St. Edward’s University Hosts Accessible IT Leader, Knowbility Inc for 12th Annual AccessU Conference

Local nonprofit expands national reach with annual training summit on May 12th through May 14th 2014 at St Edward’s University. Web accessibility experts have been invited from around the world to come to Austin to teach accessible design techniques to website and web application designers, developers, and administrators.

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Access to communications technology is no longer an issue only for government agencies. As the courts expand the mandate for web accessibility, AccessU provides the tools to ensure equal access for all.

Austin, TX (PRWEB) May 08, 2014

Knowbility, Inc., the Austin-based nonprofit and international leader in accessible information technology, will hold its annual training conference at St Edward’s University for the 12th straight year. Knowbility’s Executive Director, Sharron Rush, is one of the world’s leading experts on web accessibility and recipient of the Dewey Winburne Community Service Award from the SXSW Interactive Media Festival. She has invited web accessibility experts from around the world to come to Austin to teach accessible design techniques to website and web application designers, developers, and administrators.The John Slatin AccessU Accessibility Training Conference event will take place at the St Edward’s University South Congress campus on May 12th through May 14th 2014.

Since 2003, Knowbility has offered attendees the opportunity to learn accessible web design and development techniques from industry leaders like Glenda Sims of Deque Systems, Derek Featherstone of Simply Accessible, and co-authors Sarah Horton and Whitney Quesenbery whose book “A Web For Everyone” was published in March 2014 by Rosenfeld Media. Access to communications technology is no longer an issue only for government agencies. As the courts expand the mandate for web accessibility, AccessU provides the tools to ensure equal access for all. More than 200 people will attend the event to learn two aspects of the issue. First, attendees will learn more about their legal responsibility to provide equal access to technology and importantly they will also learn modern design, development, and management techniques that allow people with disabilities to access web-based information and interactions.

More than 100 classes will be offered in three tracks over the course of the 3-day conference. Sessions are offered in Design and Development; IT Administration and Management; and Usability. Among the special events planned at AccessU are a special crowd funding announcement as well as:

  •     May 12th, 7:45 am. Opening plenary by Shawn Henry, Chair of the W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative Education and Outreach Working Group who will provide speed-dating style coverage of current issues in web accessibility, what the W3C is working on, and how to get involved.
  •     May 12th, 12:30 pm Keynote talk from champion para-athlete Patricia Walsh who is also an accomplished computer engineer. Her experience, dedication and understanding of what it takes to succeed will help attendees chart their own accessibility journeys.
  •     May 12th, 6:00 pm Accessible Bicycle Pub-Crawler. Monday evening’s event promises to be a fully inclusive pub crawl with blind and sighted attendees and instructors jumping on the 16-seater pub crawler bikes to tour Austin.

AccessU 2012 w/ captions

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BACKGROUND- Knowbility, Inc.:
Austin’s Knowbility, Inc., http://www.knowbility.org, 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 has received numerous awards 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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