CSUN13: A thank-you note to thousands

Upon arriving home from my short trip to attend the 28th annual International Assistive Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference, I discovered that I was struggling with an odd mix of sensations. Fatigue, from the endless walking through an enormous hotel property, late nights, and early mornings. euphoria, from having met what seemed to be a nearly endless parade of people, all of whom, inexplicably, seemed delighted to see me. Excitement, from learning new things, finding fresh inspiration, and meeting new people. Dehydration, from my refusal to pay $3.50 for a bottle of water, at least more than once. Melancholy, from realizing it might be a long time before I can see some of my friends again. Finally, there was gratitude, for all of the people who work hard to put on a conference that proves to be a success year after year.

Thank you to the California State University, Northridge, Center on Disability (@CSUNCOD). While each conference I have attended over the years seems to have had a personality or flavor all its own, the quality of the presenters, topics offered, vendor exhibits and social event schedule has been consistently high.

Thank you to the Manchester Grand Hyatt (@manchGrandHyatt) for providing conference attendees with what surely must be some of the most well trained and customer service oriented staff anywhere. On one day, while being guided from point A to point B, a trip so long it permitted a complete conversation, I learned that the young lady guiding me was not a hotel employee at all, but a volunteer. As it turns out, she is a local resident with a full-time job elsewhere, but volunteers every year at CSUN conference time just to help us get from place to place. Extraordinary.

Thanks also to the sponsors who made some of the social events possible. The general tweetup was hosted by The Paciello Group, WebAIM, Infoaxia, PayPal, The Center on Disabilities at CSUN, EZFire, OpenDirective, and CA Technologies. Accessible media Inc. (@a11ymedia) and SSB BART Group (@SSBBARTGroup) sponsored two of the receptions I attended. I’m sure there were others not known to me. Please let these fine organizations know how much you appreciated their hospitality. Drop a comment below or send them a tweet, or write them a note if you were personally invited.

A special thank you to my roommate, Jennifer Sutton (@jsutt), who generously shared her space so as to make it possible for me to attend. She’s probably hoping for a less chatty roommate next year.

Finally, I’d like to say thank you to the members of the accessibility and disability community who attended the event. Whether you were a vendor showing off your latest and greatest product release, research, or educational support technology, a presenter, or any one of the thousands of my new best friends who flew in to Sand Diego from far-flung places around the globe, I must say it was truly a pleasure spending time with you.

See you next year!


Optelec to announce new product launch at CSUN13

This just hit my desk, and I wanted to get it posted while you are still putting together your CSUN13 schedule.

Optelec invites you to attend this presentation:
Topic: Diagnostic Tool; Hope for Low Vision Patients

Description: There are many reasons low vision patients are turned away. What if there was a simple inexpensive diagnostic tool?

Track: Blind/Low Vision
Session ID: BLV-053

Date: Friday, Mar. 1 @ 1:50 PM PST

Location: Annie AB, 3rd Floor
Rebecca Kammer, OD
Assistant Director of Optometric Education, Associate Professor College of Optometry Western University of Health Sciences.

Check this out, while you’re walking the exhibit hall: Optelec Booth #205
28th Annual CSUN International Technology & Persons
with Disabilities Conference

Exhibit Hall: Feb. 27 – Mar. 1, 2013

This year is different. We have a NEW product release unlike any other. We listened. We tested. We pushed the limits. We set the standards yet again.

Be there to witness low vision industry history in the making for our official worldwide product launch of the NEW….
Special unveil on Wednesday, Feb. 27th at 3:00 PM!
Where: Optelec Booth #205

The product speaks for itself, don’t miss it…
Point & Read to Stay In Touch!

**Plus, visit our Optelec Booth to learn how you can WIN $100 towards your next purchase**

Follow us on Twitter @Optelec with #CSUN13 and Facebook for announcements and photos!

Contact us at 800.826.4200 or marketing@optelec.com to connect at the show or arrange a demo at the booth.

Exhibit Hall Schedule
Wednesday, February 27: 12:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Thursday, February 28: 9:30 AM – 5:30 PM
Friday, March 1: 9:30 AM – 5:30 PM

Optelec U.S. Inc.
800.826.4200 (main), 800.368.4111 (fax)
E: info@optelec.com

See you there!