ACCESS-IT: A Context for Creating Employment Success in Information Technology

ACCESS-IT is a research program at the University of Washington Information School that aims to improve the representation of women and individuals with autism in the information technology industry. The program strives to improve representation by creating workplaces ready to welcome and equitably include women and people with autism. Researchers achieve their goals by studying how to create practices that equitably prepare, recruit, retain, and advance people with autism and women in the IT industry.

Research Projects

The ACCESS-IT research group includes seven active research projects that address preparation, recruitment, on-boarding, retention, and advancement of women and individuals with autism in the IT industry. Click below for the area that interests you for a description of each project’s objectives and collaborators

ACCESS-IT for individuals with Autism

Explore the research being done on Autism in the technology workplace.

ACCESS-IT for Women

Explore the research being done on Women in the technology workplace.

PREP for IT Program

What is PREP for IT?

Employment rates and outcomes for young adults with autism are much lower than expected for people of their intellectual talents. These substandard employment outcomes are often attributed to a lack of workplace readiness of young adults with autism for the social and professional nuances of the workplace. At the University of Washington (UW), we developed the Prepare for the Information Technology Workplace (PREP for IT) program to address the need for improving workplace readiness for young adults with autism. PREP for IT is a holistic professional development program designed specifically for students with autism pursuing careers in IT. We are focusing on IT first as a proof of concept; future iterations will include other disciplines.

OUR GOAL is to empower college student with autism who are pursuing IT careers to define their professional path and develop the tools to excel in the IT workplace.

How do I participate?

Students interested can, apply any time! Participants are paid $250 per quarter.

Click to apply!
For questions or more information contact dr. hala annabi at hpannabi@uw.edu

Program Design

PREP for IT uses an individual strength-based approach for identity development, career planning, and workplace skills development that emphasizes community and collaboration with IT professionals.

Student Outcomes

PREP for IT is also a research initiative aimed at developing an evidence-based program for improving the work readiness of IT students with autism.

Industry Member Involvement 

Our goal is to develop mutually beneficial relationships with industry using the iSchool’s model for engagement below developed with our iAffiliates corporate partners.



Meet the researchers who are leading the ACCESS-IT team.


Meet the students who are working on ACCESS-IT projects.