Thousands of people from around the world gathered in San Diego last month to attend the 31st annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference, also known as the “CSUN Conference.”
Attendees explored and learned about the latest assistive technology in more than 350 workshops, with additional demonstrations from more than 130 exhibitors.
Exhibitions in the Great Hall allowed hands-on interaction with the newest assistive technologies, from smartphone applications to 3-D printing technologies, and workshop sessions allowed more in-depth training on specific topics.
“Year after year, the conference is growing,” said Sandy Plotin, managing director of CSUN’s Center on Disabilities, which organizes the conference. “This year was our highest attendance ever, and we are excited to see so many people dedicated to improving inclusiveness with assistive technologies.”
Several interview videos and a handful of session recordings have been made available though Web Able TV, a web-based television channel for people with disabilities that served as the conference’s official webcaster.
“[The CSUN Conference] is really one of the most inspirational events I’ve had the chance to do during my time at the Department of Labor,” U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor Christopher Lu told Web Able TV. “As I look around here, it’s like a who’s who of Silicon Valley. It pleases me to know that so many companies are moving into this space.”
CSUN’s long history of involvement in assisting people with disabilities dates back to 1961, preceding Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. In 1983, university officials created the Center on Disabilities to directly assist students in realizing their academic and career goals. Shortly after, the technology and persons with disabilities conference was launched.
For more information on the Center on Disabilities, go to www.csun.edu/cod.