Rosen Applauds Nearly $500,000 in Grant Funding Awarded to UNLV to Make Computer Science Accessible to Nevada Students with Disabilities

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, released the following statement applauding the National Science Foundation (NSF) for awarding a grant totaling $499,899 to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas to increase computer science access for students with disabilities.

“Providing all students equitable access to computer science education will set each of them up for a successful future,” said Senator Rosen. “As a former computer programmer, I know firsthand the benefits that computer science education can provide. In the United States, approximately 16 percent of high school students identify as having a disability, and these same students are often denied the education and career opportunities that computer science courses can provide. I’m glad to see this grant funding has been awarded to the University of Nevada Las Vegas where researchers can work on removing barriers that prevent students from accessing computer science education.”

BACKGROUND: The University of Nevada Las Vegas will participate in AccessCSforAll with the goal of including more K-12 students with disabilities in computing classes. Approximately nine million K-12 students are identified as having a disability under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. These students are often faced with significant barriers to their participation in quality computer science education. Some of these barriers include inaccessible tools and curriculum. This project will lead to the adoption of more accessible tools and curricula in the teaching of computer science nationally.

The primary goal of the project is to scale up past efforts to make computer science classes equitable and welcoming to all students in the United States. This expansion will work toward reaching the approximately 16% of high school students who have a disability.

In April, Senator Rosen re-introduced the Teacher Education for Computer Science Act (Teach CS) ActThis bipartisan legislation would support teacher training and schools in educating students in the area of computer science.