Thursday, October 17th
- Orion TI-84 Plus TGC: Susan Osterhaus, TVI from the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, demonstrated the capabilities of the first fully accessible graphing calculator.
- STACS: Ellen Trief, a professor from Hunter College, discussed Standardized Tactile Augmentative Communication System (STACS)
- SAM: Symbols and Meanings: APH
Consultant Millie Smith talked about SAM: Symbols and Meanings, which she
helped create. She noted that young children are fascinated by the names of
things, constantly asking what something is named. SAM fulfills that need for
children who are blind and visually impaired.
- Kevin O'Connor, senior lecturer at Loyola University, and faculty at Columbia College in Chicago, spoke to the audience about water. Yes, water. He told us that water always beats rock—water rolls right over rocks and obstacles. He asked us who played the role of water in our lives. He candidly told us that we, the blindness community, acted as water for him and his family when their newborn son was diagnosed as being blind. A very powerful, moving keynote address left no one with dry eyes.
- The Virgil Zickel Award recognizes those creative individuals from outside APH whose
ideas result in the development of innovative products designed to improve the
quality of life for people who are blind and visually impaired. The first of
this year's Zickel Awards went to Texas Instruments for their help in
developing the Orion TI-84 Plus TGC. Accepting the award on behalf of Texas
Instruments was Peter Balyta, Executive Director of Worldwide Marketing. Read the press release on the award.
Friday, October 18
- The REAL (Resources with Enhanced Accessibility for Learning) Plan, which was initiated to ensure that students receive high-quality, accessible educational materials on time.
- Online assessments being developed by the PARCC and Smarter Balanced consortia.
- Future enhancements to the Braille Plus 18.
- 3-D printers and haptic devices, possibly the future of tactile graphics.
- Building on Patterns, Second Edition