I just returned from the 33rd annual CSUN Assistive Technology Conference – a week of learning, sharing and networking. The international audience provides many opportunities to experience innovative ideas and gain a greater insight into what it is that people need and want, in terms of assistive technology.
The conference is evolving into an accessibility conference; I think that the decreasing number of specialized venders displaying wares in the vender hall and the greater presence of companies like Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Adobe speaks to the increased use of main-stream technologies by people with disabilities. I was encouraged by the number of developers, designers and programmers present. I think this speaks to the fact that they get it; they’ve been listening!
As I explore the accessibility space in greater depth, working to find my place in this ever-changing landscape, I took 2 major things away from the conference:
- The powers that be understand the value of manual and user testing
- Test with NVDA
My 2-major take-aways from the vender hall were:
- Wearables are in, and going to stay this time
- There are fewer assistive technologies and more accessibility services
I am grateful for the opportunity to have attended this year; for the opportunity to learn from some of the brightest in the industry; and for the reinforcement that what we do makes a difference, that the powers that be are listening.