Computing and the Disabled
mike noble, luis maciel, jason katsampes

abstract 
assistive technology 
barriers to access 
what can you do 
programmers
engineers
corporations
universities
people
links/bibliography 
about our group 
 
what can you do? The vast majority of computing technologies are desigend for the average user, without giving much thought, if any, to the disabled. Here are some ideas as to what can be done to improve the situation
programmers can donate their time to create free assistive software. Getting together with friends and coding a program to be given away for a good cause is not terribly difficult. Also, supporting other free software projects that deal with disabled users can be very rewarding.
engineers All engineers can design products with Universal Access in mind at the outset. During the initial design stage, it is much easier to incorporate Universal Access than at later stages. Convince your supervisor that Universal Access is not only the moral choice, but can also be a good marketing choice.
corporations can donate money and equipment. Money donated to non-profit organizations can be tax deductable. Corporations are constantly upgrading their equipment. This old equipment can be donated as well, and it will be recycled and modified.
university community service requirement All majors may be required to have at least one community service project in order to graduate. At Stanford University, students in the Human Biology major are required to do an extra-curricular internship in their area of concentration. Technical majors could choose to fulfill this requirement by helping disabled-computing projects. Also at Stanford University, the Computer Science department offers a Programming Service Project "course," which gives credit for "volunteer computer programming work of public benefit and educational value." This could be made a requirement instead of an elective.
people can donate time to centers Many centers need computer literate people willing to help and teach others. Also, as with corporations, people can donate their used equipment when upgrading.

abstract | assistive technologies | barriers to access | links | about group