[Photo and link - Accessibility Related Conferences and Conventions]

October 20, 2014

Accessibility Related Conferences and Conventions

[Photo: conference audience]

Earlier this month, I was asked for some information about accessibility related conferences and conventions. When I started to make a list, it occurred to me that there were a lot more events than even I realized. A quick check via social media surfaced even more that I was not aware of. Finally, again via twitter, I was asked if I could share my list.

Of course!

I’ll be the first to admit that this is far from complete, and at this time it is North-American centric (so events such as W4A and OzeWAI are not captured), but it’s a start. If I’ve missed something, please do let me know, and I’ll work on keeping this list up-to-date as best I can. Dates indicated are as of October 20, 2014, and I make no claim of accuracy beyond the posted “Last Updated” date indicated.

Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference (aka CSUN)

March 2, 2015, to March 7, 2015

For 30 years the Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference (CSUN) has provided an inclusive setting for researchers, practitioners, exhibitors, end users, speakers and other participants to share knowledge and best practices in the field of assistive technology.

In 2014, the conference drew more than 4,800 people to San Diego.

Known as a forum that showcases cutting edge technology and practical solutions that can be utilized to remove the barriers that prevent the full participation of persons with disabilities in educational, workplace and social settings, the conference is the largest of its kind in the world.


CSUN 2015 Sessions in Excel Format (.xls)

M-Enabling Summit, Conference and Showcase

June 1-2, 2015

The M-Enabling Summit is a joint initiative of the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ict) and E.J. Krause & Associates to promote mobile accessible and assistive applications and services for senior citizens and persons with disabilities leveraging the latest operating systems, handsets and tablets based technologies.

The Summit is the only gathering of U.S. and international leaders of the global ecosystem supporting accessible and assistive mobile solutions. At the Summit they share experiences on how to best leverage the latest mobile operating systems, handset and tablet technologies, creating life changing applications and services for seniors and users of all abilities.


Annual Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) Conference

January 27 – 31, 2015

The Assistive Technology Industry Association (“ATIA”) is a not-for-profit membership organization of manufacturers, sellers and providers of technology-based assistive devices and/or services.

The ATIA Conference is the largest international conference showcasing excellence in assistive technology. It is the place to learn about advances in AT, stay on top of best practices and trends, and network with others in the AT industry.


International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility

October 20 -22, 2014

The ASSETS conference explores the design, evaluation, and use of computing and information technologies to benefit people with disabilities and older adults. ASSETS is the premier forum for presenting innovative research on mainstream and specialized assistive technologies, accessible computing, and assistive applications of computer, network, and information technologies. This includes the use of technology by and in support of:

  • Individuals with hearing, sight and other sensory impairments
  • Individuals with motor impairments
  • Individuals with memory, learning and cognitive impairments
  • Individuals with multiple impairments
  • Older adults with diverse capabilities
  • Professionals who work with these populations


Biennial National Association of the Deaf (NAD) Conference

July 5-9, 2016

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is the nation’s premier civil rights organization of, by and for deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the United States of America.

Established in 1880, the NAD was shaped by deaf leaders who believed in the right of the American deaf community to use sign language, to congregate on issues important to them, and to have its interests represented at the national level.

The NAD holds events to build and broaden awareness and support of their work, touch base with and strengthen the community, train future leaders, discuss and determine their focus and raise funds. Some events are national in scope while others are on the local level.


National Federation of the Blind (NFB) Annual National Convention

July, 2015 (3-5 days, usually 1st week of the month)

The NFB national convention is held once each year in a location chosen by the President or the NFB. At the convention, national officers and board members are elected by the general membership, decisions concerning the organization are made, and policies are set for the following year or years.

The national convention also has some very practical benefits for attendees. Those who are new to blindness as well as parents and teachers of blind children can meet and learn from successful role models and have their expectations raised. Friendships can be made and renewed, the latest adaptive technology for the blind may be reviewed, tours of interesting places may be taken, and hope for the future may be kindled. The convention is, in a sense, a large family gathering, and has been described by one observer as being analogous to an annual meeting of the Scottish clans.


American Council of the Blind (ACB) Conference and Convention

July 11 – 19, 2014

The ACB Annual Conference features General Track sessions, Workshops and Seminars, and Vendor exhibits. Approximately 1,500 blind and visually impaired people are expected to attend this conference from across the United States and from many foreign countries. Countless others will listen to selected broadcasts from the conference on ACB’s Internet radio service. Still others will read the conference program and newspaper from the ACB website and on ACB email lists. Included among these participants will be blind entrepreneurs, students, teachers, rehabilitation professionals, attorneys, musicians, parents and grandparents. There will be people looking for work and people who use all kinds of adaptive technology; people who are interested in large print, recorded, digital and braille products; elderly people who are just learning to live with vision loss; and young people attending college and just starting new careers.


American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) Leadership Conference

April 9-11, 2015

The American Foundation for the Blind’s annual Leadership Conference covers the most pressing and relevant topics in the field of blindness and offers many opportunities to learn from the best and brightest minds in our field, make new connections, and reunite with old friends.

The AFBLC attracts established and emerging leaders in the blindness field. Conference attendees include technology experts, corporate representatives, university professors, teachers of students with visual impairments, orientation and mobility instructors, rehabilitation professionals, and parents. They come from diverse organizations and institutions spanning the public and private sectors, including school districts, schools for the blind, Veterans Administrations, hospitals, private agencies, and universities.


International Summit on Accessibility

July 12-15, 2014

Carleton University with support from the Province of Ontario and the City of Ottawa invites you to the International Summit on Accessibility, promoting access and inclusion for persons with disabilities in all aspects of life. Join leaders from around the globe as we showcase innovation, celebrate best practices and enable collaborative dialog and action toward accessible and inclusive communities.


The Accessibility Conference

May 25 – 27, 2015

To raise awareness (and encourage action) among educators, IT managers and providers, web managers and content providers, course designers, and individuals who create and disseminate information regarding:

  • Accessibility issues related to the use of information in a range of formats and settings
  • Standards, tools and strategies for identifying and correcting information accessibility barriers
  • Strategies for incorporating the issue of accessibility into the real-world environment of competing interests and limited resources


Accessing Higher Ground

November 17 – 21, 2014

Accessing Higher Ground focuses on the implementation and benefits of:

  • Accessible media, Universal Design and Assistive Technology in the university, business and public setting;
  • Legal and policy issues, including ADA and 508 compliance;
  • The creation of accessible media and information resources, including Web pages and library resources.

For institutions of Higher Education:

  • There is a strong focus on campus accommodation.

For businesses and other audiences:

  • There are numerous sessions on best practices for web design, reaching untapped audiences through accessible design, and compliance with existing and anticipated Section 508 and ADA stipulations.


John Slatin AccessU

May 11 – 13, 2015

AccessU, an annual accessibility training institute presented by Knowbility, provides three days of instruction in how to make electronic information technology accessible to everyone – including people with disabilities. If you believe that the web should empower all people, need information about how to meet state and federal accessibility mandates, or are a commercial web developer who wants to understand emerging best business practices for the web, AccessU will provide the resources you need.

Join world renowned accessibility experts for two days of classes to improve your skills and better understand the need and the techniques for inclusive IT design. For everything from the basics to the bleeding edge, AccessU is the place to be.


Accessibility Summit (Virtual)

September 9-10, 2014

Environments for Humans brings together some of the Web’s most notable experts in and for an all-new, two-day online conference, the Accessibility Summit 2014! Bring the experts to your desktop


Accessibility Camp(s) – (a11yBOS, a11yDC, a11yLA, etc.)

Various Dates

An ad-hoc collective of community organized un-conferences, held at various times and locations throughout the year. Each of these a11yCamps are usually one-day in length, and focus on topics related to the creation of accessible digital content and feature both renowned and local speakers working in the digital accessibility field.Previous a11yCamps have been held in cities such as Boston, Washington, Seattle, Los Angeles, Bay Area, London(UK), Montreal, Toronto, etc. Usually free to attend.


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CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 Accessibility Related Conferences and Conventions by John Foliot is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Posted by John

I am a 16 year veteran of Web Accessibility, living and working in Austin, Texas. Currently Principal Accessibility Strategist at Deque Systems Inc., I have previously held accessibility related positions at JPMorgan Chase and Stanford University. I am also actively involved with the W3C - the international internet standards body - where I attempt to stir the pot, fight hard for accessibility on the web, and am currently co-chairing a subcommittee on the accessibility of media elements in HTML5.

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