We recently participated (and helped sponsor) the fabulous, annual Conference on Technology and Persons with Disabilities, which is commonly referred to by its hosting university, CSUN. It was a whirl-wind of keynote speeches, presentations on best practices in academia and industry, and networking events. Microsoft’s presentations ranged from announcing test tools for assessing the programmatic accessibility of applications, our participation in the industry’s Online Media Captioning effort, and collaborations in the area of desiging for the Aging demographic. We had the chance to talk with people during our networking events, where we covered a wide-range of topics, from the Accessibility Interoperability Alliance to the Microsoft Office Save As Daisy add-in. It was great to connect with educators, end-users, and industry partners to bring them up-to-date on our accessibility efforts. And to talk about what they are currently exploring, as well.
What I find most inspiring about CSUN is walking the exhibit hall where teachers, parents, and industry members get to try out new assistive technology applications and hardware. The exhibit halls are buzzing with people searching out solutions and making new connections. I always come away with a sense of what the industry has accomplished, and how much potential there is to make more advancements.