March 2016

The latest and last Conference Newsletter for the 2016 event is packed with announcements, reminders, and exciting information that highlights the action you'll find at this year's event.

Registration & Check-In

The Conference Registration Area is located in the Harbor Ballroom Foyer on the 2nd 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 tote bag and a conference gift so you can begin your conference experience.  Plan early and register now for the conference.  Don't forget to visit the Literature Distribution Kiosk in the registration area for news from sponsors and exhibitors; a second Kiosk will be in the Exhibit Hall.

Exhibit Hall Only Registration is also open at Exhibit Hall Pass. For fast and seamless entry into the Exhibit Hall, we encourage you to pre-register. Please use the convenient group registration if there are 5 or more of you attending.

Please remember that your conference Name Badge is your “permit” to access what you've registered for so we encourage you to treat it the same as the cash value of your registration. The CSUN Conference will replace a lost name badge only once for a fee of $25.00. Additional replacements will be charged the full conference fee.

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!  Several of these are already at their maximum attendance so please register as soon as possible.  


CEUs will be provided by San Diego State University (SDSU) for $35 per 1.0 contact hours paid directly to SDSU. One (1.0) contact hours is equivalent to 10 hours of participation. If you are interested in applying for CEUs please visit our website for complete CEU details.

Keynote Address & Welcome Reception

Please be sure to join us in the Harbor Ballroom on Tuesday evening, March 22 at 5:30 pm for the official opening of the 2016 Conference, hosted by Conference Chair, Dr. Caren Sax. Our Keynote Address this year will be delivered by Christopher P. Lu. We are honored to announce that Christopher P. Lu, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor has accepted our invitation to be this year's Keynote Speaker. Mr. Lu was sworn in on April 4, 2014, after being confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate. He serves as the chief operating officer of a 17,000-employee organization that works to create greater opportunities for all Americans. In his Keynote Address, Mr. Lu will discuss the critical role of technology in the modern workplace, and the Labor Department's efforts to promote the development and adoption of accessible workplace technology by America's employers.

The presentation of The Fred Strache Leadership Award to Dr. Catherine S. Fichten 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 2016 Exhibit Hall. Our tradition continues as the Exhibit Hall's special hours on Wednesday, March 23 are from 12 pm to 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 Grand Hall during these days and times. As always, the Exhibit Halls are free and open to the public.

Please check out Deque's sponsor news in the newsletter for a very special event happening Wednesday in the Exhibit Hall!

Recorded Highlights

We are excited to announce that we will be offering a conference video following this year's event. The “Best of 2016 CSUN” will include a selection of general sessions and featured presentations, on-site interviews, and other conference highlights. The session recordings will take place in Harbor F on Wednesday and Thursday. Signage will be posted on-site at these rooms. We thank you in advance for your cooperation when attending these sessions. Your presence at these presentations is considered your consent to be recorded; we request that you not participate in these if you do not want to be recorded

A policy reminder for the presentation rooms:  Unauthorized recordings of any nature are strictly prohibited and cell phones and mobile devices should be turned off or silenced in consideration of others.

2016 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:

  • AT&T
  • HP, INC.
  • IBM

Please visit the Sponsor section of the Conference website for information on all of our sponsors. But for now, here's a sneak peek at some of the special events and activities the Sponsors have planned for you at this year's conference:


Amazon invites you to join them on Friday, March 25 in the Pier room for special presentations and demonstrations starting at 9:00 am.


Be sure to visit the AT&T Showcase Suite in Harbor G!  They are scheduling several drawings and you could be a winner! 


Join COMCAST in the Pier room on Thursday, March 24 for special demonstrations and presentations.


Don't miss Deque's Annual CSUN Party and Accessible Karaoke! On Wednesday night (3/23) we'll be hosting our annual reception, once again featuring accessible karaoke, in the Palm Foyer. The reception will kick off in the Exhibit Hall from 5-6:30 and then move upstairs to the Foyer. You won't want to miss it!


Freedom Scientific and Optelec invite to you to join us for a reception on Wednesday, March 25 at 6 PM in Harbor B, to celebrate our merger. Pick up your invitation at our booths 205 and 305, or during one of the Wednesday sessions in Harbor B. We look forward to sharing in this milestone event!


Microsoft invites you to visit the Pier room on Wednesday, March 23 where they will be hosting special presentations.


Are you a trivia ninja? Survey Says… it’s game time!  Join SSB Thursday night for cocktails and a high-energy, Family Feud-style game show with exciting prizes including a MacBook, iPad, and iPad Mini. RSVP is required – get more info and reserve your spot today!


CSUN Tweet-Up 2016

The CSUN Tweet-Up is taking place Thursday, March 24 at 6:30 pm in the Harbor Ballroom "D". Join the group and spread the word about your conference experience. Visit the web site, for more information.

WebAble TV

We are pleased to welcome WebAble TV back to the conference as our official conference webcaster!  Be on the lookout for the WebAble TV as they will be conducting interviews with sponsors, exhibitors and featured presenters, as well as recording several general sessions and other events. They will be located in the Exhibit Hall in booth #115/117. For more information please visit the WebAble TV website.

CSUN's First UXathon

Here's your chance to help define what is meant by an accessible web experience at the first CSUN UXathon, hosted by The Paciello Group. The UXathon will take place in two stages, and we are looking for participants to be involved in each stage.

Please express interest by emailing with the subject CSUN UXathon. Let us know in which stage you would like to participate (you can participate in both if you like!), so we can send you the right information

We expect lots of interest in the first CSUN UXathon and cannot guarantee space for everyone who signs-up. We thank you in advance for your understanding.

Best regards,

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

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December 2015


We are proud to announce that the Center on Disabilities was honored on October 22 by CSUN’s Oviatt Library with the Open Access Award for our Journal on Technology and Persons with Disabilities. In celebration of International Open Access Week, we received the 2nd annual award in recognition for the journal’s open access.


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 Volume 4 of the Journal on Technology and Persons with Disabilities. 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 January 10th. Speakers may continue to register online while we are out during our Winter Break. Speaker registration closes on January 28, 2016 and there will be no speaker registration permitted after that date.

Please note:  As a reminder, all General Sessions are 40 minutes in length and we will start at 9:00 am on Wednesday, March 23rd to permit a more convenient time for our Blind/Low Vision attendees to tour the property. General Sessions will start at 8:00 am on Thursday and Friday.


The 2016 Pre-Conference Workshops are again, impressive and informative and will give you a reason to attend early and learn more at the conference. We invite you to review the selections on the website. Seating is limited, so be sure to sign-up as soon as possible.


Conference registration for attendees will open Monday, January 11, 2016.

The sessions have been scheduled and all attendees should check the website for the General Sessions Schedule at your convenience. Please note that the schedule is subject to change.


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


Mark your calendars for this year’s Keynote Address at the Conference which will be held March 22, Tuesday evening, at 5:30 pm. Caren Sax, this year’s Conference Chair will host the Tuesday evening event. A Welcome Reception will follow the Keynote Address.

We are honored to announce that Christopher P. Lu, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Labor will be this year’s Keynote Speaker. Mr. Lu Chris Lu was sworn in as the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Labor on April 4, 2014, after being confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate. He serves as the chief operating officer of a 17,000-employee organization that works to create greater opportunities for all Americans. Mr. Lu will be addressing accessibility issues and initiatives that are being discussed at the Department of Labor.

Please join us in the Harbor Ballroom on Tuesday, March 22 at 5:30 pm as we commence the 31st Annual Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference.


We are honored to announce this year’s Strache Leadership Award Recipient is Dr. Catherine S. Fichten. Dr. Fichten’s experience includes co-directing the Adaptech Research Network and working as a clinical psychologist at the Behavioural Psychotherapy and Research Unit of the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal. Her research interests include factors affecting the success of college and university students with various disabilities, with a focus on information and communication technologies which makes her well-deserving recipient of this year’s Strache Award.

The Strache Leadership Award will be presented at the Keynote Address on Tuesday evening.


Join us on Wednesday, March 23 when we open the door to the Exhibit Hall!  With so many innovative products and services on display, you’ll want to get an immediate start, right at the opening at 12:00 pm on Wednesday. We invite you to review the list of exhibitors on the conference website to plan ahead and organize your time. Also, be sure to note the Exhibit Hall hours for this year.

The Exhibit Hall is located in the Grand Hall on the lobby level of the hotel. The Exhibit Hall Opening Reception will be held at 12:30 pm on Wednesday, March 23, following the opening at 12:00 pm.


Please check the conference website, our next newsletter and further emails for updates on other conference activities. We’ll have more information on sponsor events, featured presentations and who knows what else when we return in 2016!

Best regards,

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

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