35th Annual CSUN Assistive Technology Conference

Photo credit to Lee Choo


The 35th Annual CSUN Assistive Technology Conference convened March 9 through March 13, 2020 at the Anaheim Marriott. Attendees from all over the world came together as a community to focus on assistive technology and the inclusiveness of all persons with disabilities at the event.

After two days of Pre-Conference Workshops, the conference officially opened Tuesday evening with awards presentations and the Keynote Address.

The Dr. Arthur I. Karshmer Award for Assistive Technology Research was presented to the authors of the best submission to the Journal Track of the conference. The 2020 recipients were James Coughlan, Huiying Shen and Brandon Biggs for “Towards Accessible Audio Labeling of 3D Objects. All accepted submissions to the Journal Track will be published in the Journal on Technology & Persons with Disabilities in late spring. A preview draft of the complete 8th volume is available at http://csun.at/draftvol8.

Tari Hartman Squire, CEO of EIN SOF Communications, a disability-inclusive diversity strategic marketing firm, was honored with the Fred Strache Leadership Award for her tireless pursuit to help create disability awareness within the entertainment industry. Her signature project, Lights! Camera! Access!, connects media companies with aspiring tech and media professionals, filmmakers and storytellers to increase employment in front and behind the camera, to improve disability portrayals and access to media with captions and audio descriptions.

The culmination of the night was the insightful Keynote Address, “Advancing Technology for People with Disabilities”, presented by Dr. Rory Cooper, who holds several prestigious positions including Associate Dean for Inclusion and FISA & Paralyzed Veterans of America Distinguished Professor of Rehabilitation Science and Technology and Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh. A prolific writer, he has published over 300 peer-reviewed articles and three books. Dr. Cooper has over 25 patents awarded or pending and last May was honored in Washington, D.C., at the Smithsonian Institute Museum of American History with a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office inventor trading card and portrait.

In the following days, participants were able to attend presentations covering a multitude of topics in tracks that included employment, independent living, law & policy and more, in addition to attending the Exhibit Hall.

The Exhibit Hall offered the opportunity for attendees to experience the latest assistive technology. The free Expo Visitor Passes allows the general public to see these exhibits first-hand.

As always, the CSUN Conference provides the venue for everyone to share knowledge and best practices in the field of assistive technology.  The 2021 conference will return to the Anaheim Marriot, March 8 through March 12, 2021. Call for Presentations for the Journal Track are August 20 through September 8, 2020 and the General Track are September 10 through 29, 2020. For more information about the conference and exhibiting, visit https://csun.at/conference.


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