Associate Jameson J. Dempsey moderated a panel at DC Legal Hackers’ June event discussing the accessibility (or “a11y”) of communications and web-based technologies. The event was a follow-up to the group’s successful #a11yhack hackathon in March, which Mr. Dempsey co-organized with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Data.gov, the Department of Education, and 18F.
During the event, Mr. Dempsey led a discussion with accessibility experts from the Federal Communications Commission, Social Security Administration, National Federation of the Blind, and Towson University about what it means to make technology “accessible by design.” Panelists discussed core technological and policy challenges, accessibility “blunders” in the public and private sector, and best practices for established companies and startups to ensure that modern communications technologies and online resources are accessible to all.
The event also included a demo from Sai Prasad of Intel, who has been working with a team of technologists to develop Professor Stephen Hawking’s new, open-source communications system. As Intel explains, this system “has the potential to become the backbone of a modern, customizable system other researchers and technologists can use to benefit those who have motor neuron diseases (MND) and quadriplegia.”
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