Catie Baker

Accessibility in Computer Science Education

From experience, accessibility tends to get relegated to elective courses, however I believe that it needs to be taught in all courses. As such, I have been working with Drs. Shinohara and Elglaly to create modules that can be integrated into core computing courses. Initially, we created two different modules to pilot this project and based on the early results, we received a grant from the National Science Foundation to continue this work. Our goal is to develop a number of modules to integrate into different classes.

Accessibility in Industry

As most students don’t learn about accessibility in formal education, companies must use trainings and resources to teach developers how to create accessible products. I have been conducting research on what the process looks like from the perspective of the developers without expertise (with colleagues at Rochester Institute of Technology) and from the perspective of the accessibility practitioners (with colleagues from Cornell Tech). The goal of this research is to understand the needs and practices of companies who seek to make their products accessible.

Understanding the Needs of People with Visual Impairment

I have a set of projects focused on how children are educated on assistive technology (AT), which is often difficult to learn and not used by their parents and teachers. We have sought to understand the perspectives of many of the surrounding people who are important in the children’s development of technology skills. Initially, Dr. Lauren Milne and I published a paper understanding how the Teachers of the Visually Impaired were involved with teaching the students to use their AT, which generally their primary teacher is unfamiliar with. As part of that study, it was shown that parents often do not know the best technology for their children and previous research has shown that parents often have a large role in non-visually impaired children’s technology use, so now we are currently interviewing parents of children with visual impairment to understand their role and what supports might be missing.