Technologies for All

More than ever, people work, play, learn, research, receive health care, transact commerce, experience community participation and conduct personal communication through technology. For the nation’s 57 million people living with disabilities and for the billion plus worldwide, access to the virtual landscape is a critical means of civic engagement and economic opportunity. Without it, persons with disabilities lack the same prerogatives that their fellow citizens are free to enjoy. Today technological inclusion is a civil rights issue. How can we ensure that positive life-impacting technological tools are within reach of all? What practices and policies are needed to guarantee universal accessibility to interactive digital applications and assistive technologies?

Keynote speaker Kat Holmes ignites our discussions with the leadership qualities that she is noted for as the Director of Inclusive Design at Microsoft, where she has made product inclusivity not just a mandate, but also a welcome reality. Key to her strategy, as she will be breaking it down, is spearheading lively collaborations between tech industry professionals and people with disabilities. Be inspired by the humane attunement which Holmes and other featured speakers brought to the tech sector.

In all, this topic area features twelve sessions, whose special areas of focus range from the use of Artificial Intelligence for psychological and mental health treatment to the delivery of hands-on workshops that are guaranteed to equip participants with knowledge of how to be policy compliant in implementing digital accessibility procedures for users with disabilities.  If there is one takeaway from this topic, it is this: the new day of technology has dawned and brightened both bricks and mortar and virtual living spaces for people who experience disability.  

f you have questions or need further information, please contact the Pacific Rim team at prcall@hawaii.edu. For general information on the conference, please contact Charmaine Crockett at cccrocke@hawaii.edu, (808) 956-7539. For registration questions please contact the registration desk at prreg@hawaii.edu, phone (808) 956-8816, fax (808) 956-4437.