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Promoting Computational Thinking Skills for Blind and Visually Impaired [BVI] Population through Accessible Makerspaces

Organization

School of Information Sciences

Type

Research Assistantship

Percent

50

Description, Responsibilities, and Qualifications

We are looking for a PhD (or, experienced MSLIS/CAS) student who will assist the PIs with the
project that aims to create more inclusive and accessible makerspaces for blind and visually
impaired (BVI) learners.
 
The selected RA for Fall 2022 will engage in Phase 1 of the multi-year
research project. Working with Disability Resources & Educational Services (DRES) and the
Information Accessibility Design & Policy Program (IADP), Phase 1 focuses on the case study of
the Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab (i.e., makerspace accessibility assessment) and
professional development workshops on accessibility.
 
Specific activities include the following:
  • IRB obtained (August – Sep 2022) – PIs & RA
  • Workshop prep (Aug- Nov 2022) – PIs, RA, DRES & IADP
  • Workshops (Sep, Oct, & Nov. 2022) - PIs, RA, DRES & IADP, Fab Lab staff, iSchool independent study students
  • CUC Fab Lab accessibility status assessment (Aug- Oct 2022) - PIs, RA, DRES & IADP, Fab Lab staff, iSchool independent study students
  • Writing an accessibility report with recommendations (Oct 2022 - Jan 2023) - PIs, RA (reviewed and discussed by Fab Lab staff)
  • Making workshop training materials available on the web; dissemination (blog, mailinglist, etc.) (Dec 2022 & Jan 2023) – PIs & RA
  • PI & Co-PI offer Independent Study for iSchool students (Aug 2022- Dec 2023) - PIs, RA, iSchool independent study students
  • advisory board virtual meeting (Dec 2022 or Jan 2023) – PIs, RA, advisory board members
PhD students who are interested in accessibility and makerspaces with strong communication
skills are encouraged to apply. This position might be extended through the next phases of the
project, which focus on the development and implementation of accessible computational
thinking tools and curriculum for BVI learners in library makerspaces in Illinois, depending on
the expertise and interest of the candidate. The project proposal was submitted to the IMLS
National Leadership Grant. The funding for the RA position for Fall 2022 is guaranteed,
regardless of the IMLS grant decision.

Application Procedure

If interested, please send both Drs. Seo and Koh a CV and cover letter by 7/8/22.

Application Deadline

July 8, 2022
Contact Info

Contact Name

JooYoung Seo

Contact Address

Feel free to contact the supervising faculty members with any questions: Drs. JooYoung Seo (jseo1005@illinois.edu) and Kyungwon Koh (kkoh@illinois.edu). If interested, please send both Drs. Seo and Koh a CV and cover letter by 7/8/22.