Data and education for Social Justice: Dr. Elizabeth Barker

At Tableau, we feel that data skills are essential for the next generation of professionals and business leaders. The Tableau Academic Programs seek to arm students and instructors with the valuable analytical skills needed to think strategically and make an impact.

Data is such an important piece of the social justice puzzle, and using critical data skills can drive insights into real actionable change. 

In our Data and Education for Social Justice blog series, we’re excited to spotlight people in the education community that are making a difference in the social justice world. These spotlights will highlight five main principles of social justice: 

  •     Access to resources 
  •     Equity 
  •     Participation
  •     Diversity 
  •     Human Rights

Tableau Senior Academic Program Manager Jessica Lyons sat down with Dr. Elizabeth Barker to chat about the intersection of data, education, and social justice. Elizabeth Barker began her career in education as a middle school and elementary special education teacher, specifically of students with mild-to-moderate disabilities in Michigan and Colorado. She received her doctoral degree with an emphasis on growth trajectories for students with learning disabilities in mathematics and reading comprehension from the University of Oregon. Her current research focuses on how growth trajectories vary among students with visual impairments, deafness and hearing loss, and other disabilities. Dr. Elizabeth Barker is an Adjunct Professor at University of Portland and works full-time as the Accessibility Research Manager at NWEA.  

Meet Dr. Elizabeth Barker

How does your accessibility work at NWEA relate to the world of social justice?

How do you feel data should be discussed in terms of Social Justice?

What is one tip you have for instructors around data, accessibility and accommodations?

What is one tip you have for students looking to pursue a career in data and accessibility?

And lastly, what is a personal motto that you live by?

Connect with Dr. Elizabeth Barker


Since 2011, Tableau Academic programs have enabled more than 1.5 million students and teachers around the world with critical data skills. As data literacy increases in importance, learning analytics with Tableau will help students and educators make an impact in their communities. If you have a story for our Data and education for Social Justice series, reach out to us here

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