The 17th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility (ASSETS 2015) is taking place this week in Lisbon, Portugal, and UW CSE is in the thick of the action. First, Ph.D. student Aditya Vashistha captured the Best Student Paper award for “Social Media Platforms for Low-income Blind People in India.” The paper, which presents the first-ever analysis of how visually impaired users in rural and peri-urban India benefit from social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp and investigates barriers to social media engagement among this group, was co-authored by UW CSE Ph.D. alum Nicola Dell, professor Richard Anderson, and Ed Cutrell of Microsoft Research India.
Another team with a UW CSE connection captured a second Best Paper award. Affiliate faculty member Merrie Ringel Morris of Microsoft Research, along with her colleague Andrew Begel and Ben Wiedermann of Harvey Mudd College, earned top honors for their study of neurodiverse workers in the software industry. The project aims to improve employers’ understanding of the experiences and needs of individuals with autism spectrum disorder and other cognitive differences to support a more inclusive workforce – a topic that has received very little attention before now.
Nice job, everyone!