Session 8L: Panel: Making K-12 CS Education Accessibility a Norm, not an Exception
11:15 AM - 12:30 PM
Sat Mar 2, 2019
Hyatt: Regency (2nd floor)


Computer science (CS) education is rapidly expanding in the United States[4]. That said, the CS education field is still grappling with coming to consensus about definitions of K-12 CS and how to reach all students. While the CS education community has made great efforts to expand opportunity for under served groups, students with disabilities have regularly been left out of the conversation. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, approximately 13% of all students enrolled in public schools in the US receive special education services and 95% of these students are taught either part or full time in the regular classroom[3] . One aim of CSforALL is to increase equity in CS education and opportunities[5]. Recent studies have examined the challenges faced by students with disabilities in K12 CS education[1][2]. Including students with disabilities in CS classes not only increases their access to academic and career opportunities in CS, but it also gives them the opportunity to develop new ways of thinking and participating in the world that they would otherwise be potentially without. This panel addresses the inclusion of students with disabilities as part of the national all and seeks to augment the discussion initiated by the CSforALL Consortium and AccessCSforALL with the introduction of the Accessibility Pledge at the annual CSforALL Summit. This panel brings together four different experts, with a wide range of experience in regards to computer science education and students with disabilities, in an effort to expand both the national conversation and increase efforts related to including students with disabilities equitably in CS education.

In this panel we present a group of CS education community members who represent multiple approaches to accessibility and serving students with disabilities, as well as diverse implementations; peer-to-peer mentoring, initiatives focused on a single subpopulation of students with disabilities, curriculum and platform providers, and district and state-wide solutions. The panelists, and the organizations they represent have a diversity of experiences to share, including current high school students and parents of students with disabilities.

Maya Israel Associate Professor, University of Florida
Shireen Hafeez Founder and President, Deaf Kids Code
Emmanuel Schanzer Founder, Program Director, Bootstrap / Brown University
Rebecca Dovi Director of Education, codeVA
Emma Koslow Programming Pals
Todd Lash University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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