Lawrence Technological University
College of Arts and Science
Department of Mathematics and Computer Sciences
Designing for Accessibility
A proposed course by Lisa M. Anneberg Ph.D. and John M. Miller M.D.
- This is a new course for the Fall of 2005, about the process
of design, intended for all students of engineering and
computer science. The course will consider both physical
and electronic access to the work place and university for
people with disabilities. It is directed at any student who
has completed Introduction to Engineering and Pre-Calculus.
- In the 15 years since the Americans with Disabilities Act
the public policy has become so complex a course is
- The number of designers covered by public policy is
rapidly expanding. The designer's defense, "I was just
following the client's specifications," in the case where
the design is not compliant with public policy, is
- The design solutions from computer science, architecture,
mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering are
sufficiently diverse and numerous that a course is needed.
- Proposal Format
- This proposal is in a format that tries to be accessible.
The meaning is in the words and not the whitespace or fonts.
There are no decorations. The proposal is also designed to
gather student input for the course designers and share that
input with the grant committee. Finally, the proposal assembles
a mailing list of interested students.
- Course Outline
- Introduction to the relevant public policy.
- Review of the process of design.
- Safety for the disabled.
- Problem I: A wheelchair encounters steps.
- Problem II: Vision impairment encounters a monitor.
- Problem III: Hearing impairment encounters a fire alarm.
- Problem IV: Selected by the students.
- Texts and References
- Much of the material for this course is on-line. The main
reference site is of course www.access-board.gov. Concerning access to electronic
communications, the book Constructing Accessible Web
Sites by Jim Thatcher, Paul Bohman, Michael Burks, Shawn
Lawton Henry, Bob Regan, Sarah Swierenga, Mark D. Urban,
Cynthia D. Waddell (Publisher, Glasshaus ISBN
1-904151-00-0), would be a valuable addition to the
- The LTU standard laptop with a small amount of added OpenSource
software, e.g. the Lynx Web browser.
- There will be an on-line pre-test available, both to those
who take the course and to those who do not. The quizzes and
final exam will also be on-line. Individual progress on the
core concepts will be available to the student. Aggregate
progress will be available to the department chairs.
Your suggestions are appreciated. Please use this on-line form:
Revised January 27, 2005