26th Annual International & Persons with Disabilities Conference

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Welcome Message

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Welcome Message from Dr. Arthur Karshmer
2011 Conference Chair

Photo of Dr. Arthur KarshmerDear Friends and Colleagues,

It is my distinct pleasure to welcome you to the 26th Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference. This year, we will once again be holding our annual meeting in San Diego, California – a beautiful city with super facilities for a meeting such as ours.

I have been an active designer and developer of assistive technology concepts for almost 20 years and have had the opportunity over this period to attend numerous conferences on this most important subject. In addition to attending and presenting at conferences, I have also been an active participant in the organization of such meetings. Many of the meetings I have attended over the years have been either primarily academic meetings or trade shows – but rarely both. The Center on Disabilities at California State University, Northridge has been able to cross this gap. Given the importance of our work, and the need for cooperative research, development and distribution, it is truly critical that academics and assistive technology developers and distributors meet together.

The CSUN conference is this needed platform. Every year we welcome members of the assistive technology business community to show their new and existing products not only to members of the disabled community, but also to the world of academic and corporate research community. At the same time, the research community can get a glimpse of the plethora of fine products currently available on the market. Both sides are winners in this cooperative atmosphere.

As an academic researcher and developer of assistive technologies, I fully recognize the need for this type of interchange. Walking around the floor of the Exhibit Halls, or attending a product presentation, I learn of new tools available for the disabled community and also find tools I can use directly in my own research. Representatives of the AT business community get the opportunity to hear new theoretical and practical ideas from the papers presented by the research community. And, by the way, I think you will find that the number of academic presentations has attracted talented people from many of the best universities in the world. As a member of the academic presentation selection committee, I am impressed with the quality of this year’s papers.

I am very excited about this year’s event. The blend of both research and application of assistive technologies is the best approach to making this a better world for persons with disabilities. I look forward to seeing you all in San Diego in the Exhibit Halls, the meeting rooms which host fascinating presentations, the casual meetings that bring our worlds closer together and, of course, the Special Events and social gatherings that are an integral part of the conference. All of this helps to make the CSUN Conference the meeting of choice in the world of assistive technology.

With best regards, I remain sincerely yours,

Art Karshmer