Blind Ironman Athlete Kicks Off John Slatin AccessU - Patricia Walsh, Champion ParaOlympian to Keynote Accessibility Training Conference Organized By Knowbility, Inc.

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John Slatin AccessU conference organized by Knowbility, Inc. to be held on May 12-14 in Austin, TX offers comprehensive accessible design training by leading experts from around the globe to promote universal access to the web including for people who have disabilities

Accessibility - Train to Win! Advances in legislation, in technology, in civil rights awareness, and in the need for professional expertise mean that we must all continue to learn and grow the skills that keep the Open Web open to all.

Blind world champion triathlete and award-winning software engineer Patricia Walsh will be keynote speaker at the May 12-14 John Slatin AccessU accessible web design conference in Austin, Texas. Former Microsoft engineer and founder of Blind Ambition Walsh, who won a bronze in the 2011 Beijing Short Course World Championship, will kick off the three day web design conference with special emphasis on breaking barriers for people with disabilities. Other internationally known authorities on accessible design and development will be featured as well, like Simply Accessible’s Derek Featherstone and User Experience guru, Whitney Quesenbery, author of Storytelling for User Experience and Global UX: Design and research in a connected world.

Early registration with discounts is now open at John Slatin AccessU offers more than 50 practical accessible design trainings by leading experts from around the globe to promote universal access to the web, including for people who are blind, low vision, deaf or hearing impaired, have mobility impairments and other kinds of disabilities. The conference is the creation of Austin, Texas-based nonprofit Knowbility, Inc., with sponsorship and support from St. Edwards University, Deque Systems and other leading tech companies.

BACKGROUND- Knowbility, Inc.:
Austin’s Knowbility, Inc.,, is a 15-year-old, international leader in accessible IT for people with disabilities - blind, visually impaired, deaf, mobility impaired and other disabilities. Co-Founder Sharron Rush, serves as Co-Chair of the World Wide Web Consortium’s WAI Education and Outreach Working Group. Knowbility’s team of experts is internationally recognized for its role in creating the worldwide standard for web accessibility. Since the first Air competition in 1998, Knowbility has provided accessible web training to hundreds of corporations, government agencies and community-based organizations throughout the nation. Knowbility’s accessibility testing and consulting team has guided and the creation of more than 1,000 accessible web sites making information accessible to the 55 million Americans with disabilities. ATSTAR, Knowbility’s professional educational initiative for assistive technology in the classroom, currently serves thousands of special education students, their teachers and parents in four states. Our AccessWorks program employs people with disabilities as document remediation specialists, user experience testers and Quality Assurance specialists.

Knowbility has received numerous awards and national recognition for excellence in services to people with disabilities, including recognition by the Clinton White House and the US Department of Labor for excellence in employment practices for people with disabilities. Sharron Rush has been invited twice to the West Wing to confer with Kareem Dale, President Obama’s Special Advisor on Disability Issues. In 2000 she was named Community Tech Champion by the Congressional Black Caucus. Under her leadership Knowbility received a Peter F. Drucker Foundation award for Innovation in the service of people with disabilities. Ms. Rush is a ComputerWorld Laureate and an advisor to the SXSW Interactive Media Conference. In 2001, she was named one of the Top 25 Women of the Web. In addition, Ms. Rush was instrumental in developing the ATSTAR online teachers’ resource project in collaboration with the Austin Independent School District Special Education Department. In 2002, she received the Dewey Winburne Award for Community Service through Interactive Media. Ms. Rush has a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Texas at Austin. She is co-author, with Dr. John Slatin, of Maximum Accessibility a definitive web accessibility resource.

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Ozlem Diker
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