Winter 2013

Greetings from the Center on Disabilities at California State University, Northridge! Our winter edition of the 2013 Conference Newsletter is packed with announcements, reminders, and exciting information that highlights the action you’ll find at this year’s event.

Registration & Check-In

If you haven’t yet registered for the Conference, you can do that now. For those of you already registered, please come to the Registration Area located on the third floor. Self-service check-in is as easy as 1-2-3. Just enter the email address and password you used when you registered and we’ll print out your name badge and give you your conference materials so you can begin your conference experience.

Pre-Conference Workshops

We encourage you to check-out the selection of Pre-Conference Workshops offered this year, so that you can come early and learn more! Space is limited so be sure to review the offerings and select one of these in-depth topics that would be of interest to you. Remember that CEU’s are available for all Pre-Conference Workshops!

Keynote Address & Welcome Reception

Please be sure to join us in the Manchester Ballroom on Tuesday evening, February 26 at 5:30 PM for the official opening of the 2013 Conference, hosted by Conference Chair, Dr. Caren Sax. Our Keynote Address this year will be delivered by Dr. Deana McDonagh. We are very excited to have Dr. McDonagh, an Empathic Design Research Strategist. Her work focuses on enhancing the quality of life for all through more intuitive and meaningful products which can lead to emotional sustainability. This fascinating topic should lead to an informative and enlightening Keynote Address.

The Fred Strache Leadership Award presentation to Dr. Arthur I. Karshmer will follow the keynote address and then special announcements and conference highlights will be provided by Dr. Sax to kick off your busy conference week.

Exhibitor News

Mark your calendars for the Opening of the 2013 Exhibit Hall. Our new tradition continues as the Exhibit Hall opens early on Wednesday, February 27 at 12 PM and closes at 7:00 PM. Thursday and Friday hours are 9:30 AM – 5:30 PM. Please be sure to make time to visit our exhibitors in the Douglas Pavilion during these days and times - the Exhibit Hall will not be open on Saturday. As always, the Exhibit Halls are free and open to the public.

Also back this year! Please visit the conference website and check-out our highlight, the “Featured Exhibitor”! Each time you visit the Exhibitors page, a different Exhibitor will be randomly selected and their products and services will be available for your review… as you go back to the Exhibitors page, see if your favorite vendor or one that is new to you is featured.

Featured Session: CSUN Computer Science and Engineering Project

Join us on Wednesday, February 27 at 4:20 PM in the Manchester Ballroom for a special presentation by CSUN Professor C.T. Lin and his team of students. This exciting discussion will showcase their design for an intelligent wheelchair followed by a live demonstration!

Featured Speaker: Kathleen Martinez, Assistant Secretary for Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor

We are very proud to announce that the CSUN Conference will be the site for an informative discussion highlighting the government’s progress and plans involving technology, accessibility and important issues for people with disabilities. The presentation will be held in the Manchester Ballroom on Thursday, February 28 at 2:00 PM.

Kathleen Martinez, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy,will host apresentation on the U.S.Department of Labor's efforts to use new technologies to better advance collaborative policymaking and outreach, as well as to promote the development and adoption of accessible workplace technology by America's employers. During this featured presentation, Ms.Martinez will update attendees on her agency'srecent work and upcoming plansto elicit the views of the technology community and other critical partners in promoting universally designed ICT in the workplace.

2013 Conference Sponsors

It goes without saying…but we never get tired of saying it…thank you to all of our valuable Conference Sponsors! Many of the services and events at the conference are provided through the commitments of:

  • IBM

Here’s a peek at some of the special events and activities some of the Sponsors have planned for you at this year’s conference:


Canon will be sponsoring our new “Print on Demand” stations at the Registration Area in a joint effort to “go green”. A limited number of supporting materials (Quick Guide, Exhibit Guide and Session Guide) will be printed prior to the conference. Participants may elect to print any of the guides they wish to have and we hope you help us support this endeavor. The Print on Demand stations will be located in Windsor B on the third floor near the Registration Area.


To Comcast, it is extremely important that we develop and sustain a diverse suite of technologies that allows everyone to have access to communication, education and entertainment. Your feedback informs our development process and is vital to the success of our products. This year, Comcast will conduct testing with blind and low vision users. If you’re interested in testing a voiced TV program guide prototype and participating in a dialogue about our products and services at CSUN this year, email User testing and feedback sessions will be held in Madeline D on Thursday, February 28 and Friday, March 1.


In the not-so-distant past, organizations integrating accessibility into their IT strategy worked with a fairly finite and stable set of factors. Today, evolving legislation – along with disruptive technology trends such as social computing, HTML 5, and smart device proliferation – are rapidly changing the accessibility risk profile for organizations across industries.

Join is in the IBM Showcase Suite in the Manchester B ballroom on Thursday, February 28 at 10:40 AM to learn how our new integrated accessibility services can help your organization turn accessibility risk management into human-centric innovation opportunities.


Feeling the aches and pains from an inaccessible website? Afraid to know how bad the problem really is? Don’t know what to do next? We’re here to help! The Simply Accessible team will be on-call Friday, March 1st hosting free 15-minute check-ups for anybody who would like an accessibility health assessment done on their website, mobile application, or online tool.
We can help. Really.

Email us for your appointment today!

Please visit the Sponsor Page of the conference web site for more information about our Sponsors and all the good works they do!


SS12 Code for a Cause Finals

We are excited to announce that Project:Possibility’s SS12:Code for a Cause Finals will once again be held at this year’s conference. This exciting event will host the innovative open source projects the top teams from CSUN, UCLA and USC have created. Mark your calendars for this occasion where the US SS12 Champion team will be announced following the presentations and judging portions on Saturday, March 2 from 9:00 to 11:00 AM in the Manchester Ballroom. Continental Breakfast will be served following the presentations during the judging portion of the program.

CSUN Cyber Café

The CSUN Cyber Café is located on the 3rd floor in Windsor B. The perfect place to check your email, follow us on Facebook, be on the look-out for special announcements…or just surf to see what else is happening at the Conference!

5th Annual CSUN Tweetup

The CSUN social network event of the conference is back! This year’s event will be held in the Manchester Ballroom on Thursday, February 28 at 6:00 PM and you won’t want to miss the action. We advise everyone to visit the web site, to RSVP and make sure you’re connected to the other plans and participation options the tweetup sponsors have in store for you!

Accessibility Ribbon

We are a community. If you’re reading this then you already are a member. It’s a community that lives by a single and simple belief – and that is Inclusion! For a more eloquent and heart-felt expression of what our community is and what the silver ribbon represents, please visit

Silver ribbons, courtesy of The Paciello Group, will be available in the Registration Area during the conference.

Art Exhibition Premiers at the Conference

We are extremely proud and fortunate to host our very first Art Exhibition at the 28th CSUN Conference. The Exhibition will be unveiled following the Keynote Address on Tuesday evening, February 26 at the Welcome Reception.

All the artwork that will be shown has been created by artists with disabilities. Lillian Bandak is a noted photographer, advocate and activist currently based in the San Diego area. She has been recognized for her outstanding photographs of the Middle East and Africa. We are also excited to showcase “Innermost China-the First American Exhibition of Chinese Artists with Disabilities”. These beautiful and unique pieces are currently on loan to Ability Magazine and they would like to share them with all of us.

The Art Exhibition will be displayed for the duration of the conference for your convenience and viewing pleasure.

Student Poster Session

The future is here! Please join us as we take a look at what the next generation of practitioners, researchers, counselors and other specialists in our fields are working on in the educational arena. Students representing San Diego State, Grossmont College, and St. Augustine University will be presenting and discussing their work at a Poster Session in the Manchester Ballroom on Friday, March 1 at 12:00 PM.

WordPress Tweetup

A WordPress Accessibility Tweetup has just been added! Join the group on Tuesday evening at 4:30-5:30 PM, February 26, in the TPG Suite. There’s always room for one more!

For more information about the 2013 Conference or any announcements in the Newsletter, please feel free to contact us at (818) 677-2578 or

Best regards,

Sandy Plotin
Managing Director
Center on Disabilities
California State University, Northridge

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Fall/Winter 2012


We want to thank all of you who took the time to submit a proposal to present at this year’s conference and also for publication in our new online journal of scientific and research orientated papers. We are so pleased and grateful for the robust educational and research papers we received and we’re confident our attendees will be too.

Speaker Registration has opened and the deadline to register at the regular rate is Wednesday, January 2, 2013. There is no speaker registration permitted after January 11, 2013.


Conference registration for attendees will open Wednesday, January 2, 2013.The sessions are in the process of being scheduled and speakers will soon be receiving notices of their presentation’s time and date. Attendees should check the web-site for the General Sessions Schedule which will be posted prior to attendee registration and should be available for your review shortly before the holidays.

As a reminder, we will not be asking you to “save a seat” for the general sessions this year.

The hotel room block has been opened for the conference and you can reserve your accommodations now. Please check the web site for information and be sure to mention the “CSUN Conference” when making your reservations at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel.


Our impressive roster of experts who will be presenting in-depth information on the latest issues and future trends in the areas of disabilities and technology are posted on the conference web site.

The 2013 Pre-Conference Workshops are again, impressive and informative and will give you a reason to attend early and learn more at the conference. Detailed information regarding Pre-Conference Workshops will be available by Wednesday, January 2, 2013.


Please mark your calendars for this year’s Keynote Address at the Conference which will be held on the evening of Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 5:30 P.M. Caren Sax, this year’s Conference Chair will host the Tuesday evening event. A Reception will follow the Keynote Address.

We are pleased to announce that this year our Keynote Speaker will be Dr. Deana McDonagh. Dr. McDonagh is an Associate Professor of Industrial Design in the School of Art + Design at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) and faculty at the Beckman Institute of Advanced Science and Technology. Prior to joining the University of Illinois she was a Reader in User-Centred Design at Loughborough University in the UK. She is an Empathic Design Research Strategist who focuses on enhancing quality of life for all through more intuitive and meaningful products, leading to emotional sustainability. Her research concentrates on emotional user-product relationships and how empathy can bring the designer closer to users’ authentic needs.

Please join us on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at 5:30 P.M. when we open the 28th Annual Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference.


We are honored to announce that this year’s Strache Leadership Award Recipient is Dr. Arthur I. Karshmer. Dr. Karshmer holds a Ph.D. in Computer and Information Science and is currently a Department Chair, Director and Professor at the University of San Francisco. His research interests are in the fields of the operating system-architecture interface, metropolitan area networking and computer interfaces for people with disabilities.

The Strache Leadership Award will be presented to Dr. Arthur Karshmer at the Keynote Address on Tuesday evening.


Join us on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 when we open the doors to the Exhibit Hall! With so many innovative products and services on display, you’ll want to get your preview at the opening starting at 12:00 P.M. on Wednesday. We invite you to review the list of exhibitors on the conference web site to prepare your schedule and organize your time and please note the new hours for this year.

The Exhibit Hall will be located in the Douglas Pavilion on the lobby level of the hotel.The Exhibit Hall Opening Reception will be held at 12:00 P.M. following the opening.


Please be sure to visit our “special” sessions in their Showcase Suites! Conveniently located in the Manchester Ballroom, the Showcase Suites are open from Wednesday, February 27, 2013 through Friday, March 1, 2013. The Showcase Suites will be hosted by Deque Systems, Freedom Scientific and IBM. All presentations by these companies will be held in their suites and we’re sure you’ll find an abundance of other activities happening here!


Please note that the Center on Disabilities will be closed for the campus’s Winter Break from Monday, December 24, 2012 to Wednesday, January 2, 2013. Speakers may continue to register online while we are out and any questions or information will be followed-up on our return January 2, 2013.

We will continue to send you updates and news about the CSUN Conference so please look for our emails, announcements and check the website regularly.

For more information about the 2013 Conference or any announcements in the Newsletter, please feel free to contact us at (818) 677-2578 or

Best regards,

Sandy Plotin
Managing Director
Center on Disabilities
California State University, Northridge

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