Assistive Technology Training Conference : Pittsburgh Hosts The Nation's Largest Assistive Technology Training Conference
The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) has joined with the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER) to hold 2001: A Technology Odyssey, the nation's largest training conference in assistive technology for people who are blind or visually impaired, on August 3-5, at the Westin Convention Center Hotel in Pittsburgh, PA. This meeting will explore the future of access technology through lectures, presentations, and hands-on training using the newest access software and devices. "Assistive technology" refers to any device or system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.
"There is a critical shortage of professionals who are qualified to provide specialized computer skills training to blind and visually impaired people, which significantly affects our viability in today's job market," said AFB president and CEO Carl R. Augusto. "Thus the collaboration of AFB and AERóthe organization of professionals who work in all phases of education and rehabilitation of blind and visually impaired children and adultsówill make a large contribution in eliminating that deficiency."
More than 400 attendees are expected to divide their time over these three days between 26 hands-on computer workshops, 36 one-hour manufacturer demonstrations of the latest assistive technology, and 43 paper presentations on assistive technology training techniques, research, and product development for people who are blind or visually impaired.
Featured speakers are Richard Chandler, chairman and president of Freedom Scientific, Inc., who will speak about "The Future of Access Technology: An Industry in Transition," and John Williams, assistive technology columnist for BusinessWeek Online--for which AFB honored McGraw Hill with a Helen Keller Achievement Award--who will discuss "Marketing Assistive Technology Products to the Private Sector."
De Witt & Associates, Consultants on Accessibility, a firm headquartered in Midland Park, NJ, whose mission is to break down barriers faced by individuals with disabilities, has donated its expertise by providing the design, curriculum, and instructors for the hands-on computer workshops including the set up and installation of the assistive technology and applications on the computers to be used at the conference.
2001: A Technology Odyssey has also benefitted from the generosity of Compaq--leading global provider of technology and solutions that is changing the landscape of enterprise computing--which has loaned twenty computers to the conference to create a practice room where people can try what they have learned during the conference.
As part of its National Technology Program, the American Foundation for the Blind will have six high school interns at 2001: A Technology Odyssey. Funded by the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation (MEAF), the students undergo an intensive summer-long internship to introduce them to careers in science and technology. The interns will participate in product evaluations which will be published in AccessWorld: Technology for Consumers With Visual Impairments, a comprehensive resource of the latest information on assistive technology and visual impairment produced by AFB Press, AFB's publishing arm.
A list of assistive technology companies to be represented at 2001: A Technology Odyssey follows.
The American Foundation for the Blind--the organization to which Helen Keller devoted over 40 years of her life--is a national nonprofit whose mission is to eliminate the inequities faced by the ten million Americans who are blind or visually impaired. Headquartered in New York City, AFB maintains offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, and San Francisco, and a governmental relations office in Washington, DC.
Assistive technology companies to be represented at 2001: A Technology Odyssey:
|January 17, 2001||© Yenra ®|