Richard E. Ladner, Professor Emeritus in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering, graduated from St. Mary's College of California with a B.S. in 1965 and received a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1971, at which time he joined the faculty of the University of Washington. In addition to his appointment in the Department of Computer Science & Engineering, he held Adjunct appointments in the Department of Electrical Engineering and in the Department of Linguistics.
After many years of research in theoretical computer science, he has turned his attention to accessibility technology research, especially technology for deaf, deaf-blind, hard-of-hearing, and blind people. In addition to research, he is active in promoting the inclusion of persons with disabilities in computing fields. He is the Principal Investigator for the National Science Foundation funded AccessComputing and AccessCSforAll.
He has supervised or co-supervised thirty students on their Ph.D. dissertations and seven on their M.S. theses. He has supervised more than one hundred undergraduate research projects, including projects of two students who received the CRA Outstanding Undergraduate Award and twenty-three who received Mary Gates Research Scholarships.
From 1994 to 2005, as part of the DO-IT Project, he held a one-week summer workshop for disabled high school students, encouraging them to pursue college programs and careers in science, mathematics, and engineering. In 2006 he organized the Vertical Mentoring Workshop for the Blind in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. He organized the Summer Academy for Advancing Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Computing in 2007-2013. In 2014 he organized the Empowering Blind Students in Science and Engineering Workshop.
He has served as an Area Editor for the Journal of the Association of Computing Machinery, Editor for SIAM Journal on Computing, an Associate Editor for the Journal of Computer and System Sciences, and Theory of Computing Systems. He is currently on the Editorial Boards for ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing and Communications of the ACM.
He served as Pacific Region Representative on the Council of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM). He served as Chair of the ACM Special Interest Group in Algorithms and Computation Theory (SIGACT) from 2005-2009. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of Gallaudet University from 2007-2016. He currently serves on the boards of CMD-IT, CRA-WP, and CSTA.
Although he is officially retired, he continues to work on accessibility research and his outreach projects. He is a founding member of the Center for Research and Education on Accessible Technology and Experiences (UW CREATE) at the University of Washington.
With Ginger at Mt. St. Helens, 1995