DIAGRAM Out and About: March 2014 Update
Report from CSUN 2014
Submitted by Julie Noblitt
As I arrived in San Diego for CSUN 2014, I had one question on my mind: How was I possibly going to choose among all the amazing concurrent sessions on image and math accessibility? There was nothing to do but jump in with both feet! Here is a brief roundup of the sessions I got to attend:
- There was a packed house for DIAGRAM’s panel on Latest developments in math accessibility with Gerardo Capiel, David Tseng, Neil Soiffer, and Robert Wall Emerson. “Oohs and aahs” were audible as presenters demoed the latest and greatest in accessible math across many platforms.
- It was a full session (at 8am on Friday no less) for Emerging development in content accessibility with Betsy Beaumon, Elaine Ober, and George Kerscher, where there was a great discussion of where the accessibility “gaps” currently are in the content supply chain and how we might go about filling them.
- The audience got a chance to try out A template-guided system for improving quality of textbook descriptions (a.k.a. The Decision Tree) with Josh Miele, Yue-Ting Siu, Lucia Hasty, and Valerie Morash. We had fun creating our own “Mad Lib” style image description!
- Audience engagement was lively for Access to 2D and 3D graphics using vibrotactile feedback and sonification with Markku Hakkinen, Shrirang Sahasrabudhe, and Jukka Liimatainen as participants got to see actual prototypes.
- Robert Jaquiss brought several examples of 3D printed objects for the audience to check out for themselves during his presentation, New 3D graphics products from American Thermoform Corporation.
- Clara Van Gerven of the National Federation of the Blind was unexpectedly serenaded by an enormous brass brand outside the hotel window as she presented 3D Printing and 3D Creation for Tactile Graphics, giving us an excellent rundown on hardware, software, and file libraries for creating tactiles.
- Facebook presented Scaling Web Accessibility at Facebook. Notable was their “photo caption generator” tool for image accessibility. Their main message: accessibility should be taught in all computer science curricula as a basic part of good code for all products.
- Tripp Narup of Elsevier laid out an impressive plan for making all new Reed-Elsevier content (books and journals) accessible by 2015 in his talk, Accessibility Challenges for Large Publishers. The convergence of customer demand, legal requirements, and technological advancements in electronic publishing are driving the move.
Office Hours with the DIAGRAM Center
Our second annual “Office Hours” for DIAGRAM Advisory Board and Working Group members was just as lively this year as it was last year, as community members got a chance to catch up and/or meet up in person for the first time. Judging from the full room and energetic conversation, I think it’s safe to say that we will hold this event again next year at CSUN 2015. Many thanks to everyone for coming!
Highlights from the Exhibit Floor
Notable to me this year was the interest in 3D printing for accessibility, and the American Thermoform Corporation did not disappoint on their live demos from the exhibit floor. And, nothing livens up a conference like the surprise appearance of an international superstar. In case you missed this, here is a fun clip from the local San Diego news about Stevie Wonder having shown up at CSUN – the loop they show the most frequently in the background? Our own Mark Hakkinen chatting it up with Mr. Wonder.
More Notes from CSUN 2014: The Great Big List
Thanks to George Kerscher for pointing us to The Great Big List from the 2014 CSUN International Technology & Persons with Disabilities Conference where you will find wonderful roundups of the highlights of the conference. Do you have insights, links, or comments to share about your experience at CSUN? Post them below!