UW launches new Center for Research and Education on Accessible Technology and Experiences with $2.5 million investment from Microsoft



Martez Mott works on Smart Touch with Provail participant Ken FryeDennis Wise/University of Washington

The University of Washington today announced the establishment of the Center for Research and Education on Accessible Technology and Experiences (CREATE). Fueled by a $2.5 million inaugural investment from Microsoft, UW CREATE is led by an interdisciplinary team whose mission is to make technology accessible and to make the world accessible through technology.

“We are proud to partner with the UW on their journey to build the CREATE center,” said Brad Smith, president of Microsoft. “This is the next step in a longstanding journey to empower people with disabilities with accessibility and technology advancements. UW has truly embedded accessibility as part of their culture and we’re proud to support their next step to drive thought leadership on accessibility to empower people with disabilities.”

On the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act’s enactment, there have been enormous strides in the accessibility of public spaces and the availability of personal mobility technologies. Yet, equitable participation in society depends on the successful use of technology, now more than ever.

People with disabilities are dependent on technology and if accessibility is not embedded into the start of the development process then it can leave people behind. Achieving accessibility involves expertise and innovation across a range of disciplines. As a result, the major challenge of developing technology to make a more accessible world is outpacing even the most talented individual researchers and small teams.

“CREATE will help us take accessible technology research and education from small, incremental gains to true breakthroughs. This chance to advance inclusion and participation for people of all abilities is the kind of opportunity that inspires the entire UW community,” said UW President Ana Mari Cauce.

The UW is a global leader in accessible technology research and design. The center will bring together existing areas of excellence and build upon the university’s ability to catalyze progress in education, research and translation. CREATE faculty bring multiple perspectives not just in technology but also disability rights and advocacy.

The CREATE leadership team hails from six campus departments in three different colleges, including the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering, The Information School, Rehabilitation Medicine in the UW School of Medicine, Mechanical Engineering, Human Centered Design & Engineering, and the Disability Studies Program.

The center will build upon current projects in prioritizing and automating personalization, transitioning transportation to be accessible; augmenting abilities through wearable technologies; developing inclusive, intelligent systems and data sets; and “do-it-yourself” accessible technology production.

The UW and Microsoft have been working together in this space for more than a decade and share the same values and commitment to work with the disability community on driving innovation in accessibility research. This partnership has opened student internship and career opportunities, as well as ongoing research engagements with the Ability Team at Microsoft Research. Current projects include developing audio-first representations of websites for smart speakers; understanding how perceptions of software developer job candidates with autism may impact hiring decisions; AI-based sign language recognition and translation as well as ongoing work on an ASL to English dictionary; and data-driven mental health apps.


See related stories in The Seattle Times and GeekWire.

In addition to the impact of Microsoft’s funding for this collaboration, the company’s endorsement of the UW’s accessibility work promises to catalyze additional investment, particularly in the Pacific Northwest, which, ultimately, could generate the full funding needed to provide long-term support for the center. The goal is to raise $10 million for CREATE to provide five years of support. The center employs a consortium model for academic, industry, and community partners.  CREATE is seeking additional partners who are interested in the deployment of accessible technology and the development of inclusive communities.

“The University of Washington has for many years led the field in cutting-edge accessible technology research and design,” said Jacob Wobbrock, professor and inaugural co-director of the center. “Our faculty and students are incredibly motivated to tackle the hard problems of accessibility. Now, with CREATE, we will be able to take on even bigger collaborative challenges in this space. I am honored to work with co-director Jennifer Mankoff, and to be supported by such world-class colleagues in the center.”

University of Washington launches online training for contact tracing to help fight COVID-19



As businesses and public spaces reopen across the nation, the old-school public health detective work known as contact tracing is becoming a major component of the battle to contain the novel coronavirus that causes the deadly COVID-19 disease.

It’s an investigative strategy long used for finding and informing people exposed to contagious diseases, such as measles and STDs, and now agencies across the country focused on combating the pandemic need support to expand their workforce to conduct contact-tracing interviews and save lives.

To provide training for this expanding workforce, the University of Washington’s Northwest Center for Public Health Practice created the free, online course Every Contact Counts to support public health agencies — including smaller, rural public health districts and tribal health departments — to help their existing and growing workforce in the art and science of conducting a contact-tracing interview.

“At the Northwest Center for Public Health Practice, we were keenly aware of the strain public health workers and agencies were under long before the novel coronavirus hit,” said Betty Bekemeier, professor in the UW School of Nursing and director of the center. “As COVID-19 spread, we knew from practice partners that a training was needed for the public health workforce that ​could quickly and efficiently assist a wide variety of public health agencies.”

While Washington state has launched a large-scale effort to train contract tracers, other states and their partners can take similar steps using Every Contact Counts instead of creating all of their own training from the ground up. This is why Every Contact Counts was developed at the request of and in partnership with the Kansas Health Institute, which has been helping Kansas enhance its contact-tracing efforts at the state level. Now, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment is requiring Every Contact Counts as part of its training plan for all new contact tracers.

“We wanted to create a foundational training that not only met the needs for us in Kansas, but could support other states across the country in assisting their own local health departments where a lot of the COVID-19 containment work is being done,” said Charles Hunt, a senior analyst with the Kansas Health Institute. “While many local health departments manage their own contact-tracing workforce, they need access to training resources, like Every Contact Counts, that set their staff up for success and protect their communities.”

The federal Health Resources and Services Administration promoted the training in an email to public health professionals, along with the National Network of Public Health Institutes and other national organizations.

With Every Contact Counts, professionals will learn to describe contact tracing and why it’s important to public health, articulate why COVID-19 is unique when it comes to contact tracing, identify the key components of a successful contact-tracing interview and complete an interview with confidence, clarity and compassion.

Since each state has slightly different policies for containing the outbreak, the UW training provides a foundation for performing contact tracing and a certificate to verify successful completion of the course.

“Contact tracing is going to be an essential part of our reopening and containment efforts moving forward,” said Janet Baseman, professor of epidemiology in the UW School of Public Health whose work with UW graduate students provided the basis for the training. “We need to trace every contact possible, because every contact counts in stopping this disease.”

Cold-calling people who have tested positive for the virus or who may have been exposed to it — and getting them the information and help they need to self-isolate — can be challenging. While some will be thankful for the information and help, others can be annoyed or agitated. Protecting privacy is paramount in these encounters, and some subjects may actively resist engaging with the interviewer. The UW training is designed to help interviewers approach, with skill and compassion, the fears and the sudden, dramatic change in their lives that subjects face.

The training falls into three main categories — what contact tracing is, contact-tracing specifics for COVID-19, and communicating with cases and contacts. Exercises include interview skill-building videos, section quizzes and an exercise where participants practice key decision-making during a contact interview.

Throughout the training site are tips and encouragement from experienced contact tracers, such as this segment from Neil Abernethy at the UW School of Medicine:


At the end of the course, there’s a final assessment. Participants who receive a score of 80% or better will get a non-credit certificate of completion that they can download and use to verify the training they received.

“With Every Contact Counts, we want public health professionals to feel like they have the knowledge and resources to complete a contact-tracing interview with confidence, clarity and compassion,” said Sarah Manchanda, e-learning manager at the Northwest Center. “We know they will be talking to community members who are scared, overwhelmed or possibly even dismissive of contact-tracing efforts. This training helps interviewers prepare and practice so they can provide needed information in a way that encourages people to listen and slow the spread of COVID-19.”

The Northwest Center for Public Health Practice developed this training, which was made possible thanks to a grant from the Kansas Health Foundation and contributions by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Kansas Health Institute.

Meet some of the world’s best business schools in Singapore on April 9


Do you have the drive to excel in business?

Seize the opportunity to meet some of the world’s top business schools in Miami. Meet admissions professionals in person and find the program that is best suited to take your career to the next level.

Why is an MBA worth it?


The MBA is a game-changing qualification. It will not only help you master core business principles with both breadth and depth, but also nurture the soft skills that are in high demand by employers today. The MBA is designed to equip you with the tools necessary for business leaders in a competitive, global business world.

Start your journey to finding the right MBA program by discussing your preferences and ambitions in person with admissions directors!

Event highlights

  • Explore some of the top business schools globally – ESSEC Asia-Pacific, HULT, IE Business School, Singapore Management University, Suffolk University and more.
  • Talk about your aspirations with MBA Admissions Directors
  • School panel discussions and workshops
  • A chance to win a free visit to a business school of your choice

Access MBA One-to-One is free of charge, but meeting slots are limited and early registration is recommended.

Sign up today on https://www.accessmba.com/link/Egs 


US Universities Rebranding the MBA in 2020


Everything you need to know about the business school landscape of North America.



Professionals from across the world who wish to take their career to the US go to great lengths to secure their MBA admission in the birthplace of the degree. A lot has been said and written over the past few years about the current situation at business schools in the country. Some critics believe that the end of the full-time, two-year MBA is just a matter of time. Other experts find that the degree has never offered more diverse opportunities for the US-bound. Are US programmes really falling behind in international applications or does the truth maybe lie somewhere in the middle?

Visas and employment prospects

The political climate in the United States is undoubtedly one of the most prominently discussed topics in connection to current education trends. Without delving too much into Donald Trump’s presidency and his anti-immigration rhetoric, the question of US visas is a common concern among applicants from abroad.

To be able to live and work in the US after having completed their studies, internationals need the H-1B visa, which has to be sponsored by their employer. In April 2019, the US government changed visa rules in favour of applicants who already have a Master’s degree under their belt. Although in theory this is good news for prospective MBAs, the hiring demand for non-US citizens remains in question. The competitiveness of the visa allocation process is not to be underestimated either as the cap on the H-1B regular pool is 65,000 slots, and the cap for Master’s candidates is 20,000. Less than 10 days after the start of the filing period, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reported they had received a total of 201,011 H-1B petitions for the 2019-2020 season.

So, despite claims that the allure of higher education in the US is diminishing, the number of submitted visa applications seems plenty. Recent surveys note that East and Southeast Asia and Central and South Asia continue to be major sources of international candidates headed to North America. Chinese students, for example, “make up one-third of the total international body in the US and pay significant sums to study at top institutions,” according to BBC News.

On the other hand, destinations such as Canada and Europe are often seen as viable alternatives to US business schools in the eyes of prospective MBA students. Canada is well-known for its welcoming immigration policies, manifested in the ease of obtaining a visa or a work permit, while Western Europe attracts international applicants through its reputable institutions and diverse student cohorts.

Cost and salaries

The expenses associated with business school also play a role in shaping the demand for studying in the US. American MBA programmes are known to be more costly than their European counterparts, partly because the classic US format is the two-year full-time MBA. This means professionals pay twice as much for the qualification they can get in the shorter, one-year format offered by many European schools. Consideration of one-year MBAs surpassed the two-year format (47% vs. 45%) in 2018, “probably a consequence of the growth in interest for European [study] options,” BusinessWeek former editor John Byrne told Forbes. Factoring in living costs and additional expenses, the investment for a US degree can go past USD 100,000.

While the programme length seems to be part of the explanation for five-digit tuition fees, post-MBA salaries are also in the picture. Starting salaries for MBA graduates in the US hit a record high in 2019 according to the latest Graduate Management Admission Council’s Corporate Recruiters Survey. If US employers plan to offer MBA hires a median starting salary of USD 115,000 a year, perhaps the price students have to pay for business school is justified. This is a point that many business school representatives make, including Robert Dammon, dean of the Tepper School of Business (US). “I look at things not in terms of how much they cost but in terms of what am I getting for what I am spending,” he told Poets and Quants.

Next to that, US schools such as Harvard and Chicago Booth recently announced that they will not be raising their MBA fees for the 2019-2020 academic year, in an effort to promote a more affordable market. Chicago Booth will also enable students to pay for their tuition in six instalments. “We constantly think about how we make sure the cost and the financial aid are at a level that [students] feel really good about the investment,” Chad Losee, head of MBA Admissions at Harvard Business School, told Inside Higher Ed.

Still, recuperating the costs of a North American MBA can take a while, up to four or five years according to some sources. Coupled with the uncertainty of the hiring demand for international graduates in the US, this can put off some business school applicants who are still weighing their options. According to the GMAC survey, local companies reported the primary reasons for not enlisting non-US citizens as being the availability of domestic talent (32%), legal reasons and paperwork (31%), cost (29%), and visas (25%).

Improvements and alternatives

Despite the complicated, colourful rhetoric on the topic, many business schools prefer to see this as an opportunity rather than a challenge. If US MBA programmes are falling behind in international applications, what other ways are there to attract top talent from all over the world?

Developing and improving online MBA programmes is one solution. University of Illinois Gies College of Business (US) is among the institutions purposefully choosing to invest more resources in their online course. So far, students seem to be responding positively. While interest in its full- and part-time MBA has been declining, the online MBA has been flourishing. “Applications to [the Gies] iMBA are expected to hit 3,200 this year, up from 1,099 in 2016, even though the programme isn’t yet ranked among the best online MBAs in the US,” Forbes magazine predicted.

Meanwhile, other schools are busy certifying their programmes as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) courses. The designation was launched as a way to enhance leadership in specialised fields such as computer programming, engineering, and sciences in general. Attending a STEM-designated course is a lucrative option for students headed to the US since they are usually allowed to stay and work in the country for a longer period of time after graduation. According to the Financial Times, the Duke Fuqua School of Business (US) has successfully had some elements of its MBA programme certified as STEM, although it has yet to be confirmed whether the move will bring in more interest from overseas applicants in the coming years.

Read: How Business School Culture Impacts MBA and Career

Whether on an international or domestic level, STEM could be the answer for ambitious students and employers in need of a specialist talent pool. Andrew Ainslie, dean at Simon Business School (US), recently told U.S. News & World Report that more than 85% of their 2019 graduates are expected to continue with STEM-designated MBA degrees – an increase of 15% over the previous year. School representatives believe the combination of technical training and real-world experience that students in STEM-focused programmes are exposed to is among the most beneficial aspects for them.

Even after taking all of these points into account, it is difficult to objectively assess the future of US MBA programmes. The United States is still one of the most popular study destinations in the world and this is not likely to change overnight.

Find out more about MBA at Access MBA One-to-One event in Singapore, April 9: https://www.accessmba.com/link/Egs 


2019國際MBA見面會|Access MBA


2019國際MBA見面會|Access MBA 







Access MBA Tour 邀請來自英美、加拿大、歐洲及亞洲的眾多頂尖商學院來到台灣

台北 1024日 星期








–  擁有大學或大學以上學歷

–  英語流利

–  擁有2年以上工作經驗

–  有意申請國際MBA課程

Access MBA活動現場,你會獲得?

–  與多位國際優秀商學院招生代表分別進行20分鐘的一對一面談, 討論您的MBA課程和申請

–  獲得Access MBA教育專家的專屬教育評估

–  獲得獎學金申請、GMAT準備的獨家資料

–  有機會獲得心儀學校的參訪之旅

–  認識台灣知名的留學諮詢機構


此次活動全程免費,請確保提前報名以獲得在Access MBA教育展上與招生代表一對一面談的邀請。請點擊以下內容了解更多詳情。









Choosing an MBA: Aim as High as You can Reach


Explore and stay open-minded during the MBA selection process.


The MBA degree has long been considered as a ticket to success, a gilded highway to a high-flying international career and significantly higher income. Achieving these goals is guaranteed by a great variety of MBA programmes, not just a few top-ranked business schools.

Suppose you have set your heart on an MBA programme. You envision yourself climbing the corporate ladder, switching careers or even starting your own business. The MBA can indeed serve as a stepping stone to a bright future in the world of business.

But before all that becomes a reality, you first need to take care of a more pressing task – gaining admission to the programme that is the best match for you. This takes two steps. First, find the programme that offers the teaching and career focus you need. Second, make sure you fully meet the stringent requirements for gaining a seat in the MBA class.

Understanding MBA admission and selectivity

The first logical step after you have decided to pursue an MBA degree is to familiarise yourself with the requirements and the set of documents needed to apply to a typical programme:

  • An MBA application CV/resume
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent from a recognised college or university. Bear in mind that admissions’ officers will assess your academic background and your academic performance.
  • If you are a non-native English speaker, you need to submit a score from an English proficiency test such as TOEFL and IELTS. Some schools require native English speakers to sit a language test, too. Ensure that you check the language policy of your target business school.
  • GMAT, GRE or other school-specific test scores
  • MBA participants typically have an average of five years of working experience. Yet more important than the length of your professional life is the nature and quality of your achievements. Also, admissions’ officers will be looking for evidence of your leadership potential.
  • Motivation Essay(s)
  • Interview(s)
  • Business schools have increasingly been looking for applicants who possess a certain degree of international awareness and understanding of the complexities of business in an international setting.

Aim as high as you can reach

So, once you make sure you can fully satisfy all these requirements, research the competition that you will face. Thus, you will be able to select programmes with realistic chances of admission that fit your budget or potential to qualify for scholarships.

Many aspirants target only the most prestigious business schools without realising that competition to get there is severe. The average acceptance rate for the top 10 business schools in the US, as ranked by U.S. News, was 15.7% in 2018. The acceptance rate at Stanford is 6.1%, which means that only 6.1% of applicants gain admission. This is very, very selective.

Cost is also a major barrier. Participants in top MBA programmes pay tuition fees in the six-digit US dollar range and you need to ask yourself whether you are able to foot such a bill.

While it is fine to have one or two dream schools, the shortlist of MBA programmes where you will apply should include carefully selected realistic options. Otherwise, why apply if not to get admitted?

Read: How to Select the Right MBA Programme for You and Your Career

How should one measure reputation?

One of the biggest mistakes you could make as an MBA aspirant is to choose a programme based on its position in rankings. Rankings should not be viewed as the most important aspect when picking a school. They are simply one element to consider and you should always research whether they actually matter in the region and industry where you are heading after MBA graduation.

In addition, in order not to be misled, you should take rankings into account only after obtaining a deep understanding of their methodologies and only in cases where they reflect your essential MBA selection criteria. Different rankings employ different methodologies. Since none is conclusive, aspirants need to understand the methodology behind each one before deciding whether what it measurеs is important for them. The Economist’s MBA rankings, for instance, are heavily weighted toward career outcomes. Bloomberg Businessweek ranking, on the other hand, gives priority to compensation.

A much better strategy would be to look at accreditations instead of rankings. Accreditation serves as a stamp of class guaranteeing high MBA quality and academic standards. The top three international MBA accreditation bodies are AACSB, AMBA, and EQUIS. Some programmes are accredited by more than one of these prestigious organisations, the “Triple Crown” accreditation being the most outstanding.

Read: Do Rankings Reflect the Quality of Business Education

Remember that your project should be at the centre of your MBA search. Think about the company or industry you want to work in. It’s useful to examine the career or recruiting reports of MBA programmes to see which one corresponds to your preferences.

Don’t limit your options

Finding the MBA programme that 100% covers your ambitions and preferences is a much better strategy than going for a course just because it’s considered elite.

Sure, that diploma from a top school may turn heads and get you a great starting salary, but studies have shown that salaries of graduates from some mid-tier programmes can grow faster and higher than top programmes over a twenty-year span,” according to Kaplan.

There are numerous examples of successful business people who graduated from business schools that do not top the rankings. Rajiv Bajaj, managing director of the world’s largest autorickshaw maker and India’s second largest motorcycle maker, Bajaj Auto, has a degree from the University of Warwick (UK). Anshu Jain, former co-CEO of Germany’s largest bank, Deutsche Bank, holds an MBA in Finance from the University of Massachusetts Amherst (US).

Instead of focusing on several top schools, it is worth casting a wider net to include schools beyond the tiny list of top-ranked ones. This will boost your chances of finding the MBA programme that suits you best and where you stand a much higher chance of admission and where you will get great value for a much more reasonable sum. The diversity of MBA programmes around the globe has been growing, and so are your chances of taking your career to the next level.

The choice of an MBA programme should include a number of factors, not just the reputation of the school. The more thought you put into the selection of your programme, the more likely are you to steer your career in the desired direction. Why limit your options in advance? Explore and stay open-minded during the MBA selection process. Then your best options will really illuminate themselves.

Find you best MBA match at the Access MBA event in Singapore on September 17! Discover more and register for free at: https://www.accessmba.com/link/DFo

Meet international business schools at Singapore’s MBA Fair



QS, publishers of the World University Rankings, is returning to Singapore on April 4th to give you the opportunity to meet top business schools from around the world.

You can also:

– Apply for over $7 Million in scholarships

– Network with recent MBA alumni, including an INSEAD graduate now working at Twitter

– Update your LinkedIn profile with a free professional photo

– Have your CV reviewed by a career coach

– Receive expert GMAT prep advice

– Get a 25% discount on TopAdmit services

And more! This is a free event, however, spaces are limited so be sure to register in advance.

Date: 4th April 2019

Time: 17:00 – 21:30

Place: M Hotel Singapore, 81 Anson Road, Singapore, 079908

Access MBA Tour One-to-one Event in Bangkok


Bangkok MBA_landscape

The Access MBA Tour is visiting Bangkok to guide the most ambitious business professionals to their dream MBA degree and professional fulfillment.

Sign up for the Access MBA One-to-One event to benefit from:

  • Professional profile evaluation and coaching
  • One-to-One meetings with top international business schools
  • Individual consulting sessions with Access MBA experts
  • School panel discussions
  • GMAT workshops
  • More than EUR 2 million worth of scholarship opportunities
  • Win a 25% discount on TopAdmit services

Date: March 30th, 2019

Time: 10:00-15:30

Place: Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok, 89 Soi Wat Suan Plu, New Road

Places are limited for One-to-One meetings and early registration is recommended. To receive your free invitation, register here today: https://www.accessmba.com/link/Ce2


Access MBA Tour One-to-One Event in Singapore



The worldwide leader in One-to-One MBA events is coming to Singapore on April 10, 2019. Now the world’s top business schools are within your reach!

At this exclusive One-to-One MBA event, you will:

  • Hold personal meetings with Admissions Directors from prestigious business schools
  • Get advice from our expert MBA consultants and GMAT instructors
  • Take the chance to win over 2 million euros in scholarship opportunities

By registering for the One-to-One MBA event, your profile will be carefully matched and selected for individual meetings with the business schools that correspond to your expectations.

RESERVE YOUR PLACE HERE: https://www.accessmba.com/link/ChR

Some of the prestigious business schools participating in this Access MBA event:

INSEAD, IESE Business School, ESSEC Asia-Pacific, Aalto EMBA Singapore, IE Business School, Strathclyde – UAE, Singapore Management University,  Duke University – The Fuqua School of Business and many more and many more!

Date: Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Time: From 5:00pm to 10:00pm (upon invitation)

Place: Sands Expo and Convention Center, Marina Bay Sands