Dr. Richard Ladner is a Professor in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington. He has been an outstanding leader, advocate, and researcher in the field of accessible computing for over 30 years.

Richard’s steadfast support and advocacy for people with disabilities have tangibly increased their participation in STEM fields. His programs such as The AccessComputing Alliance and The Summer Academy for Advancing Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Computing have triggered many students with disabilities to pursue STEM education.

From a research standpoint, Richard was one of the first people to address the concept of accessibility in the HCI field in his 1987 CHI paper “A User Interface for Deaf-Blind People.” Since then, his research has substantially advanced the state-of-the-art in access technology, resulting in products and services that are not merely academic curiosities, but have actually been adopted and used by people with and without disabilities. Examples include ASL-STEM Forum, MobileASL, ClassInFocus, Tactile Graphics and V-Braille.

Richard has supervised nine PhD students who focused their dissertation research on accessibility related topics. Some of those students have disabilities themselves. All have been so inspired by Richard that they have gone on to pursue their own careers in accessibility research in academia or industry.

Richard has been externally recognized numerous times for his unique combination of technical innovation, advocacy, and service. He is an ACM and IEEE Fellow. He won the 2004 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM). In 2008, he received the Computing Research Association’s A. Nico Habermann Award and won a Purpose Prize. Most recently, Richard won the 2014 ACM CHI Social Impact Award.

Richard is receiving the 5th ACM SIGACCESS Award for Outstanding Contributions to Computing and Accessibility. The award recognizes individuals who have made significant and lasting contributions to the development of computing technologies that improve the accessibility of media and services to people with disabilities.