Rapid advances in data science are revolutionizing every aspect of biomedicine, from the research questions researchers ask and how, to the ways patients and clinicians make treatment decisions and assess outcomes. Minoritized groups can be left behind during such rapid advancement, including people with disabilities. This interactive presentation and discussion will explore the application of Universal Design principles to biomedical data science training and professional practice to lower barriers to participation for people with disabilities. This exploration will leverage the experience of an educator and researcher who is blind, along with evidence-based practices, highlighting how changes to cultural, physical, and digital environments that are informed by a Universal Design approach can not only lower participation barriers for people with disabilities, but improve data science for everyone. Concrete strategies for applying Universal Design principles will be shared and their application to biomedical data science work—in the classroom, at the keyboard, or in the clinic—will be discussed.
Andrew Hasley, Program Analyst at the National Institutes of Health