Press release on free events and exhibit hall at CSUN 2012

Waiting until midweek to attend the free events at the CSUN 2012 Assistive Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference?  If so, you will be met by thousands also flocking to get a look at the latest assistive devices on display in the exhibit hall at the Manchester Gran Hyatt.  Below is the latest info on the tweetup event, and other information on free events scheduled for the week.  See you there!

 

San Diego to Host 27th Annual International

Technology & Persons with Disabilities Conference

Geri Jewell to Keynote Largest Tech Conference For People with Disabilities;

CSUN 2012 Exhibit and Several Forums Will be Open to the Public


San Diego, CA—February 23, 2012—California State University, Northridge (CSUN) announced today highlights for the upcoming 27th Annual International Technology & Persons with Disabilities Conference including the free exhibit and several forums that will be open to the public. The world’s largest and only university-sponsored tech event dedicated to people with disabilities will again take place at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego, February 27-March 3, 2012. CSUN is also proud to announce that actor, comedienne, speaker and advocate, Geri Jewell, will keynote the 2012 conference.

“Our conference is very unique to the industry and brings together thousands from around the world including scientists, influencers, government officials, visionary tech execs and entrepreneurs, all committed to driving innovation in assistive technology to promote inclusiveness for people with disabilities—our largest group of attendees and the reason we all gather to push the research and industry forward each year,” said Sandy Plotin, managing director of CSUN’s Center on Disabilities.

Actor, comedienne, speaker and advocate for people with disabilities, Geri Jewell, will keynote the 2012 conference. Jewell, who brought national attention to cerebral palsy and ability awareness in her role as “cousin Geri” in the 80’s TV series, The Facts of Life, uses humor to facilitate attitude changes. Jewell remains a leading force in disabilities advocacy and continues her acting career as seen on the award-winning HBO series, Deadwood, and in the new FOX series, Alcatraz.

“We are thrilled to have Geri Jewell as our keynote this year. By sharing her disability as her greatest blessing, she transforms the focus of her motivational appearances and training sessions from disabilities to a true celebration of ability. She’ll undoubtedly inspire and empower conference attendees, which is our ultimate goal,” added Plotin.

CSUN 2012 will include two days of engaging pre-conference events and 350 general sessions led by experts, all focused on promoting accessibility through technology innovation and policy change. Also, there will be over 130 exhibitors demonstrating the latest in assistive technology from software and social media apps to robotics. The exhibit hall and several forums will be open to the public and free of charge.

FREE EXHIBIT HALL HOURS (OPEN TO THE PUBLIC):

  • Wednesday, February 29, 12:00 PM – 7:00 PM
  • Thursday, March 1, 9:30 AM – 5:30 PM
  • Friday, March 2, 9:30 AM – 5:30 PM

FREE EXHIBITS & FORUMS (OPEN TO THE PUBLIC):

Microsoft, Online Event – Follow Microsoft on its “Road to CSUN”, an eight-day road trip from Seattle to San Diego that will explore and share the world of accessibility discovered on the way to the conference. See regular updates and video on Microsoft’s Accessibility Blog, http://aka.ms/EnableBlog and Twitter (@MSFTEnable or #Road2CSUN), February 20 – 28th.

Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities – Reps from FEMA and other agencies will discuss emerging hazards, new communication technologies and maximizing wireless device readiness (mobile, smart phone, tablet). Explore Apps, cloud storage, social media readiness, alternative power options for essential communication and independence, and other key preparedness. – Thursday, March 1, 10:00 a.m-12:00 p.m. PT (Elizabeth Ballrooms “D” & “E”)

Department of Labor, Featured Presentation – Kathleen Martinez, Assistant Secretary for Disability Employment Policy, will speak about the agency’s efforts to promote the development and adoption of accessible workplace technology by America’s employers, which is essential to advancing the employment of people with disabilities. – Thursday, March 1, 12:00-12:30 p.m. (Elizabeth Ballrooms “D” & “E”)

U.S. Access Board – The Board recently conducted a public hearing on a revised draft of updated requirements for information and comm. technology (ICT) covered by Section 508 of the Rehab. Act and Section 255 of the Telecom. Act. The next Public Hearing on the Draft ICT Rule will be held at CSUN 2012. – Thursday, March 1, 1:00-3:00 p.m. PT (Elizabeth Ballrooms “D” & “E”)

Department of Transportation – Representatives of the DOT and Amtrak will discuss the rights of people with disabilities when in transport by land, air and sea, and the importance of designing a livable and accessible community. This session will also include a discussion of recent DOT rulemaking, enforcement and outreach activities to make our travel system more fully accessible as well as a video presentation on evacuating people with disabilities during emergencies. – Friday, March 2, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. PT (Elizabeth Ballrooms “D” & “E”)

For more information about the conference including how to register for pre-conference workshops and other closed-session events, visit the Center on Disabilities’ website at <http://www.csun.edu/cod> or call (818) 677-2578.

About CSUN
California State University, Northridge has more than 35,000 full- and part-time students and offers 66 bachelor’s and 53 master’s degrees as well as 28 teaching credential programs. Founded in 1958, CSUN is among the largest single-campus universities in the nation and the only four-year public university in the San Fernando Valley. The university serves as the intellectual, economic and cultural heart of the Valley and beyond. http://www.csun.edu

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Don’t forget to use the #CSUN12 hashtag when tweeting about the event.

LL

Official press release for the CSUN 2012 International AT Conference

Leaders in Assistive Technology to Demo Innovations at

Technology & Persons with Disabilities Conference in San Diego


Industry Leaders in Consumer Electronics, Software and Assistive Technology to Showcase the Latest Innovations Driving Accessibility

San Diego, CA—February 16, 2012—California State University, Northridge (CSUN) announced today sponsored events and assistive technology to be demonstrated at the upcoming 27th Annual International Technology & Persons with Disabilities Conference. CSUN 2012, which will be held in San Diego February 27th-March 3rd, is the world’s largest technology event dedicated to the community of people with disabilities. Sponsored events, demos and give-aways will be hosted by industry leaders including Adobe, Deque Systems, Freedom Scientific, Google, IBM and Microsoft.

“We have an exciting line-up of engaging sessions and exhibits hosted by leaders driving innovation in assistive technology to promote inclusiveness for people with disabilities,” said Sandy Plotin, managing director of CSUN’s Center on Disabilities.

This year, CSUN will hold two days of pre-conference events and 350 general sessions led by internationally-recognized experts. There will be 130+ exhibitors demonstrating the latest in assistive tech from software and social media apps to robotics. The exhibit hall and several forums will be open to the public and free of charge.

SPONSORED EVENTS, DEMOS & GIVE-AWAYS:

*See CSUN Center on Disabilities website for dates/times/locations

ABILITY Magazine Give-Away – CSUN’s official Media Partner will be offering a free subscription to its digital magazine for all registered attendees.

ADOBE Town Hall & Mixer – Adobe will hold for conference registrants a Town Hall event, followed by a mixer.

CSUN Tweet-Up 2012 – The 4th Annual CSUN Tweet-Up will take place in the Microsoft Showcase Suite.

“Join the group and spread the word about your conference experience,” said Plotin, “This year’s Tweet-Up will include a Photo Booth, so stop by and see your pictures, which will be posted directly on Twitter!”


Deque Systems Accessibility Software Launch & Demos – Deque Systems, which provides software, training, and consulting for web accessibility and Section 508 compliance, will announce at CSUN 2012 the March 2012 release of Worldspace Sync, a major revision to the company’s enterprise level accessibility software suite, which is used by Fortune 100 companies, universities and large government agencies.

Freedom Scientific Demos, Give-Aways – The largest worldwide manufacturer of assistive tech products for those who are blind or have low vision will demo its latest version of JAWS (and how it works with social media) as well as its recently unveiled High Definition desktop video magnifiers, TOPAZ XL HD, which provides a crisp, clear image and the widest field of view (up to 11 inches). The company will give away prizes daily including its popular MAGic screen magnification software with a MAGic Large Print Keyboard valued at $574! During CSUN 2012, register for a chance to win the grand prize – a 24” TOPAZ XL HD desktop video magnifier valued at $4,495.00.

Google Event – Google will hold an all-day event at CSUN 2012 where team members will be available for questions/answers and hands-on demos and Q&A about recent accessibility improvements in Google products: docs, Chrome and Android.

IBM Presentation – Attend this session with Frances West, worldwide director of the IBM Human Ability and Accessibility Center, to learn how advanced and fully inclusive social collaboration platforms like IBM Connections 3.0 can accelerate value creation and help extend the impact of your social business strategy to capitalize on the ideas and insight of every individual and drive unprecedented levels of business value.

KNOWBILITY’s AccessU – This “conference within a conference” will be held onsite from February 27-28th. A leader in accessible information technology since 1998, KNOWBILITY provides ability awareness and support education and training to hundreds of businesses, educational institutes, nonprofit organizations and government agencies across the globe. AccessU will address issues including how to train staff, implement effective accessibility strategies, and monitor long-term goals to reach millions of new users. Each attendee will receive a copy of the new book from Jeff Kline, Strategic IT Accessibility: Enabling the Organization.

Microsoft “Road to CSUN” – In addition to the nine sessions that Microsoft will hold in a dedicated showcase suite at the conference this year, Microsoft Technical Evangelist for the Accessibility Business Unit, Daniel Hubbell, and colleague Gary Moulton, Product Manager, Accessibility Business Unit, who is responsible for coordinating Microsoft’s efforts with assistive tech manufacturers, will embark on “Road to CSUN”, an eight-day road trip from Seattle to San Diego that will explore and share the world of accessibility they discover along the way. Follow their journey on Microsoft’s Accessibility Blog, http://aka.ms/EnableBlog and Twitter (@MSFTEnable or #Road2CSUN), where regular updates and video will be posted, Feb. 20 – 28th.

FREE EXHIBIT HALL HOURS (OPEN TO THE PUBLIC):

  • Wednesday, February 29, 12:00 PM – 7:00 PM
  • Thursday, March 1, 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Friday, March 2, 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM

For more information about the conference including how to register for pre-conference workshops and other closed-session events, visit the Center on Disabilities’ website at <http://www.csun.edu/cod> or call (818) 677-2578.

About CSUN
California State University, Northridge has more than 35,000 full- and part-time students and offers 66 bachelor’s and 53 master’s degrees as well as 28 teaching credential programs. Founded in 1958, CSUN is among the largest single-campus universities in the nation and the only four-year public university in the San Fernando Valley. The university serves as the intellectual, economic and cultural heart of the Valley and beyond. http://www.csun.edu

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Take a course on social media and accessibility at the CSUN 2012 AT conference

In an effort to encourage as many as possible to attend the CSUN 2012 Conference on Disability, I have been posting short previews of some of the educational sessions from which you can expect to benefit.  My goal is to not only build anticipation, but to help you to get to know the speakers, and learn just a bit about what has motivated them to take on the challenge of improving our access to a sometimes inaccessible world.

 

This year, you will have an opportunity to hear from expert Jennison Asuncion at more than one session.  You are also likely to find him at the Thursday, March 1st tweetup event that evening in the Microsoft suite.  Asuncion was kind enough to offer his thoughts on the conference, and his planned contribution.

  

“ I will be teaching a course called Social Media and Accessibility
during Knowbility’s first  AccessU at CSUN preconference. In addition,
I am sitting on a panel called Web Accessibility Community
Collaboration that my pal Shawn Henry, with the W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative
is leading.   Click here for session information.

 

“Finally, I am co-presenting ASurvey: An End-to-End
Accessible Survey Tool.   Click here to see session information.

 

“If you are sticking around Saturday, please consider joining me at
Project Possibility’s SS12: Code for a Cause Finals at 9:00AM in the
Microsoft showcase suite. I’ll be one of the judges of projects that
students from a number of universities have been working on,
developing open source applications to benefit people with
disabilities. It’s going to be great to support and recognize the next
generation of accessibility champions, so please come by.”"

 

Jennison co-directs thee Adaptech Research Network (link
http://www.adaptech.org), where he has been researching the use and
accessibility of technology in Canadian postsecondary education since
1997.  By day, he has been supporting corporate IT accessibility efforts for just over ten years now.  And on the side, using
social media, he does his part to raise accessibility awareness in the
broad IT community, and connects folks with common accessibility
interests whenever possible.  For the last three years, working alongside other peers in accessibility, Jennison has been actively organizing a series of accessibility barcamps/unconferences (link http://www.accessibilitycamp.org), where the goal is to educate on accessibility using a less formal approach than a traditional conference.

 

For those of you who have never attended any of the major events of this type held throughout the year, Asuncion points out that it is also a tremendous social opportunity.  He says:

 

"This will be my seventh International Technology and Persons with
Disabilities Conference, sixth year presenting. I describe the event
to folks as the CES (Consumer Electronic Show) for accessibility and
assistive technology. In addition to the presentations, there’s
something about the buzz and energy in the lobby, at the Tweetup, and
in the halls that reaffirms why I chose to work in our field. I am
always keen to meet-up with those who are new to the conference, so if
you see me around, don’t be shy, please say hello.”

 

You can follow Jennison Asuncion on Twitter here: @jennison

 

Click here to go to the CSUN 2012 home page.

 

Don’t forget to use the #CSUN12 hashtag when tweeting about the event. 

 

LL

 

A word with CSUN 2012 presenter and author Kel Smith

The week of the CSUN 27th Annual International Conference on Disability and Assistive Technology promises to be another action-packed week of education and inspiration.  Once you have absorbed all you can of the information shared by the 25 speakers, and walked the length and breadth of the enormous exhibit hall, you’ll want to save some energy for the many social events, some planned, some spontaneous, that will be held throughout the week.  You will have an opportunity to meet people you’ve tweeted with but may have never actually met in the "meatspace," and you can shake hands with those responsible for bringing to life the innumerable technologies upon which many of us rely.

 

One of the presenters at this year’s event is Kel Smith.  Kel Smith is a longtime speaker, author and practitioner on digital accessibility. His articles and papers have appeared in multiple publications, and he has presented worldwide on the topic of emerging technologies in inclusive design. He formed Anikto LLC in 2008 to explore and develop barrier-free digital experiences in various sectors, including healthcare, service design, engineering, government, product marketing and K-12 education.

 

Mr. smith, who will be speaking on Wednesday, February 29th at eight o’clock a.m. the week of the CSUN conference, was kind enough to offer a few thoughts on his connection to an industry that, for him, means more than technological advancement at the expense of the individuals it serves.

       
 
"Innovation is not specific to any device or platform. It is driven by an understanding of behavior, the business climate in which that behavior resides, and the social responsibility to manifest a common good. I consider it a privilege to align myself with people and organizations who contribute to this moral cause.”

 

Kel Smith is the author of a book in progress called "Digital Outcasts: Moving Technology Forward Without Leaving People Behind," currently scheduled for a 2012 release.

 

Click here for more info on ‘Digital Outcasts."

You can follow Kel Smith on Twitter here:  @kelsmith

 

LL

ZoomText release 10 first update now available

The first of the ‘after the decimal” updates is available from AI Squared, for those of you who now use ZoomText release 10.  If you’d like to take a look at the release notes, go here:

http://ht.ly/8Vaza

 

This update provides for both product enhancements as well as important bug fixes.  If you want to download  the update, go here:

 

http://ht.ly/8VavY

 

This is a free update, so get it now. 

 

LL

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Elle Waters to present “Accessibility Is The New Black” at CSUN 2012

At the CSUN 2012 conference on disability, you’ll discover a full slate of presenters lined up who will educate and inspire.  Each year I have attended, I left feeling both deeply grateful for the achievements of those who have worked so hard to facilitate the lives of people with disabilities, yet determined to work harder myself, in an effort to educate as many as I can as to what is possible.    

This year, one of the speakers you can look forward to hearing from is Elle Waters.  Elle is a self-described "geek, web accessibility activist, media zealot, event spinner, academic researcher, metaverse enthusiast, and social justice rabble-rouser."

My kind of girl.  Her "official" title is Enterprise Web Accessibility Coordinator for Humana.  Ms. Waters, who will be presenting alongside Wendy Chisholm of Microsoft, was kind enough to    share her thoughts about CSUN 2012, and her presentation.
 
Waters said, "Last year was my first year attending CSUN. I arrived with my own small story to tell, and I wasn’t sure how valuable it would be to others. I was quickly inspired by the dedication and inclusive nature of everyone around me. At CSUN, I saw that we all have narratives that contribute to a bigger story. I left equipped with practical information and a new appreciation of a diverse and participatory digital culture.
This year, I hope to continue the discourse about the role that large corporations can have in changing the perception of web accessibility from compliance to inclusion. To that end, I have a talk entitled "Accessibility is the New Black" that presents a case study about a large social media digital marketing campaign where accessibility was a key role in its overall success."

Finally, Ms. Waters points out that the scope of her talk is not limited to just social media and marketing, , but encompasses "all enterprise digital initiatives."
  

You can follow Elle on Twitter here:  @nethermind

 

Click here to go to the CSUN 2012 conference home page.

 

LL

 

A new standard proposed for accessible media at CSUN 2012

If you have ever watched a movie or television show that uses audio description, sometimes also called video description, then you might have realized how valuable this type of service can be for someone who has a visual disability, hearing loss, or even a person who is a non-native language speaker.  You may have also noticed, though, that there seems to be no quality, methodology or technology standard to which service providers can turn for guidance in the deployment of described media.

     

Director of Digital Accessible Media, Robert Pearson is one of the presenters at this month’s CSUN 2012 Conference on Disability.  Here he explains how his organization proposes an industry standard for accessible media.  What is Accessible Media Inc. all about?  Pearson says, "Accessible Media Inc., (AMI) makes the media of everyday life — newspapers, magazines, TV, movies and the Internet – accessible to the more than 5 million Canadians who are blind, low-vision, print restricted, deaf, hard of hearing, mobility impaired, learning disabled or learning English as a second language. We are a not-for-profit, operating two broadcast services; AMIaudio and AMItv."

 

AMI will be presenting at the 27th International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference (CSUN) on the topic of international media accessibility guidelines around the development of descriptive video (DV) standards.  If you have never heard of descriptive video before, Pearson offers the following:

 

"DV is a process that adds a descriptive voice on the audio for the benefit of people who are blind or low-vision, allowing them to hear descriptions of key visual elements appearing on screen. Recognized as both a science and an art form, the availability, distribution and production of descriptive video is not significant in comparison to main stream or even closed captioned content. Internationally, the UK, the USA, Canada and Australia have all led the creation of descriptive video content. However, industry and international standards do not yet exist and therefore the content that is being produced uses different guidelines. This results in a lack of uniformity of content."

 

What are the goals of the presentation?  "Through this presentation we would like to initiate the discussion to bring about the uniformity of international standards. Canada is leading the way in terms of the implementation of accessible broadcasting, as indicated through the licensing and support of AMItv. AMItv is the world’s first channel to broadcast all programming with 100% Open Described Video and Closed Captioning.

AMI is participating in the Government of Canada’s, Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) DV working group to ensure the technical viability of and to increase the awareness of this service through the implementation of an online DV TV Guide. Following the completion of those efforts, AMI will be guiding the Canadian broadcast industry with the support of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) in the development of industry wide DV standards."

 

 

You can follow Accessible Media Inc. on Twitter:  @a11ymedia

Click here to go to the CSUN conference home page.

LL

The 27th Annual Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference

Each year, thousands flock to one of the nation’s largest conference events that showcases assistive technology, education and innovation specifically for people who have disabilities.  Over the next couple of weeks, I will post a series about the conference, and will include the thoughts of some of the experts who will be making presentations.  If you are still on the fence about attending, perhaps learning a little more about some of the names you may know, or follow on Twitter, can help you to decide. .

 

The CSUN 2012 AT conference begins February 27th, and runs through march 3rd, 2012.  It will be held at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego, California.  Use hash tag #CSUN12 when tweeting about the event.

 

Click here to go to the CSUN 2012 conference home page.

 

 

First up in this series is presenter John Foliot.  He graciously agreed to provide a quote at my request, and I think his comments perfectly set the tone for the event.

 

John Foliot is a web accessibility veteran working at Stanford University.  John says:

 

“CSUN holds a special place for me, as not only is it the preeminent
conference in North America around technologies dedicated to PwD, but it is
also a ‘gathering of ‘The Tribe’.”

 

John explains, “That theme came up time and time again last year, and it came to
represent that, for those who toil away outside of the spotlight, but
dedicated non-the-less to achieving real progress and success in
accessibility (and in particular online accessibility), that no matter how
hard it seems, how discouraging or frustrating it can get some times, how
lonely it often feels, that there are others – The Tribe – that share the
passion, the dream, the goal of success. Together we are stronger, we have
each others’ backs, that we are not alone. Being part of that, realizing the
truth of that – that is what makes CSUN so special to me each year.  I look forward to CSUN each year not only to catch up with old
friends, but also (and more importantly) to meet and make new friends. Our
Tribe grows bigger each year, we get stronger, and we are making inroads. We
may not be there yet, but after spending a few days at CSUN we (well, at
least *I*) leave energized and raring to go, reinvigorated to take on the
challenges that lie before us, and committed to getting it done.
If you should happen to see me at CSUN, be sure to say hi, and
welcome to The Tribe.”

 

You can follow John on Twitter here: @johnfoliot.

 

LL