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    The Premier AT Conference

Pre-Conference Workshops

Pre-Conference Workshops will be offered on March 6-8, 2021. These workshops are designed to give in-depth training on specific topics.

Pre-Conference workshops will be conducted via a live webinar format. Half-Day Workshops are 3 hours and Full-Day Workshops are split into two 3-hour workshops held on consecutive days at the same time.

Full-Day Workshops, March 6 & 7, 2021

7:50 AM - 10:50 AM PST


Using Tactile Puzzles for More Efficient Introduction of Geometrical Concepts to Visually Impaired Individuals

Full-Day Workshop

Summary

This workshop is an extension of Project Aakaar which created tactile puzzles (inspired from “tangrams”) on 1) Geometric Rearrangement of Traditional Figures and 2) Utilization of Basic Figures to Replicate Monuments. The 3-D prints enabled students to extrapolate visualize combinations and structures that they cannot see or more importantly, feel with their other senses (such as 2-D projections or massive structures such as skyscrapers or mountains). This workshop will provide the step-wise process of constructing accessible designs, from sensory inputs, to creating digital designs, 3-D production, distribution and user feedback.

Participants will:

  • Understand sensitization of individuals about the extent of the problem in STEM education for VI students.
  • Understand about facilitating the adoption of Aakaar Tactile puzzles in schools via integration into their standard curriculum.
  • Curate a repeatable and measurable curriculum for both instructors/facilitators and students.

Biographies

Kyle Keane, Lecturer

Dr. Kyle Keane is an AI Research Scientist in the Bridge division of the MIT Quest for Intelligence (quest.mit.edu)--an applied research center within the College of Computing dedicated to advancing research in natural and machine intelligence and driving the development of new tools and technologies to benefit society. Dr. Keane also serves as a Lecturer within the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science where he teaches Principles and Practices of Assistive Technology (ppat.mit.edu)--a 12-unit senior capstone engineering course cross-listed in three departments that pairs small teams of students with community members living near campus with disabilities to collaboratively co-design and prototype a piece of technology to help the community member accomplish an activity more independently. Dr. Keane is one of the founders of the Humanistic Co-design Initiative (humanistic.app)--a volunteer organization dedicated to helping establish local communities of practice that co-design assistive technologies that are suitable for the local economic, social, and cultural context. Dr. Keane has extensive expertise in digital and physical accessibility, and has been involved in disability advocacy his entire life after being born with the degenerative eye condition Retinitis Pigmentosa.

Prithvi Raj, Lead Experience Designer

Prithvi Raj is a Lead Experience Designer at the User Experience Design research group in Siemens Corporate Technology R&D, Bangalore, India. He has industrial Design Thinking and UX Design work experience and has conducted many Design Thinking and co-creations workshops with participants from across the world. He also conducts Advanced Focus User Experience Trainings to a wide range of audience. He is a Gold Medalist from IIT Kanpur for being an all-round performer where he had pursued his Master of Design (2014-2016). He is also the winner of the National IMPRINT India Logo Design Competition. Prithvi has extensive experience with the visually challenged kids in India and is knowledgeable on the current context of their education and educational needs. He has been involved with the Visually challenged kids since 2013 and puts to use his knowledge and experience towards the betterment of the visually challenged community by building tactile solutions that enable the audience in enhanced educational learning experience.

Indrayud Mandal

Presently a Systems Design student at MIT pursuing core courses on Systems Architecture, Systems Engineering and Project Management. Additional courses taken at MIT include Technology Road mapping and Development, Systems Safety, System Dynamics, Opportunities in Developing Economies, Improvisational Leadership, Entrepreneurial Founding, and Innovation Ecosystems among others.

Previously he was a technology consultant at Deloitte where he primarily staffed on US State Healthcare projects. Experienced in all aspects of the SDLC cycle from requirements gathering to post-production support and have worked across various technologies that are mentioned in my endorsements below. While the positive effect of technology was apparent, it was also clear that there were various moving parts of the system (public policy changes & governance changes, gestation periods for delivery, bureaucratic complications, and conflicting team dynamics) which needed to be understood better for more efficient system delivery. To achieve that goal he is presently pursuing a degree in Systems Thinking from MIT.

Presenters

  • Kyle Keane, MIT
  • Prithvi Raj, Siemens Corporate Technology
  • Indrayud Mandal, MIT



11:00 AM - 2:00 PM PST


Native App Accessibility in iOS and Android

Full-Day Workshop

Summary

Learn accessible design, development, and testing for native iOS and Android apps. This workshop is designed for Xcode and Android Studio developers, designers, and QA testers focused on native app development. You will learn how accessibility testing and development is different in native mobile apps vs. mobile web. Learn about the native iOS and Android accessibility APIs and limitations compared to HTML web accessibility. Learn the accessibility testing and development tools in Xcode for iPhone/iPad and Android Studio for Android devices. Demonstrations of common mobile app accessibility issues and solutions will be shown. We'll talk about differences in accessibility testing on the iOS and Android Simulators vs. On-Device Testing. You will learn how to manually test native apps for accessibility using VoiceOver and TalkBack. We'll also discuss issues and considerations for Keyboard Accessibility on mobile apps.

To take full advantage of the native mobile accessibility workshop attendees should have installed Xcode for iOS development and Android Studio for Android development.

Participants will:

  • Learn mobile screen reader testing with VoiceOver and TalkBack.
  • Learn accessible app development using Xcode for iOS and Android Studio.
  • Learn common native app accessibility problems and solutions.
  • Learn how to use automated accessibility testing tools for native mobile apps.

Biography

Paul Adam, Mobile Accessibility Specialist

Paul is a Mobile Accessibility Specialist at Pearson focusing on iOS, Android, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, WAI-ARIA, WCAG 2.1, ADA Compliance. In addition he serves as an Accessibility Consultant for a wide range of enterprise-level, large organizations in a variety of industries including: State/Federal Gov, Higher Ed, Banking/Financial, Insurance, Telecom, Airline, Healthcare, Retail/E-commerce, and Hospitality. Previously worked for Deque Systems as an Accessibility Evangelist / Sr. Accessibility Consultant / Developer. Paul is also the co-organizer of the Austin Accessibility and Inclusive Design Meetup.

Presenters

  • Paul Adam, Pearson



2:10 PM - 5:10 PM PST


Introduction to Assistive Technology

Full-Day Workshop

Summary

Welcome to an introduction to the many types of Assistive Technology available today. This workshop is especially useful for newcomers to the fields of AT and disabilities and those who are first-timers at the CSUN Conference. Participants will gain a general understanding of assistive technology and be able to describe technologies that support participation, communication and learning.

Participants will:

  • Gain a general understanding of the AT used for a variety of disability types and be able to describe how the AT can support participation, communication, and learning
  • Be able to describe the process for AT assessment, acquisition, implementation, and follow-up
  • Have a general understanding of addressing challenges in various settings, and how to modify the environment and the individual’s technology to include solutions that support independence and functionality
  • Gain a general understanding of how to use a variety of online resources and training opportunities to expand and support AT knowledge, skills, and abilities

Biographies

Nathan Swett, ATP

Dr. Swett, provides specialized services to schools, companies, professionals, organizations and families. He has his Master's of Special Education from USD and his Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership from SDSU. He is an educational consultant and adjunct professor. He is a co-instructor for CSUN’s Assistive Technology Applications Certificate Program and is a RESNA Assistive Technology Professional. Dr. Swett has educational experience that includes assistive technology (AT) and educational technology (EdTech) in PK-12 and Higher Education.

Michael Williamson, MS, ATP

Michael Williamson is at the forefront of knowledge about the latest topics and issues in assistive technology. He manages the Accessibility and Usability Lab at the University of Colorado Boulder, where he helps to ensure that the entire university community can access digital assets such as software, websites, etc. Additionally, Michael serves as faculty for CSUN’s M.S Assistive Technology Studies and Human Services program and as a co-instructor for CSUN’s Assistive Technology Applications Certificate Program.

Presenters

  • Michael Williamson
  • Nathan Swett


Half-Day Workshops, March 8, 2021

7:50 AM - 10:50 AM PST


Accessible Modified K-12 Curriculum for Virtual Learning

Half-Day Workshop

Summary

For students with Significant Intellectual Disabilities who also have Physical, and or Complex Communication Needs, the classroom has had a multitude of barriers from learning. With AEM, AAC and other Assistive Technologies available, educators have often hodge-podged together opportunities for "participation". In more recent years, with virtual learning, this challenge has increased. We will present modified curriculum to address these students active learning needs in the virtual school environment, and we will review and explore the components of the major options currently available.

Participants will:

  • Identify the major components of at least 2 of the presented curriculum
  • Compare and contrast the components of a presented curriculum to those in current offerings to students with Significant Intellectual Disabilities who also have Physical, and or Complex Communication Needs
  • Be able to recreate adjustment made to modified curriculum for virtual school environments

Biography

Kelly Fonner, Education/Assistive Technology Consultant

Kelly Fonner, MS is a self-employed consultant and trainer in assistive and educational technology. She has a BS in Special Education from Millersville University and an MS in Educational Technology with emphasis in Rehabilitation/Special Education Technology from The Johns Hopkins University. Her continuing education and research has been in the area of Adult Education and Special Education Technology at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. She holds an Assistive Technology Applications Certificate of Learning from California State University - Northridge. Kelly has been a teacher, para-educator, instructional media specialist, assistive technology specialist and is currently a self-employed consultant in assistive and educational technology. She has worked for a statewide AT project and has been an instructor in university courses on AT. Since 1986 Kelly has presented at schools, conferences, & to families and speaks on a wide range of topics including augmentative communication, computer access, electronic literacy, study skills, assistive technology assessment and implementation strategies. Each year, she works with approximately 50 school-based teams supporting students and the implementation of AAC & electronic literacy implementation in the classroom.

Presenters

  • Kelly Fonner, Educational/Assistive Technology Consultant



11:00 AM - 2:00 PM PST


Creating Richer Infographics for AT Users

Half-Day Workshop

Summary

Learn how to create better user experiences when presenting infographics in PDF format. Bring your own device and walk through hands-on examples of various infographic formats while learning best practices for presenting a richer AT experience. Users should have a basic knowledge of Acrobat, MS Word, Adobe InDesign and Illustrator. In this session you will learn insider secrets to presenting compliant infographics without turning your figure into a carnival of textured fills. We will work through actual examples of bar charts, line graphs, pie charts, org charts, complex infographics, Yes/No logic diagrams and more. We will discuss when to use fills, patterns, labels, legends and paragraph text to provide a rich experience that goes beyond simple alt-text. You will walk away with a better understanding and game plan for tackling your next infographic.

Participants will:

  • Understand what makes an accessible infographic
  • Learn best practices for creating a richer AT experience
  • Learn advanced techniques for charts, graphs, and infographics
  • Learn how to test your infographic with an AT

Biography

Dax Castro, Certified PDF Accessibility Trainer

Dax Castro is an award-winning, Adobe Certified PDF Trainer working in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) Industry for nearly two decades. In addition to being a Certified Digital Accessibility Specialist, Dax is a member of the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) and an Adobe Community Professional (ACP) where he utilizes his extensive real-world experience in problem-solving to provide accessibility solutions for Acrobat and InDesign users who are simply at their wits end. Always energetic, Dax's passion is contagious and his easy-to-understand approach will help to demystify the world of document accessibility.

Presenters

  • Dax Castro



2:10 PM - 5:10 PM PST


Accessible E-learning: Evaluate, Develop, Design, and Training Faculty

Half-Day Workshop

Summary

This workshop will provide participants with the skills to evaluate the accessibility of instructional materials and platforms, such as e-learning portals, Open Educational Resources, and instructor-created materials. Presenters will discuss the features to look for (or avoid) for e-learning portals. Accessibility testing of a wide variety of learning materials will be covered, along with decision-making of whether materials can be used, and what might need to be done if accessibility tests find issues with the materials. As more and more training and instruction includes video content, we’ll examine how to determine if a video is accessible as well.

Participants will:

  • Be able to conduct a basic accessibility evaluation of learning platforms
  • Participants will be able to conduct an accessibility evaluation of written content (web and documents)
  • Be able to conduct an accessibility evaluation of video content
  • Be able to provide a basic assessment of the quality of external accessibility training materials

Biographies

Kathryn Tipton, Program Manager

Kate Tipton is the Program Manager for the Universal Design Center (UDC) at California State University, Northridge (CSUN), leading campus efforts around the CSU's Accessible Technology Initiative. She has over 15 years of software development and management experience, with a focus on user experience development for web and mobile. CSUN’s Universal Design Center is responsible for most of the university’s accessibility training for faculty and staff.

Suzanne David, e-Learning Technology Manager

Suzanne David is the e-Learning Technology Manager at Tseng College, California State University, Northridge (CSUN). Suzanne's educational background includes a Bachelor's degree in psychology from UCLA and a Master's degree in Human Factors and Applied Experimental Psychology from CSUN. Suzanne's academic interests include human cognition and memory, user experience design, and the intersection between user characteristics and technology usability. She has almost 20 years of experience with designing and supporting distance and online instruction. In addition to managing instructional technology for the Distance Learning unit, Suzanne is an adjunct professor in CSUN’s master’s degree program in Assistive Technology Studies and Human Services.

Patrice Wheeler, Assistive Technology Specialist

Patrice Wheeler has been an Assistive Technology Specialist at the community college and university levels since 1998. Her background is in education with an emphasis in Special Ed. She has earned a CSUN ATACP (Assistive Technology Applications Certificate Program) and is a RESNA ATP (Assistive Technology Professional). Patrice has experience in training students, faculty & staff on assistive technology, creating accessible formats for academic materials, and collaborating with campus IT for campus-wide access to assistive technology, and is always on the lookout for new and emerging technology or strategies that promote student success both academically and professionally.

Presenters

  • Kathryn Tipton, California State University, Northridge (CSUN)
  • Patrice Wheeler, California State University, Northridge (CSUN)
  • Suzanne David, California State University, Northridge (CSUN)