Interactive Summer Program Introduces Computing to the Visually Impaired

Computing accessibility program made possible by $100,000 NSF grant

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In continuation of its outreach to underrepresented groups within computing, Rochester Institute of Technology’s B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences has established a summer program to introduce computing professions to visually impaired students.

From July 16-19, on the RIT campus, the ImagineIT Program will offer young men and women with visual impairments in grades 7-12 the opportunity to explore the field of computing and its ‘real world’ applications. Parents are also invited to participate in these highly interactive activities themselves and learn alongside their children.

Funded through a $100,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, the ImagineIT summer program strives to increase participation in computing among students with visual impairments through better class material preparation, support and teacher development. The goal is to increase academic performance among these students, leading to greater potential of career success.

“This multifaceted approach to student and educator preparation will enable the visually impaired a rare opportunity to explore the diversity of computing and professional options,” says Stephanie Ludi, program director and RIT professor of software engineering. “Increasing the diversity of computing professionals can provide the perspectives needed to produce innovations that can improve the quality of life for all.”

For more information, contact Stephanie Ludi at (585) 475-7407 or visit the ImagineIT program website at