CSTA is committed to making its events, resources, and services accessible to all, regardless of ability. This commitment is rooted in our organizational values of remaining member-focused, offering space for people to grow, and committing to equity in our community and among the students our members serve.
From our CS teacher landscape survey, we know that approximately 9% of computer science teachers in the United States have a disability or other chronic condition. We are actively working to increase the accessibility of our events and resources so that all people, including those with a variety of disabilities, are able to fully participate. We also hope that being explicit about our strategies will illustrate the importance of accessibility and support members in developing their own knowledge and skills.
Actions to Improve Accessibility
We have taken a number of steps to improve accessibility, including:
- developing accessibility guidelines for meetings, professional development, and conference/summit sessions (see below)
- training our staff, Chapter Leaders, conference and summit speakers, and volunteers in increasing accessibility
- redesigning our website to improve clarity and navigation and to meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 AA standards
- collecting data regarding the ability status of members
- asking about disability-related accessibility needs in event registration and evaluation
- providing requested accommodations, including live transcription (CART) and ASL interpretation, whenever possible
- using accessible tools, fonts, and colors in our resources, webpages, meetings, and PD
- enabling automated closed captioning in meetings, PD, and conference and summit sessions
- making presentation materials and resources available to participants
- collecting feedback on whether disability-related accessibility needs were met in events
While we still have a long way to go, we are prioritizing actions that will make a significant impact.
CSTA developed two sets of accessibility guidelines as part of our commitment to improving the accessibility of our programs. These guidelines represent a small number of simple, prioritized actions that organizers and facilitators—including staff, contractors, and volunteers—can take to improve the accessibility of their meetings, sessions, and PD. We expect that training, resources, reinforcement, and feedback will lead to better and more habitual accessibility practices and allow us to evolve the guidelines over time.
In developing these guidelines, CSTA staff drew heavily from the resources listed below and worked in close partnership with the DO-IT Center at the University of Washington, which generously provided training, resources, recommendations, and feedback to guide our work. Authors include Bryan Twarek, Shaina Glass, Lily Mora, and Jason Bohrer. This work is supported by the Alliance of Identity-Inclusive Computing Education (NSF Grant No. 2118453) led by Dr. Nicki Washington and Dr. Shani Daily. Key DO-IT collaborators include Dr. Brianna Blaser, Terrill Thompson, Eric Trekell, Lyla Crawford, and Dr. Sheryl Burgstahler, all of whom provided incredible, ongoing support.
- CSTA Accessibility Guidelines (linked above)
- Accessibility Training for 2022 CSTA Annual Conference Speakers (DO-IT, CSTA)
- Accessibility & Universal Design of Online Meetings (AccessComputing)
- Equal Access: Universal Design of Presentations (AccessComputing)
- Accessible Presentation Guide (SIGACCESS)
- Making Your Presentation Accessible (Richard Ladner, Kyle Rector)
- Presentation and Poster Accessibility Guidelines (Tapia Conference)
- Accessible Conference Guide (SIGACCESS) – for in-person events
Email AccessComputing if you need additional support.
for CS Teachers
- Universal Design for Learning 4 Computer Science (University of Florida)
- CSTA event session recordings
- Including Students with Disabilities in Computer Science (Richard Ladner, Andreas Stefik)
- Virtually Supporting Students with IEPs (Lily Mora)
- What Students Are Excluded from Online CS Content? (Sheryl Burgstahler, Richard Ladner)
- Accommodating CS Students with Disabilities (Sarah Ciras)
- Strategies for Using Universal Design for Learning in K-8 CS (Todd Lash, Alexis Cobo, Maya Israel)
- CS for Students with Visual or Hearing Related Disabilities (Gina Fugate, Beth Kimball)
- AccessCSforAll webinars
- Teaching CS to Blind and Visually Impaired Students (Gina Fugate)
- Teaching CS to Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students (Beth Kimball)
- Teaching CS to Students with Learning Disabilities (Sarah Ciras)
- Teaching CS to Neurodiverse Students (Robert DeFillippo)
- Accessible Tools for K12 CS Education (Richard Ladner, Lauren Milne, Andreas Stefik)
Formed in December 2022, CSAccess is a volunteer CSTA working group that seeks to share best practices and resources to help teachers support their students with disabilities, advocate for equitable access to CS resources for all students, including those with physical disabilities, and provide a welcoming and accessible environment for CS teachers with disabilities. Current projects include identifying accessibility best practices for teachers, working with resource developers to collaboratively address the accessibility of K12 CS tools and curricula, and advising on the accessibility of CSTA’s annual conference. Leadership include Elissa Hozore, Mark Barnes, Samantha Dahlby, and Richard Ladner.
If you are interested in joining the CSAccess working group, please complete this form.
Provide Feedback or Get Help
We are continuing to improve the accessibility of our website, resources, and events, and we welcome your feedback. If you have any questions or concerns about accessibility, or if you need specific accommodations or support, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.