Access reserves the right to rescind award funds if your course is not taught in this timeframe.

To apply

First, read our Frequently Asked Questions

Click here to fill out the application form (Note: this form is now closed)

Previous Awardees

During Round 1 of our Curriculum Development Awards Program, Teach Access awarded 19 grants of $5,000 each to the following faculty:

  1. Camila Afanador-Llach (Florida Atlantic University)
  2. Bruce Elgort (Clark College)
  3. Aaron Ganci (Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis)
  4. Regine Gilbert (New York University)
  5. Grace Jun (The New School)
  6. Claire Kearney-Volpe (New York University)
  7. Devorah Kletenik (Brooklyn College, CUNY)
  8. Amanda Lazar (University of Maryland, College Park)
  9. Li Liu and Joe Bautista (California State University Northridge)
  10. Victoria Lowell (Purdue University)
  11. Benito Mendoza (New York City College of Technology, CUNY)
  12. Vivian Motti (George Mason University)
  13. Rebecca Mushtare (SUNY Oswego)
  14. Ashwin Satyanarayana (New York City College of Technology (CUNY)
  15. Brian Stone (Boise State University)
  16. Deborah Sturm (College of Staten Island, CUNY)
  17. Alyssa Vine (City University of New York)
  18. Amber Wagner (Birmingham-Southern College)
  19. Rosa Laura Zavala (Medgar Evars College, CUNY)