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Truly Inspirational: Empowering Blind Students in Science and Engineering

DSC_0175On Monday and Tuesday, UW CSE’s Richard Ladner hosted a workshop that brought together 19 blind or vision-impaired college students in science and engineering fields from across the nation, 13 blind or vision-impaired STEM professionals, and a number of regional civic, technology, and education leaders.  It was a truly inspirational two days.

The students themselves were hugely impressive – many of them are sure to become leaders in STEM fields.

The professionals were extraordinary. To mention just a few (read about them all here):1781866_10202086843948414_3833416878111528326_n

  • A blind Ph.D. atmospheric scientist working at NOAA.
  • A blind Ph.D. in linguistics working at Nuance.
  • A blind Ph.D. cancer biologist working at the Advanced Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory at the University Health Network in Toronto.
  • A blind history and computer science major who works at the Defense Information Systems Agency.

Civic, technology, and education leaders who participated included Zillow CTO Dave Beitel, Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman, University of Washington Provost Ana Mari Cauce, State Representative (and DSC_0183technology entrepreneur) Reuven Carlyle, UW Materials Science professor Kannan Krishnan, UW CSE professor Ed Lazowska, and founder and director of UW’s DO-IT Center and Access Technology Center Sheryl Burgstahler.

It’s impossible to describe the impact of this event on all of the attendees!

Learn more about Empowering Blind Students in Science and Engineering here.