Deaf Students in High-Tech Summer Program

A computer-science summer academy at University of Washington introduces deaf and hard-of-hearing students to high-tech careers. Seeing few deaf academics and almost no deaf people earning doctorates, UW computer-science professor Richard Ladner, a son of deaf parents, started the program with National Science Foundation funding. In its third year, the nine-week intensive program recruits ten outstanding 16-to-22-year-old math and science students from across the U.S. Seattle Times reporter Lynn Thompson says, "For many of the participants, it's their first glimpse inside the high-tech world. For some, it is the first time as students that they have been able to spontaneously talk to their classmates." Participant Josiah Cheslik describes the isolation he felt in high school as the only deaf student. Cheslik hopes to do research into technologies to bridge the gap between the hearing and non-hearing worlds. "He noted that several new technologies, including texting and GPS systems, were first invented for people with disabilities."

If you are in the Seattle area in August, the students' animation projects will be screened publically on the evening of the 21st in the Paul Allen Center for Computer Science and Engineering on the University of Washington campus.

See "Summer program opens high-tech world to deaf students" on the Seattle Times website.

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