The 2016 Summer Institute, cosponsored by the University of Washington Computer Science & Engineering and Microsoft Research will be held at the Alderbrook Resort in Union, Washington from the evening of July 5 through mid-afternoon July 8, 2016. Union is approximately ninety minutes southwest of Seattle.
Accessibility research is a subfield of human-computer interaction (HCI) that is about developing and studying technologies that improve the lives of people with disabilities. Traditionally, improvements in accessible technologies involved the application and adaptation of technologies and research in supporting fields such as HCI, computer vision, national language processing (NLP), robotics, signal processing, ubiquitous computing, artificial intelligence (AI), engineering, and information and computing technologies for development (ICTD). Advances in accessible technology have not only been a benefit to the one billion people in the world who have a disability, but have inspired advances in technology for everyone. Examples of technologies that were inspired by thinking about people with disabilities include the voice and video telephones, optical character recognition, speech synthesis, speech-to-text technology, and driverless cars.
The goal of this institute is to expand accessibility research by inspiring new people in supporting fields to join in on accessibility research efforts by having them interact with accomplished accessibility researchers, as well as with consumers of technology who are themselves disabled. Established accessibility researchers will learn about research in supporting areas that will enable them to see new approaches to solving accessibility problems. Including consumers with disabilities will help ground the participants in the institute on the most important accessibility problems.
Descriptions of past summer institutes may be viewed at: www.cs.washington.edu/events/mssi/.