Teach Access Summer 2021 Update

By June 16, 2021 No Comments

Dear Teach Access members, supporters, and champions,

We are happy to share our activities and accomplishments since our last update. Take a look at all Teach Access is doing to enhance accessibility awareness and to ensure the fundamentals of digital accessibility are included in college and university technology curricula.

2021-2022 Curriculum Development Awardees Announced

In celebration of the 10th annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), on May 20 Teach Access announced that we selected 15 faculty members to receive our 2021-2022 Teach Access Curriculum Development Awards of $5,000 each. Check out the blog post to read the names of our winners!

Teach Access Study Away 2021 Expands Participation to 80+ Students

study away virtual edition 2021 logo

Teach Access Study Away went virtual for the first time in 2021, allowing students from around the country to participate safely from home or school and providing an opportunity for increased participation. The program kicked off in March and included four weeks of curriculum delivered synchronously and asynchronously and opportunities to practice and engage with the material during structured team-based activity challenges. The program culminated in an “ACCESSathon” and winning teams were recognized and celebrated on Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) on May 20, 2021.

Verizon committed to upskilling students through scaling of Teach Access

verizon logo

In a recent blog post, Verizon provided a look at some of their new initiatives to create a more inclusive and equitable future for people with disabilities. This included an announcement that Verizon will be working with The Valuable 500 to upskill students with the curriculum and experience they need to dream and design a world that’s inclusive for all. They will focus our efforts on scaling Teach Access, and we hope to share more updates about Verizon’s support soon!

Microsoft pledges to expand accessibility efforts in technology, the workforce & workplace

microsoft logo

Microsoft continues its commitment to accessibility with its announcement of a new technology-led five-year plan to create and open doors to opportunity for people with disabilities. This new initiative will focus on three priorities: spurring the development of more accessible technology across our industry and the economy; using this technology to create opportunities for more people with disabilities to enter the workforce; and building a workplace that is more inclusive for people with disabilities. Microsoft will continue to build on its collaboration with Teach Access to train both students and the tech community about accessibility needs and accessible design, including working to change accreditation language so that accessibility is included in all courses.

Global Accessibility Teachers’ Coffee Hour

University of Southampton Logo

On May 20th, Teach Access partnered with the University of Southampton’s Centre for Research in Inclusion’s (CRI) Teaching Accessibility team to celebrate the 10th annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) by hosting an international gathering of accessibility educators. Guests joined from the UK, Ireland, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Australia and the US, representing 16 universities and colleges. Together, we explored the challenges of teaching accessibility, our approaches and shared values. We all benefited from lively discussions and the opportunity to learn from both aspiring and experienced accessibility teachers. Thank you to Sarah Lewthwaite, Sarah Horton, Andy Coverdale, and Richard Ladner for organizing the event and serving as discussion leaders!

Teach Access Case Study

Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology logo

In 2020, the Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology (PEAT) published the Accessibility Playbook for Emerging Technology Initiatives. The Playbook is a blueprint for anyone seeking to launch a successful initiative to develop emerging technologies that are accessible to and inclusive of people with disabilities. The steps taken by Teach Access to launch and sustain the initiative helped inform the Playbook. Read the new Teach Access Case Study to learn more.

Teach Access mention during Harkin Institute webinar

The Harkin Institute hosted a webinar on May 25 called, “Disability Inclusion: A Key Ingredient in a Diverse and Inclusive Workforce.” This was the first in a series of monthly discussions focused on bringing together the disability and investor communities and the private sector to achieve competitive, integrated employment for people with disabilities. We were pleased to hear Teach Access get a shoutout from Susanne Bruyere (Academic Director of the Yang-Tan Institute on Employment and Disability) and Caroline Casey (founder of The Valuable 500) during the session. Check out the 42:00 mark of the recording for the Teach Access mention!

Teach Access Member Spotlight: American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)

Matthew Janusauskas headshot

Chief Technology Officer for AFB (a Teach Access member), Matthew Janusauskas, has been appointed to Verizon’s newly established Disability Advisory Board. According to Verizon’s announcement, this will be “an external board of trusted leaders from disability organizations that will ensure accessibility is a lens we bring to all of our initiatives. The Disability Advisory Board will partner with senior leaders to make recommendations that will inform and support Verizon’s accessibility journey.” Congratulations, Matt!

Sarah Horton Published in Frontiers of Computer Science Journal

Frontiers of Computer Science logo

Teach Access Invited Expert, Sarah Horton, addresses the accessible technology sustainability challenge in her recent article, “Empathy Cannot Sustain Action in Technology Accessibility,” published in the Frontiers of Computer Science Journal on April 28thFrontiers of Computer Science is a multidisciplinary open-access journal and publishes peer-reviewed research across all areas of fundamental and applied computational sciences.

New Teach Access Members

Welcome to the members who have joined us over the last several months! A complete list of Teach Access members can be found on our website.

And, if you’ve been considering joining the Teach Access effort, now is a great time! Or if you have friends and colleagues at other institutions, companies, organizations, or please encourage them to check out our Membership page to learn more about becoming a member.