2021 ACM SIGACCESS Election

(For the term of 1 July 2021 – 30 June 2024)

Candidate for Chair

Candidate for Vice-Chair

Candidate for Secretary-Treasurer

PDF of the statements and biographies


Candidate for Chair

Matt Huenerfauth

Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, USA

BIOGRAPHY

Academic Background:
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2006, Computer and Information Sciences.

Professional Experience:
Director of School of Information, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, 2020 – Present;
Professor, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, 2017 – Present;
Associate Professor, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, 2014 – 2017.

Professional Interest:
Computer Accessibility for Users who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, Experimental Evaluations of Linguistic and Access Technology, Captioning for Meetings between Deaf and Hearing Colleagues, Interactive Technologies to Support Sign-Language Education, Computational Linguistics of American Sign Language.

ACM Activities:
Vice-Chair, ACM SIGACCESS, Special Interest Group on Accessible Computing, 2015 – Present;
Editor-in-Chief, ACM TACCESS journal, Transactions on Accessible Computing, 2013 – 2019;
ACM Distinguished Member, 2017;
Program Chair, ACM ASSETS'16 Conference, 2015 – 2016.

Membership and Offices in Related Organizations:
Steering Committee, ACM ASSETS Conference, 2012 – Present;
Editorial Board, ACM TACCESS Journal, Transactions on Accessible Computing, 2008 – Present;
Associate Chair, paper/notes subcommittee, accessibility & aging, 2020 ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 2019 – 2020;
Editor-in-Chief, ACM TACCESS Journal, Transactions on Accessible Computing, 2013-2019.

Awards Received:
Best Paper Award, ACM ASSETS'19 Conference, 2019;
Best Paper Award, ACM ASSETS'18 Conference, 2018;
Best Paper Award, ACM ASSETS'17 Conference, 2017;
Best Paper Award, ACM ASSETS’07 Conference, 2007.

STATEMENT

I am excited to run for SIGACCESS chair! As Vice-Chair since 2015, I have gained valuable experience in SIG leadership and operations. My ACM leadership experience also includes serving as program chair and general chair for the ASSETS conference, as well as editor-in-chief of the TACCESS journal.

I have been a SIGACCESS member since my participation in the ASSETS 2004 doctoral consortium. I know the important role SIGACCESS plays in sparking collaborations, supporting new researchers, creating mentoring relationships, and providing high-quality publication venues. I feel a responsibility to support SIGACCESS as it continues to grow and serve our community.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made technology access even more critical, with accessibility barriers magnifying inequalities. In addition to motivating new research among our community, this crisis has highlighted SIGACCESS's key role in providing guidance within ACM, for promoting conference and publication accessibility. The past year has also underscored the need for further promotion of equality and diversity within ACM; SIGACCESS must continue to invest in programs supporting diversity and inclusion. High attendance at the virtual ASSETS'20 conference also revealed broader global interest in SIGACCESS; we should continue outreach to develop and retain new members of our community.

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Candidate for Chair

Yeliz Yesilada

Middle East Technical University, Kalkanli, Cyprus

BIOGRAPHY

Academic Background:
Ph.D., University of Manchester, 2005, Computer Science

Professional Experience:
Associate Professor Dr., Middle East Technical University, Northern Cyprus Campus (METU NCC), Kalkanli, Cyprus, 2009 – Present;
Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, University of Manchester, School of Computer Science, Manchester, England, 2007 – 2009;
Post-Doctoral Research Associate, University of Manchester, School of Computer Science, Manchester, England, 2005 – 2007.

Professional Interest:
Accessibility, Web Accessibility; User Experience; Data Science; Human Computer Interaction.

ACM Activities:
Editorial Board, TACCESS, 2009 – Present;
Secretary/Treasurer, SIGWEB, 2015 – 2018;
General Chair, ASSETS, 2015;
Senior ACM Member, 2015.

Membership and Offices in Related Organizations:
Editor, New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia (NRHM), 2016 – Present;
Steering Committee Member, W4A (International Web for All Conference), 2003 – Present;
Mentoring Chair, ASSETS, 2020.

Awards Received:
Best Technical Paper, W4A (International Web for All Conference), 2020;
Best Communication Paper, W4A, 2019;
Best Service Award, General Chair of HT2015 & ASSETS2015, 2015.

STATEMENT

It's my great honour to run for SIGACCESS Chair. SIGACCESS is a fantastic community where I have been an active member for more than 15 years. I have been in almost all the ASSETS organising committee positions, including being a General Chair in 2015. I have also been a Member-at-Large of SIGACCESS, TACCESS Editorial Board member, and one of the W4A conference founders. My research is at the intersection of two fields: accessibility and the web, and I have been a member of SIGWEB, where I served as Treasurer.

Now, I would love to serve and help SIGACCESS become stronger so that we can better improve the lives of disabled people. If I am elected, I will work to 1) encourage participation in SIGACCESS by making it more visible all over the world in order to make it an international community; 2) continue to work on making ASSETS, the newsletter and TACCESS journal stronger; 3) increase collaboration with other communities such as other SIGs, to widen the scope of conferences and workshops supported; and 4) increase the resources and mechanisms such as mentoring to encourage young minds to join and foster SIGACCESS.

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Candidate for Vice-Chair

Donal Fitzpatrick

Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland

BIOGRAPHY

Academic Background:
Ph.D., Dublin City University, 1999, Computer Science/Accessible Mathematics.

Professional Experience:
Lecturer, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland, 2001 – Present;
Fulbright Fellow, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL USA, 2000 – 2001;
Lecturer, National College of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland, 1999 – 2000.

Professional Interest:
Auditory display of mathematics, Accessible eLearning, Auditory and Haptic data visualisation, Automated translation of Braille, Accessible Recommender Systems.

ACM Activities:
Chair, Doctoral Consortium, W4a Conference, 2020 – 2021;
Judge, ACM Student Grand Final (excluding 2015-2016), 2012 – 2019;
User Experience Chair/Organisational Committee Member, Assets, 2018;
Contributor, SIGACCESS Accessible Conference Guide, SIGACCESS, 2011.

Membership and Offices in Related Organizations:
Irish Delegate, Code Maintenance Committee, International Council on English Braille (ICEB), 2018 – Present;
Invited Expert Education and Outreach Working Group, W3C, 2020;
Invited Expert Accessible Platform Architectures Working Group, W3c, 2018 – 2020.

Awards Received:
ENABLE Award for long-standing contributions to accessibility, 2014;
Fulbright Fellowship, 2000;
Chancellor's Medal Dublin City University, 1999;

STATEMENT

I consider it a privilege to have this chance to be nominated for the position of Vice-Chair of SIGACCESS. Since attending my first ASSETS in 2004, I have held the work of the SIG in the highest esteem. I would very much welcome the opportunity to contribute to ongoing efforts to empower persons with disabilities and older adults to fully engage with all aspects of technology and to support students in their educational endeavours.

If I am fortunate to be elected, my goals will be: To work tirelessly to foster a culture of openness and inclusivity and to continue to uphold the fine traditions of SIGACCESS in this regard. To enable educational and professional opportunities for students and less-experienced researchers with disabilities by offering mentoring programmes and access to others with similar aspirations and lived-experience. To ensure that those with disabilities play an active role in the SIG through involvement in organisational committees of key SIGACCESS activities.

I am a passionate believer in the mantra “nothing for us without us,” and will do my utmost to follow this dictum. To engage with external organisations with a view to widening knowledge of accessibility.

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Candidate for Vice-Chair

Kathy McCoy

University of Delaware, Newark, DE, USA

BIOGRAPHY

Academic Background:
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 1985, Computer Science.

Professional Experience:
Chair, CIS Department, University of Delaware, Newark, DE, 2015 – Present;
Full (Associate, Assistant) Professor, CIS Department, University of Delaware, Newark, DE, 1985 – Present;
Contractor, Technical Consultant (part time), National Inst. on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehab Research, US Dept of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C., 2013 – Present.

Professional Interest:
Accessible Computing, Natural Language Generation and Understanding, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), Assistive Technology, Artificial Intelligence.

ACM Activities:
Co-Editor in Chief, ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing (TACCESS), 2013 – 2019;
Member, SIGACCESS Awards Committee (chair 2019), 2018 – 2019;
General Chair, 13th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference, 2011;
Program Chair, 11th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference, 2009.

Membership and Offices in Related Organizations:
Co-Chair, SubCommittee on Assistive Technology, US ICDR, 2014 – 2016;
Founding President, ACL SIG on Speech and Language Processing for Assistive Tech, 2011 – 2013;
Treasurer/Secretary-Treasurer & Exec Comm Member, Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL), 1998 – 2007.

Awards Received:
Outstanding Reviewer Award, 9th ACM SIGACCESS Conference, 2007;
University of Delaware Excellence in Advising Award, 2001;
University of Delaware Excellence in Teaching Award, 1997.

STATEMENT

I have had the pleasure of being involved in research on accessible computing since 1986, and have worked to spread its influence, unite with other research areas, and spur more innovation. Within SIGACCESS, I have been involved in the conference in many capacities including author, reviewer, program committee member, mentoring chair, doctoral consortium panel member, program chair, general chair, and steering committee member; while Co-Editor-in-Chief of the TACCESS journal, the journal went from near cancellation to flourishing.

The health of SIGACCESS can be strengthened by growth in several areas: membership numbers, visibility (within ACM and the wider computing community, in the disability and rehabilitation communities, in the general public), partnering with other research groups, scientific integrity, educational outreach, and impact. But with this strengthening we must take steps to ensure that the ASSETS conference remains one that embraces the diversity of our field, encourages inclusion of people with disabilities, promotes understanding of the broad spectrum of research in accessible computing, fosters the constructive sharing of ideas, stimulates future generations of accessibility researchers while providing guidance and technical advice, and remains a unified community dedicated to ultimately making a difference in the lives of people with disabilities.

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Candidate for Secretary-Treasurer

Karyn Moffatt

McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada

BIOGRAPHY

Academic Background:
Ph.D., University of British Columbia, 2010, Computer Science.

Professional Experience:
Associate Professor, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada, 2017 – Present;
Canada Research Chair in Inclusive Social Computing, Montreal, QC, Canada, 2016 – Present;
Assistant Professor, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada, 2011 – 2017.

Professional Interest:
Accessibility, Aging, Human-computer interaction, Inclusive design, Social computing.

ACM Activities:
TACCESS Editorial Board, SIGACCESS, 2013 – Present;
ASSETS '20 Program Co-Chair, SIGACESS, 2019 – 2020;
CHI '20 Accessibility and Aging Subcommittee Co-Chair, SIGCHI, 2019 – 2020;
ASSETS'16 Doctoral Consortium Co-Chair, SIGACCESS, 2016.

Membership and Offices in Related Organizations:
Graphics Interface'16 Program Co-Chair, Canadian Human-Computer Communications Society, 2015 – 2016.

Awards Received:
Best of CSCW Paper Award (CSCW'14), 2014;
ACM SIGCHI Best Paper Award (CHI'09), 2009;
ACM SIGACCESS Best Student Paper (ASSETS'07), 2007.

STATEMENT

It is an honor to run for Secretary-Treasurer of SIGACCESS. I have been a part of this community since my first ASSETS in 2007. For me, one of the best things about SIGACCESS is its strength as a close-knit and supportive community. Looking ahead, I see maintaining this as a key challenge. This year, though special, provoked a need for new ways of connecting that will endure. Reduced reliance on international travel is a critical concern, membership growth strains the scalability of our status quo, and ensuring equitable access to positions of power and decision-making is critical. If elected, I would spearhead efforts to build new mechanisms for sharing ideas and connecting, especially for supporting informal “hallway chats” - the casual interactions that provide disproportionate weight by sharing values and expectations and defining norms and culture.

I believe I have the background and commitment to take on this role. For ASSETS, I have served as Program Co-Chair, TACCESS Special Issue Chair, DC Co-Chair, and Publicity Chair, and this year will be my ninth year on the program committee. I have been a member of the TACCESS editorial board since 2013 and an associate editor since 2020.

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Candidate for Secretary-Treasurer

Vinod Namboodiri

Wichita State University, Wichita, KS, USA

BIOGRAPHY

Academic Background:
Ph.D., University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2008, Computer Engineering.

Professional Experience:
Professor, Wichita State University, Wichita, KS, 2008 – Present;
Adjunct Senior Scientist, Envision Research Institute, Wichita, KS, 2017 – Present;
Research Intern, Robert Bosch Research and Technology Center, Palo Alto, CA, 2007.

Professional Interest:
Assistive Technology, Human-Centered Computing, Pervasive and Mobile Computing, Internet of Things (IoT), Wireless Networks.

ACM Activities:
Ad Hoc Reviewer, TACCESS, 2018 – Present.

Membership and Offices in Related Organizations:
Technical Program Committee Member, Web4All, 2021 – Present;
Publications Chair, IEEE NAPS Conference, 2019 – 2020;
Student Branch Counselor, IEEE Region 5, 2008 – 2010.

Awards Received:
Best Technical Paper Finalist, Web4All, 2019;
Outstanding Student Branch Counselor, 2009.

STATEMENT

I am honored to run for the position of Secretary-Treasurer of SIGACCESS. I attended my first SIGACCESS conference (ACM ASSETS) in 2017. Since then, I have been active in the community and consider ASSETS to be my home conference. I was able to attend the 2017 conference primarily due to a travel award provided by SIGACCESS. This made me realize the importance of SIGACCESS in promoting the conference and its activities to newcomers while continuing to serve its long-standing members. I am running for this position primarily because I want to give back to this community that has welcomed me with open arms. As a person with a visual disability, I fully embrace and support the SIGACCESS mission and would love to see it grow in conjunction with the broader growth in computing.

Some specific areas I am interested in improving are the following: (i) bridging disciplinary divides between those with computing backgrounds and others, (ii) promoting SIGACCESS and its work to non-profits serving persons with disabilities and getting them more involved, and (iii) improving the global reach of the organization and serve the diverse needs of members and the disability community in general.

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