Assistive technology — whether it’s a mobile app or a modified wheelchair — can transform the lives of people with disabilities. The latest in the field of assistive technology will be the focus of the world’s largest gathering of people who develop or use assistive technology, taking place at the 31st Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference from March 21-26 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego.
The “CSUN Conference,” as it is known in the industry, is organized by California State University, Northridge’s Center on Disabilities. It provides a unique opportunity for people with disabilities to have direct input on the creation of or modifications to assistive technologies intended to make their lives easier. The conference explores all aspects of technology and disabilities, and it features a faculty of internationally-recognized speakers, more than 350 general session workshops, and more than 130 exhibitors displaying the latest technologies for people with disabilities.
Benetech is a nonprofit that empowers communities in need by creating scalable technology solutions. We are one of many organizations committed to driving innovation in assistive technology to promote inclusiveness for people with disabilities. Access to literacy should not be a privilege, but a basic human right. Yet today, there are millions of people who are denied this right because they cannot read text, see images, or manage traditional books due to disabilities. Benetech strives to make literacy accessible to all by leveraging technology to remove the barriers that prevent people with disabilities from reading and learning.
To that end, the Benetech team is excited to have a significant presence at the conference and showcase the latest developments in three key initiatives dedicated to making literacy accessible to all:
- Bookshare – the world’s largest library of accessible ebooks that lets people with visual, physical, and learning disabilities like dyslexia read in ways that work for them
- DIAGRAM – a research and development center that creates new and exciting ways to access learning materials through emerging technologies and community engagement
- Born Accessible – an initiative to make all books and reading materials fully accessible when they are first created
We invite you to visit the Benetech booth (#621/623), attend our sessions, demo our tools, and ask questions. We want to meet you and learn more about your assistive technology needs and ideas. In addition to the exhibit hall, you can find us presenting at the following sessions and events:
Tuesday, March 22 (pre-conference events)
- Benetech Math Sprint: Sue-Ann Ma (invitation only)
- 9:00 am Workshop: Tactile Graphic Solutions from 2D to 2D – Lisa Wadors Verne (Promenade AB)
Wednesday, March 23
- 9:00 am Session: Accessible Images and Beyond: DIAGRAM Center + – Anh Bui (presenter)
- 11:50 am and 12:30 pm Focus Groups: Alternative Access for DIAGRAMMER – Sue-Ann Ma and Deanna McCusker (facilitators)
- The Book Industry Study Group’s Accessible Publishing Working Group, chaired by Benetech’s Robin Seaman, is launching the BISG Quick Start Guide to Accessible Publishing that addresses why and how to create, distribute, and display accessible digital content. Pre-order a copy now or stop by the Benetech booth (#621/623) or the Pearson booth (#713 A/B) to learn more.
Thursday, March 24
- 9:00 am Session: Innovation Accelerated: Google.org-funded AT for Increased Independence – Betsy Beaumon (panelist)
Friday, March 24
- 2:20 pm Session: New Guides by Publishers for Publishers: How to Create Accessible EPUB3 – Robin Seaman (presenter)
- 2:20 pm Session: Discovering Accessible Math that Works with Your AT: Math Support Finder – Sue-Ann Ma (panelist)
- 3:20 pm Session: Diagrammar Use Cases: A Framework for Making Images and Graphics Accessible – Sue-Ann Ma and Charles LaPierre (panelists)
“Our conference brings together thousands of people from around the world — including scientists, practitioners, educators, government officials, the industry executives and entrepreneurs — all committed to driving innovation in assistive technology to promote inclusiveness for people with disabilities,” said Sandy Plotin, managing director of CSUN’s Center on Disabilities. Benetech shares that vision and hopes you will join us at the conference to advance accessibility in literacy for all.
Consult the full conference schedule for exact locations. The CSUN Conference Exhibit Hall is free and open to the public. We hope to see you there.