5 good news stories from CSUN 2012

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Wednesday, 7 March 2012 12:47pm

Dr Scott Hollier, Project Manager at Media Access Australia, has recently returned from the CSUN 27th Annual international Technology & Persons With Disabilities conference held in San Diego, California. Here are five things that Scott is excited about.

1. Change comes from letting people know about accessibility issues

A key theme running through talks on web accessibility, disability-related employment initiatives, education services and social media resources is that an organisation that has technology-related accessibility issues is likely to try and address them if enough people let them know there’s a problem. Many of the talks focused on providing information on how to raise accessibility issues with organisations, and in turn get accessibility issues addressed.

2. Web accessibility information enters mainstream ICT

While disability-specific events are important, it was widely discussed that accessibility presentations, seminars and workshops should be hosted at mainstream developer events. Many examples were provided where simply getting a 10-minute accessibility spot in a mainstream ICT conference has led to increased awareness and a rapid growth in accessibility discussions at the same conference in following years.

3. Android accessibility: it’s evolving and it’s cheaper

Sessions that talked about Android accessibility were almost standing room only as people look for cheaper, accessible alternatives to the iPhone. The significant accessibility improvements to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) over earlier versions was a hot topic at the conference. As an Android phone can be up to six times cheaper than an iPhone, the affordability of an accessible smartphone becomes very exciting.

4. There’s a lot more going on in disability and technology than many people think

One of the  revelations at CSUN was the discovery that there are a lot of people and organisations doing a lot of important things in this area. From large companies like Google and Microsoft in their operating system releases, through to not-for-profits and tertiary institutions, there is a massive amount of work going on. Most importantly, a lot of it is being done in collaborative partnerships, and events like CSUN do a good job of bringing people and organisations together.

5. The future is looking bright

Announcements relating to new voice support for web browsers, clever real-time captioning software and future web technologies are just a small sample of the things on the way which will help support the needs of people with disabilities. 

Additional information on all the CSUN 2012 events and presentations can be found on the CSUN conference website.

Dr Scott Hollier presented at CSUN on our Social media for people with a disability project.


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