Enhancing Quality of Life for People who are Blind or Low Vision Using Computing Technology

Tuesday, March 1, 2016 - 10:00
TH 331
Kyle Rector

Activities such as exercise and participating in the community enhance quality of life, but they are often not accessible to people who are blind or low vision. For example, people who are visually impaired are more likely to be obese, less likely to attend art museums, and less likely to be employed than people who are sighted. The goal of my research is to design, develop, and evaluate systems that enhance the quality of life for people who are blind or low vision.


Kyle Rector is a PhD candidate in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington, co-advised by Julie Kientz and Richard Ladner. She has research interests in Human-Computer Interaction and Accessibility. More specifically, she is interested in developing Eyes-Free Technologies that enhance quality of life, including exercise and art technologies for people who are blind or low vision. She is a Google PhD Fellow (2015), an NSF Graduate Research Fellow (2012-2015), a Google Anita Borg Scholar (2010), and a Palantir Scholarship for Women in Technology Semi-Finalist (2013). Her research has been recently covered by MIT Technology Review, Microsoft, Gizmag, GeekWire, and c|net. Kyle received her MS from the University of Washington (2012) and her BS from Electrical & Computer Engineering and Computer Science from Oregon State University (2010).