Leah Findlater's Research Group Archive

The following research group descriptions are archived because they are no longer offered, the faculty member is on sabbatical, or the group is taking a break. Please contact the faculty member or an advisor to learn more about these groups.

Autumn 2019

Current Trends in Accessibility Research

This directed research group will focus on understanding and synthesizing current trends in accessibility research for people with disabilities. By reading and analyzing a selection of recent research papers (e.g., from CHI and ASSETS 2019), we will examine questions such as: What types of research problems are most commonly being addressed? What range of populations are included? What models of disability are explicitly or implicitly employed? What research opportunities exist?

We will meet weekly to discuss one or more readings and to reflect on directions for future work. Students will be expected to submit reading reflections and/or to help lead the weekly discussions. 

Expectations. The weekly meetings will be 3-4pm Thursdays. This DRG is for 2 credit hours. Students are expected to attend the meetings and to spend 2-4 hours outside of class each week reading and responding to the readings to prepare for the group meeting. 

Design Opportunities for Adaptive Fitness

Spring 2019

Co-directed by HCDE faculty Leah Findlater and Julie Kientz, and visiting faculty Andrea Tartaro

The healthy lifestyle practices promoted by fitness technologies such as wearables and smartphone exercise apps are important for all people, yet may look different for those with physical disabilities, especially with respect to physical activity. In this DRG, we will investigate the design space of technologies for adaptive fitness.  Specifically, we will conduct a literature review, examine existing technologies, and design a study protocol to answer questions such as: What facilitators and barriers exist for motivating and accessing adaptive fitness? How do users seeking adaptive fitness use current technologies such as wearables, fitness apps, and social media, and what are the strengths and limitations of these technologies? What design opportunities can we identify for adaptive fitness, including using technology to motivate physical activity as well as adapting physical activity to users abilities and limitations?


This DRG is open to undergraduate, Masters, and PhD students in all fields. Priority will be given to those with previous research experience and training in research methods.
Students will be expected to register for 2 credits of HCDE 496/596.

Research advances in ubiquitous computing and accessibility

Spring 2019

This course is a continuation of the fall and winter directed research group of the same title. We will focus on understanding research at the intersection of ubiquitous computing and accessibility for people with disabilities. What accessibility issues arise with ubiquitous computing? How can “smart” devices and other ubiquitous computing technologies such as physical computing, mobile computing, machine learning, and fabrication improve everyday experiences for people with a range of cognitive, sensory, and motor abilities?

Augmented Reality to Address Physical World Accessibility Problems

Spring 2018

Students will investigate accessibility problems that arise in everyday physical-world activities for people with disabilities, and will ideate, design, and prototype augmented reality solutions to address one or two specific problems. Possible target problems include providing communication support for users with language impairments and providing sound awareness information for users who are deaf or hard of hearing. We will be using Microsoft HoloLens head-mounted display devices as our primary design and prototyping platform.
We are looking for up to six students to sign up for 2 credits (~6 hours total commitment per week). The class will meet on Mondays, with the exact time TBD. Because we will focus on both design and development of prototypes, we are looking for a mix of students with HCD design and research skills and/or programming skills.