Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Speaking about Diversity ... and Accessibility

Today I began with a breakfast meeting with my friends Dave and Steven, along with Maria Klawe (photo right), president of Harvey Mudd College; we'll come back to breakfast later.

President Klawe (i.e., Maria :-) visited a Haverford course on HCI the previous night, then a course on Unix and C as well as lunch with students at Bryn Mawr College today, then an afternoon talk about the issues of gender and computing where Maria had students engaged and asking questions for 45 minutes (after the 60 minute lecture). I got the distinct impression that Maria's words had particular impact on the women in the audience, especially the students. I know I have much to learn about diversity*, but I do feel I have a better sense now than when the day began ...

.. and it began with a nice breakfast, where Maria and I had a very enlightening (for me) conversation about research in accessible computing, assistive technologies, and I discovered Brainfingers. I came for the discussion about diversity, and left with insights into accessibility. Clearly, diversity and accessibility can be connected, and that's what I learned today -- Thanks, Maria.

I look forward to the SIGCSE 2008 conference, where I can continue these conversations with all of you -- register soon, and get your hotel room, they seem to be going fast (we've virtually sold out four hotels, two more added).
* I do not believe this is an example of "impostor syndrome"

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