Graduation! Congrats Drs. Stearns and Mauriello!
Published Dec 19, 2018
Members of the newly launched UW CREATE accessibility center won all three top awards at ASSETS2020—the top publication venue in accessibility research—including Best Artifact for our SoundWatch work, Best Paper awarded to Professor Leah Findlater and her PhD student Lotus Zhang, Best Student Paper awarded to PhD student Megan Hofmann and colleagues (including her advisor and CREATE co-director Jennifer Mankoff). Congrats all! Relatedly, Sarah McQuate wrote a lovely article on our SoundWatch work—check it out!
We are incredibly excited and proud of PhD student Manaswi Saha, who was just honored with the 2020 Google PhD Fellowship for her work on Project Sidewalk and urban accessibility. Congrats Manaswi on this well-deserved recognition for your important work. An excerpt of the official blurb from the Allen School News website: Saha, who is one of 53 students throughout the world to be selected for a Google Fellowship, will use those tools to fill an informational gap between citizens and the local government and stakeholders showing where improvements in sidewalks need to be made to make them accessible to all. “Since the beginning of my academic career, my research interests have been towards socially impactful projects. Public service, especially for underrepresented communities, runs in my family,” Saha said. “The driving force for the work I do stems from my role model, my father, who dedicated his life towards rural and agricultural development in India. His selfless efforts inspired me to explore how technology can be used for the betterment of society. With this goal in mind, I set out to do my Ph.D. with a focus on high-value social problems.” Saha works with Froehlich in the Makeability Lab on one of its flagship ventures, Project Sidewalk. The project has two goals: to develop and study data collection methods for acquiring street-level accessibility information using crowdsourcing, machine learning, and online map imagery and to design and develop navigation and map tools for accessibility.
CSCW2020 June submission results were just released (link), and we were incredibly excited to find out that our paper entitled "Urban Accessibility as a Socio-Political Problem: A Multi-Stakeholder Analysis" was accepted with minor revisions. Of the 593 submissions, only 47 were chosen for 'Minor Revision' (7.9%) and 273 for 'Major Revisions' (46.0%). Through semi-structured interviews with five stakeholder groups, we examine the socio-political challenges surrounding accessible infrastructure development. The paper has some important findings around policy making, gentrification, and urban development tensions related to accessibility and extends and complements our broader research in this area (e.g., Project Sidewalk). Congrats to lead PhD student Manaswi Saha and the rest of the team!
We just heard that our paper on "Field Study of a Tactile Sound Awareness Device for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Users" was accepted as a 2-page ISWC Brief! This work was a collaboration between Makeabilty Lab and DJ's previous school MIT Media Lab, and reports on important findings related to use of wearable tactile technology for 'experiential' sound awareness, self-awareness, the impact on presence, and long-term behavior.