For 35 years, California State University, Northridge’s Center on Disabilities has sponsored the CSUN Assistive Technology Conference, recognized as the premier event in the field of technology for people with disabilities. Thousands of people from all over the world – researchers, practitioners, educators, exhibitors, end users and more – are expected to gather to share knowledge, new innovations and best practices that promote inclusion for all.
The 2020 conference will be held March 9-13 at the Anaheim Marriott and is expected to draw more than 4,500 attendees. The conference explores all aspects of assistive technology and will feature two days of pre-conference workshops followed by more than 300 general educational and journal sessions and the opening of the exhibit hall on Wednesday, March 11.
“Our motivation for hosting the conference continues to be to provide an environment where leaders in the field, who are committed to driving innovation in assistive technology, can network and interact with each other and get input from people with disabilities,” said Sandy Plotin, managing director of the Center on Disabilities.
“This year is especially exciting as it also marks the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA),” Plotin said. “We have two prominent advocates in our keynote speaker and Strache Leadership Award recipient, who are both well-known and respected for the work they do to improve inclusion.”
The keynote address will be held Tuesday, March 10, at 5:30 p.m. This year’s speaker is Rory Cooper, a renowned innovator, inventor and educator who holds several prestigious positions at the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University and the Uniformed Services University. In addition to having over 25 patents awarded or pending, Cooper is a prolific writer, having published more than 300 peer-reviewed articles and three books.
Each year the Center on Disabilities recognizes a leader who has demonstrated a commitment to influence change and significantly impact the field with the Strache Leadership Award. This year’s recipient, Tari Hartman Squire, has a record of advocacy and dedication to promoting the inclusion of people with disabilities in the workplace, marketplace and media. In addition to serving as the CEO of EIN SOF Communications, a disability-inclusive diversity strategic marketing firm, Squire has spearheaded numerous projects, initiatives and collaborations with major corporations and the entertainment industry that highlight inclusion.
With the publication of the center’s eighth edition of the Journal on Technology and Persons with Disabilities coming this spring, the Dr. Arthur I. Karshmer award for Assistive Technology Research will be presented to James Coughlan, representing the authors of the paper, “Towards Accessible Audio Labeling of 3D Objects.”
The Strache Leadership Award and the Dr. Arthur I. Karshmer Award will be presented at the keynote address.
The exhibit hall is free and open to the public. This year’s sold-out exhibit hall, with almost 30 new exhibitors, will include demonstrations of the latest technologies for people with disabilities and the opportunity for end users and practitioners to interact with the providers of assistive technology products and services.
“It’s 30 years after the ADA passed and there is still work to be done” Plotin said. “Hopefully, our small contribution in sponsoring the CSUN Assistive Technology Conference will help with that work.”
For all conference-related information, visit the conference website.