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.


  • 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


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, 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 <> 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.



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


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