Each year, UW CSE offers a number of “capstone design courses” in a broad range of areas. In these courses, students work in teams to conceive, design, implement, and deploy complete solutions to interesting problems.
As cell phones become more capable with connectivity with the internet and sensors such as cameras, compasses, GPS, and accelerometers, there are opportunities to use them as accessibility or assistive devices. This was the focus of the Accessibility Capstone, taught by professor Richard Ladner. Students worked in teams to create new applications on mobile phones that allow persons with disabilities to accomplish tasks that would be difficult to impossible to do without such applications. (An example would be an application for a blind person that would take a picture of a bar code on a product, decode it, look it up on the internet, then speak the name of the product.)