For more than 35 years, California State University, Northridge’s Center on Disabilities has sponsored the CSUN Assistive Technology Conference, known as the CSUN Conference, which is recognized as the premiere event in the field of technology for persons with disabilities.
This year, even more people from all over the world — researchers, practitioners, educators, exhibitors and more — will be able to share knowledge, new innovations and best practices to promote inclusion for all as the conference goes virtual.
The 2021 CSUN Conference has shifted its dates to March 6-14 to accommodate the virtual format, and it is expected to draw an even larger audience — as attendees can participate at their convenience. Featuring three days of pre-conference workshops, followed by more than 220 general educational and journal sessions and the opening of the Exhibit Hall on Tuesday, the conference explores all aspects of assistive technology.
“Although we may have had to modify our format, our motivation for hosting the conference has not changed,” said Sandy Plotin, managing director of the Center on Disabilities. “Our purpose is to provide an environment where leaders in the field, who are committed to driving innovation in assistive technology, can promote the newest improvements and get input from people with disabilities.
“The virtual format is the next best thing to being at the conference in person,” Plotin said, “as it will provide a greater opportunity for more people to participate. Now, instead of having to choose between presentations held at the same time, attendees will be able to view them on demand once they have premiered.”
Attendees will also have the opportunity to interact with presenters in live Q&A periods.
This year’s keynote address will be delivered by the Hon. Anthony “Tony” Coelho, who has spent his entire adult life helping advance the lives of people with disabilities. A former six-term congressman from California, Coelho was also the primary author and sponsor of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) — the most important piece of civil rights legislation passed in the last 30 years. He has advocated for the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and worked with President Bill Clinton to establish the Office of Disability Employment Policy at the U.S. Department of Labor. Coelho’s commitment to support and advocacy continues to this day, and he will share his experiences and ideas in his address.
Coelho’s keynote will be livestreamed and open to the public. The general sessions and journal presentations will premiere following the keynote, as will the opening of the virtual Exhibit Hall.
As always, the Exhibit Hall is free and open to the public, in addition to registered attendees. This year’s exhibitors will offer the latest technology for persons with disabilities and the opportunity for people from all over the world to interact with providers of assistive technology products and services in virtual “booths.”
“Another bonus to hosting an online event is that we get to offer featured presentations each morning,” Plotin said. “These live sessions, which are open to the public, allow us to host thought leaders to present information and news that will be of interest to all attendees.”
For more information on the 2021 CSUN Assistive Technology Conference, attendee registration or registering for an Expo Visitor Pass, please visit the CSUN Conference website.