Seo coauthors chapter on data science and accessibility

JooYoung Seo
JooYoung Seo, Assistant Professor

Assistant Professor JooYoung Seo and Mine Dogucu, professor of statistics in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of California Irvine, have coauthored a chapter in the new book Teaching Accessible Computing. The goal of the book, which is edited by Alannah Oleson, Amy J. Ko and Richard Ladner, is to help educators feel confident in introducing topics related to disability and accessible computing and integrating accessibility into their courses.

In their chapter, "Data Science + Accessibility," Seo and Dogucu identify three key aspects to building accessibility in data science—computational reproducibility, data representation, and social and cultural value. According to the authors, the future of accessible data visualization lies in multimodal approaches, through which multiple sensory channels are employed to offer a more nuanced and comprehensive understanding of the data. The chapter describes Seo's multimodal access and interactive data representation (MAIDR) project, which is creating open-source tools that can augment visual charts into touchable (braille), readable (text), and audible (sound) representations.

Seo and Dogucu are developing course materials to help instructors teach accessibility in data science courses. They have both received grants from the nonprofit organization Teach Access, which supports faculty efforts to teach undergraduate students about accessible technology design and development. Their paper "Teaching Visual Accessibility in Introductory Data Science Classes with Multi-Modal Data Representations," published in the Journal of Data Science, provided the framework for the new chapter. 

"Accessibility is more than just a principle—it's a practice. It's a commitment to ensuring that everyone, regardless of their abilities, can participate in and contribute to data science. It's about recognizing and valuing diversity, and about striving for inclusivity in all aspects of our work," explained Seo and Dogucu in their chapter.

Seo is an RStudio double-certified data science instructor and accessibility expert who is certified by the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP). His research focuses on how to make computational literacy more accessible to people with dis/abilities using multimodal data representation. He earned his PhD from the Learning, Design, and Technology Program at Pennsylvania State University.

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