Teach Access Curriculum Development Awards

To accelerate the creation and delivery of accessibility-infused college curricula, Teach Access provides monetary awards to higher education faculty to develop curriculum enhancements that introduce the fundamental concepts and skills of accessibility into their existing courses.

Call for Proposals

SUBMISSIONS ARE DUE BY 5:00 PM PACIFIC TIME ON FRIDAY, APRIL 16, 2021.

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 (view Teach Access members and contributors). 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, two-year colleges/universities, and 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.

The Teach Access Faculty Grants program has resulted in the creation of hundreds of new course materials by our grantees, as well as several research papers. The database of course materials is linked below, followed by research papers written by past grantees.

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.

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. 

Teach Access maintains 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.

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. Please see Teach Access’s resources for creating accessible courses.
  • Course materials will be posted to UC Boulder’s Promoting the Integration of Universal Design into University Curriculum (UDUC) database 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 and recipients on social media platforms, the Teach Access mailing list, and the Teach Access website.
  • 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 conform to established accessibility standards. Please see Teach Access’s resources for creating accessible courses
  • If award recipients do not teach the courses proposed for enhancement, funds must be returned.

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 2021-2022 academic year. Teach Access reserves the right to rescind award funds if your course is not taught in this timeframe.

To apply

  1. First, read our Frequently Asked Questions
  2. Then, review the list of application questions at the bottom of this page and prepare your answers.
  3. Once you have prepared your answers to the application questions, submit your Faculty Grant application form by 5:00 pm Pacific Time on Friday, April 16, 2021 (note: you must be logged in using a Google account in order to complete this form.)

Application questions

Questions with an asterisk denote required questions.

  1. Email address*
  2. First name*
  3. Last name*
  4. Mailing address*
  5. Your job title/role*
  6. Your race/ethnicity
    • Native American or Alaska Native
    • Asian
    • Black or African American
    • Hispanic or Latino
    • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
    • White
    • Other
  7. Your gender
    • Female
    • Male
    • Non-binary/non-conforming
    • Prefer not to respond
  8. Your pronouns
  9. Your age
  10. Your disability status
  11. Institution name*
  12. Institution type (please check all that apply)*
    • 4-year undergraduate or graduate institution
    • 2-year institution (such as community college or junior college)
    • Public institution
    • Private institution
    • Historically Black Colleges and Universities
    • Hispanic Serving Institution
    • Women’s College
    • Tribal College
    • Technical Institute and/or Professional School
  13. Course number and title*
  14. How large is your class? (Total number of students enrolled in course)*
  15. Link to online course information (if available). Alternatively, you may upload the course syllabus as an additional attachment when you submit your narrative at the end of this form. 
  16. Link to applicant information (your personal academic site, if you have one). Alternatively, you may upload your resume/CV as an additional attachment when you submit your narrative at the end of this form. 
  17. Have you been awarded a Teach Access faculty grant in the past? 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, or you can submit an application for the same course as long as your course modification is something significantly different than what you used your award funding for previously.*
    • Yes
    • No
  18. How did you first hear about these faculty grants?*
    • At a conference
    • Teach Access social media
    • Email from Teach Access
    • Coworker
    • Professional network or community of practice
    • Friend/family member
    • Other
  19. What is your previous experience in the field of accessibility? What is your level of expertise? Applicants new to the field are welcome. (200 words or less)*
  20. What type of course enhancement are you requesting funding for? (Lecture, module, infused throughout, etc.)*
  21. Please indicate the field in which your course is focused:*
    • Technical or design field (e.g., Computer Science, HCI, engineering, visual design, user experience)
    • A related field (e.g., NOT a technical or design field)
  22. [If answered “related field” to question 21] You indicated that you are teaching a course in a related field (NOT a technical or design field). Please describe how your course will impact a student’s knowledge of fundamental accessibility concepts and skills and their ability to implement the principles of accessibility. (200 words or less)*
  23. When would this class be taught? Please indicate length of the course (semester, quarter, etc.) and time of year (Fall 2021, Spring 2022, etc.). NOTE: We are only accepting applications for courses being taught in the 2021-2022 academic year.*
  24. What is your plan for promoting your course to your colleagues and institutional leadership? (200 words or less)*
  25. How do you plan to share your research and course materials externally, such as at conferences? (200 words or less)*
  26. Are you willing to offer your students the opportunity to be part of ongoing evaluation and metrics and career tracking/opportunities? This is not required and students will have the option to opt-in by sharing their LinkedIn page or email addresses with Teach Access.*
    • Yes
    • No
  27. Sharing your modified course materials with Teach Access and beyond is a requirement of all awardees. We want to confirm that you acknowledge this requirement and agree to it.*
    • I agree
    • I disagree
  28. Students’ participation in a simple pre- and post-evaluation of accessibility knowledge (supplied by Teach Access) is a requirement of the grant. We want to confirm that you agree to ask your students to take part.*
    • I agree
    • I disagree
  29. Submission of several concluding components is a requirement of the grant. These include a summary report on your curriculum development, student outcomes, institutional impact, perceived effectiveness of your presentations, and an evaluation of the project process and effectiveness. We want to confirm that you are aware of each, and agree to submit them at the end of your course.*
    • I agree
    • I disagree
  30. Please upload a narrative of no more than 2 pages that demonstrates your understanding of the mission of Teach Access, the problem that Teach Access is seeking to solve, and how higher education in general, and your course in particular, can contribute to the solution. Please include information about how you intend to use the award funds, how you plan on sustaining accessibility in your coursework over time, and what other ways you believe Teach Access can make progress in expanding the knowledge and awareness of accessible design and development among college students. You may also upload any other relevant attachments at this time (such as your course syllabus or resume/CV).*

Once you have prepared your answers to the above questions, submit your Faculty Grant application form by 5:00 pm Pacific Time on Friday, April 16, 2021 (note: you must be logged in using a Google account in order to complete this form.)

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)

During Round 2 of our Curriculum Development Awards Program, Teach Access awarded 10 grants of $5,000 each to the following faculty:

  1. Rachel Adler (Northeastern Illinois University)
  2. Iftekhar Ahmed (UC Irvine)
  3. Anastasia Angelopoulou (Columbus State University)
  4. Stacy Branham (UC Irvine)
  5. Sarah Huibregtse (University of Mount Union)
  6. Christine Lhowe (Seton Hall University)
  7. Lisa Ortiz (Metropolitan State University of Denver)
  8. Andrea Salgian (The College of New Jersey)
  9. Andrew Scholer (Chemeketa Community College)
  10. Elaine Short (Tufts University)