Rochester Institute of Technology, United States
Paula is speaking at
Stephanie Ludi (University of North Texas, United States)
Matt Huenerfauth (Rochester Institute of Technology, United States)
Vicki Hanson (Rochester Institute of Technology, United States)
Nidhi Palan (Rochester Institute of Technology, United States)
Paula Garcia (Rochester Institute of Technology, United States)
ABSTRACT. An increasing importance of accessibility awareness and knowledge emanates from a moral imperative and as an employment differentiator. It is important that educational programs have a demonstrated ability to teach these skills. In this paper, we focus on the role that educational courses can play in increasing accessibility awareness for undergraduate students. We review literature indicating that a number of accessibility teaching interventions have been reported; yet the evaluation of their effectiveness has not been conducted in a consistent manner. We report on our 3-semester evaluation of undergraduate students’ accessibility awareness and knowledge following a week of accessibility lectures as part of courses on Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), where a subset of students also interact with stakeholders with disabilities during the conduct of the course projects. Gains in awareness and knowledge occur when accessibility lectures were part of the course. These gains are compared across the teams who interacted with a person with a disability and teams with no such interaction. In addition, we provide the test battery developed to measure these skills, to enable other researchers to conduct evaluations of the effectiveness of interventions for teaching inclusive thinking in undergraduate computing at their own institutions.