Thursday Extra 5/5: Increasing Access to STEM for Blind Students

Catie Baker from the University of Washington will talk about increasing access to STEM for blind students.

Thursday, May 5, 2016
4:15 pm in Science-3821
Snacks at 4 in the CS Commons.

This talk will focus on two of Baker's research projects. Tactile Graphics with a Voice (TGV) proposes an alternative to Braille labels on tactile graphics. Many people who are blind do not know Braille, and Braille is often too large to fit on the graphic anyway, so Baker's team proposes using QR codes instead, which can be read aloud by smartphones. They created a smartphone app which can provide guidance to a blind user to help them scan the QR codes. Baker will also present StructJumper, an Eclipse plugin which creates a hierarchical tree based on the nesting structure of a Java class. As screen readers are linear in nature, it can be difficult for a blind programmer to quickly skim or move around in the code. StructJumper presents a new way for blind programmers to navigate the code using its structure.