Celebrating a Milestone: Taskar Center’s Founder and Director Honored with Human Rights Education Award

Olivia Quesada in person at the Seattle Human Rights Day awards ceremony.

In a year marked by resilience and commitment to social justice, the Seattle Commission for Civil Rights bestowed a significant honor upon the founder and director of the Taskar Center for Accessible Technology. At the close of 2023, the center’s founding director was awarded the Human Rights Education Award, a recognition that not only highlights individual dedication but also celebrates the collective efforts of the Taskar Center community.

Expressing Gratitude: In a heartfelt reception speech delivered remotely, Dr. Anat Caspi, TCAT’s founder and director, expressed profound gratitude for the esteemed honor. Despite being unable to be physically present, her words resonated with sincerity and appreciation. The award symbolized not just personal achievements but underscored the center’s commitment to championing disability human rights and fostering inclusivity.

Anat Caspi extended thanks to the Paul G. Allen School for Computer Science & Engineering, recognizing their unwavering support in advancing accessibility in STEM education. The commitment of the school to create an environment valuing diversity and equality played a pivotal role in driving positive change within the university and beyond its walls.

Celebrating the Team: A special acknowledgment was reserved for the remarkable team at the Taskar Center for Accessible Technology. Described as an interdisciplinary force, the team has carved out a space for recognizing and addressing systemic ableism in technical and socio-technical systems. Their collective efforts include developing, deploying, and translating artifacts—both technological and educational—that empower individuals and communities to confront challenges related to disability justice with a growth mindset.

Alignment of Goals: The founder expressed pride and excitement in the alignment of the Taskar Center’s mission with the focus of the Seattle Commission for Civil Rights on Disability Rights as Civil Rights. The acknowledgment by the Commission served as validation for the center’s endeavors to create a more inclusive and just society.

Dr. Caspi concluded the speech by emphasizing the importance of collaborative efforts in advancing disability rights education. The recognition serves as a reminder of the ongoing journey towards a society where inclusivity is not just a goal but a reality. She further expressed inspiration to continue contributing to the advancement of disability rights education, looking forward to a future filled with continued collaboration and positive impact.

Closing Thoughts: The Human Rights Education Award from the Seattle Commission for Civil Rights represents more than just an individual accolade. It stands as a testament to the power of collective action, the commitment to inclusivity, and the relentless pursuit of a more just society. As the Taskar Center for Accessible Technology continues to break barriers and pave the way for a more accessible future, this recognition reinforces our mission and sets a powerful tone for the transformative work that lies ahead.

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