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How Can We Make Accessibility More Mainstream?

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Paul Schroeder

How can we ensure that mainstream products and services (including websites) are designed to meet our needs as people with disabilities? Over the past 20 years, advocates for people with disabilities have successfully pushed for legislation to foster accessibility in the design and development of information and communication technologies. For example, the Communication and Video Accessibility Act was passed to address access to advanced communications technologies like smart phones and television access (see the January AccessWorld article for more details on this law). However, far too often, policies are not effectively or comprehensively enforced. And, there are lots of technologies not addressed by our current policies. I'll explore this topic in February’s AccessWorld.

Now, there's another important advance that is needed. We need more experts on accessibility working within companies that provide services and make products. These internal champions influence decisions about research, development, design, marketing, and resource allocation, and there are precious few who really understand and fight for accessibility.

The Assistive Technology Industry Association is holding a full-day meeting at CSUN to delve into these issues and see if there is support for professionalizing access expertise. The session, "Taking Accessibility Mainstream: Making the Case for an International Society of Accessibility Professionals," is to be held February 28 at the CSUN conference site.

I'm looking forward to this discussion, and hope you can join us. Details below.

Taking Accessibility Mainstream: Making the Case for an International Society of Accessibility Professionals

Date: Tuesday, Feb 28, 2012

Time: 8:30 a.m.— 4:45 p.m.

Location: 2012 CSUN Conference, Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel, Edward Room, 2nd floor San Diego, CA

Please note, Early Bird Registration ($245) ends January 31. After that date, regular registration is $295.

For more information or to register, please visit: http://www.atia.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=4161