Outstanding Contribution

The SIGACCESS Award for Outstanding Contributions to Computing and Accessibility recognises individuals who have made significant and lasting contributions to the development of computing technologies which improve the accessibility of media and services to people with disabilities. Outstanding contributions through research, practice, or advocacy are recognised. Towards this goal, contributions are considered from academia, industry, as well as other professions that focus on computer users with disabilities and the application of computing technology to improve access. The award recognises members of the community for long-term accomplishments or those who have made a notable impact through a significant innovation.

Candidates’ contributions can include innovative ideas, influence in the community, and/or the social impact of their work.

The award includes a $1000 honorarium, an award certificate of recognition, and an invitation for the recipient to present a keynote talk at the ASSETS Conference. A public citation for the award will be placed on the SIGACCESS website.

Selection Committee

The selection committee consists of three members, one of which will be appointed as the selection committee chair. Members will be appointed by the current SIGACCESS officers. The committee chair shall adjudicate conflicts of interest, appointing substitutes to the committee as necessary. For purposes of continuity, committee members may remain on the committee for up to three years.


Nominations are solicited during the Spring of even numbered years, to allow presentation of the award at subsequent ASSETS Conference.

Nominations for the award must include:

  1. A statement summarizing the candidate’s accomplishments, description of the significance of the work, and justification of the nomination (two pages maximum);
  2. Curriculum vitae of the nominee;
  3. Three endorsement letters supporting the nomination including the significant contributions of the candidate. Each endorsement should be no more than 300 words
  4. A concise statement (one sentence) of the achievement(s) for which the award is being given. This statement will appear on the award certificate and on the website.

The nomination rules are:

  1. The nominee can be any member of the scientific community.
  2. The nominator must be a SIGACCESS member.
  3. Self-nomination is not allowed.
  4. Nominations that do not result in an award can be resubmitted.
  5. Current members of the SIGACCESS Executive Committee as well as members of the Awards Committee are not eligible.

Vicki L. Hanson: Outstanding Contribution Recipient 2014

For sustained and wide-ranging contributions including industry, academia, and policy organizations.

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John Gardner: Outstanding Contribution Recipient 2012

Awarded for outstanding achievements in improving access to education and employment through technology

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Albert Cook: Outstanding Contribution Recipient 2010

In recognition of his life-long dedication to accessibility

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Jim Thatcher: Outstanding Contribution Recipient 2008

The development of one of the first screen readers for DOS, and the first screen reader for a graphical user interface on the PC.

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