For more information:
- Francesca Cesa Bianchi
VP, Institutional Relations & Advocacy, G3ict
The opening plenary round table, featuring thought leaders from advocacy, industry, and startups, provides a comprehensive roadmap for participants to explore the many topics and sessions covering AI during the Summit, from AI applied to accessibility coding and testing to speech and image recognition, AI enablers for assistive technologies and the questions that organizations need to tackle to ensure that AI is used in ethical, non-discriminatory, and safe ways. Not to be missed in the context of the most impactful technological evolutions of the past decade!
Moderator: Mark Walker, Head of Marketing and Portfolio, AbilityNet
The European Accessibility Act (EAA) was adopted by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union in 2019 with the aim of making wide categories of products and services more accessible to persons with disabilities such as smartphones, ticketing machines, banking services, and e-books. EU Member States had to transpose the directive into their national laws by the 28th of June 2022, meaning that the EAA took effect at that point. Once entering into force in 2025, the EAA is expected to improve the lives of millions of Europeans with disabilities by ensuring that they can access and use a wide range of products and services, including those provided online. This session will discuss the likely impact of the EAA on global markets, how it may differ from the legal frameworks of other regions and how organizations providing products or services in Europe should prepare themselves for it.
Session Chair: Klaus Hoeckner, Managing Director, Austrian Association for the Blind and Low Vision
W3C defines web standards and focuses on accessibility through the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). This interactive session introduces W3C's accessibility vision and explores how we can all work together towards a more accessibility digital future. We will provide an update on Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.2 and other current technical and educational projects at W3C. We will present our developing strategic objectives and open questions. Then we will invite your input on several topics to help define priorities in areas that W3C is uniquely positioned to address. Join us to get updates, share your perspectives, and start practical steps for contributing and help shaping W3C WAI's accessibility work in 2024 and beyond.
Several technologies are converging to offer increasingly reliable navigation for Persons with Disabilities that offer new levels of independence indoors and outdoors. Leading edge innovators in the navigation field will share their latest advances and business models to support adoption, especially in the indoor arena.
Session Chair: Mike May, Navigation Technology Advisor, APH
Manual accessibility testing and automated testing are often considered independent techniques. Thinking about accessibility testing as two categories contributes to inefficiencies and creates sustainability roadblocks for organizations working to mature their processes around accessible digital properties.
In this session, we’ll examine the benefits of using manual and automated testing together on a single continuum of rules. When combined with accessibility testing best practices, teams and businesses will achieve consistency, efficiency and build a sustainable program.
Speaker: Mark Miller, Director of Sales, TPGi, A Vispero Company
On July 25, 2023, Senator Ed Markey and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo reintroduced the Communications, Video and Technology Accessibility (CVTA) Act of 2023. In this session, leading consumer advocates will discuss the major ways that this legislation builds upon the CVAA (its predecessor) to achieve equitable technology access. Learn how this bill proposes to improve closed captioning and audio description access to online and television programming, ensure the effective display of ASL when televised, enable access to video conferencing services, close gaps in 911 access, enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of telecommunications relay services for ASL users and people who are DeafBlind, and make certain that our federal accessibility laws keep pace with emerging technologies. After providing an overview of these and other essential elements of the CVTA, our panelists will open up the session in a Town Hall format during which you will be able to ask questions and share your thoughts about this landmark legislation. We hope you can join us for this informative and interactive session on what is sure to be the next legislative milestone for people with disabilities!
Session Chair: Karen Strauss, National Disability Advocate and Historian
The Honorable U.S. Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass) (video statement)
How can AI be leveraged to complement human coding and testing for accessibility? Does AI have the potential to improve accessibility outcomes? In this session we will examine the potential of AI tools such as GitHub Copilot and ChatGPT, in assisting developers to ensure accessibility is addressed in the product development stage.
Session Chair: Lisette Arocha, CPWA, Accessibility and Inclusive Design Senior Manager, Products & Technology, PwC
AI is increasingly embedded in multiple digital applications and services used by organizations to serve employees and customers. While generating great productivity gains, resources utilization and improved quality of services, those AI enabled applications can unwillingly infringe on people's rights to enjoy fair and equal treatment and affect their privacy and safety as users. This session will examine how organizations are implementing AI safeguards processes and how those are of particular significance for persons with disabilities.
Session Chair: Bill Curtis-Davidson, Co-Director, Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT)
An enterprise, whether it's a company, government department or agency, must ensure accessibility for various communications intended for their recipients. This session will examine all types of communications and show the attendees the best way these can be made available and fully usable to all people, regardless of their abilities. Crawford Technologies’ experience comes from 28 years of working with 50 of the Fortune 100 companies, many services organizations, government agencies, educational institutions, as well as many smaller companies. Our solutions are used for delivering over 20 billion communications every year to people all over the globe, which means we have seen and dealt with it all. Regardless of your budget, what are the best practices for communicating with everyone? We will answer this question. The objective is to achieve inclusivity, embracing everyone. Our company’s purpose is to make it easy for businesses/agencies to communicate with the people they deal with in the way that is best for one and all. This session will explore what this means in practice and how you can achieve it. To prove our point this session will be conducted with sign language interpretation and provided in 120 different language interpretations. If you prefer reading or listening in a language other than English, please bring your smartphone along with a headset or earbuds.
Presenter: Ernie Crawford, President and CEO, Crawford Technologies
This session will review speech recognition innovation applied to assistive technologies and inclusive digital interfaces. Industry leaders and advocates will share their perspective on their impact as well as their potential future applications including for media accessibility, simultaneous translation and captioning, and for digital interactions, home applications, education or in business environments.
Session Chair: AnnMarie Killian, CEO, TDIforAccess, Inc,
The 2023 M-Enabling Summit Innovation Sprint is a working group dedicated to solving barriers to workplace inclusion for individuals with cognitive disabilities/individuals who identify as neurodiverse. Topics include but are not limited to:
The goal of the working group is to develop a resource for dissemination that shall be composed of insights and solutions that provide support for individuals with cognitive disabilities/individuals who identify as neurodiverse in the workplace setting.
Innovation Sprint Co-Chairs:
For many types of assistive technologies, AI can help personalize solutions to meet the specific needs of users or apply data analytics and predictive models to anticipate their needs and suggest relevant solutions. For example, AI-powered prosthetic limbs can analyze data from sensors to adjust the device's behavior and provide better support to the user. In addition, AI powered Image recognition, visual information interpretation and speech recognition technologies can significantly improve user’s interactions with assistive solutions. This session will examine state-of-the-art implementations of AI for assistive solutions and hear from innovators, experts, and users the challenges and opportunities that come with those.
Session Chair: David Banes, DB Access and Inclusion; DATEurope Board Director
While compliance has historically driven the adoption of accessibility testing, marketing and DEI objectives require to complement it with usability testing to optimize users' experience and retention. This panel will examine, through case studies, the benefits for organizations of conducting an integrated approach and discuss usability research methodologies and services that organizations can adopt to enhance their results.
Session Chair: Larry Goldberg, Accessible Media and Technology Consultant
Making workplaces digitally accessible is an imperative for all organizations seeking to achieve DEI objectives. In this session, disability advocates and workplace accommodation experts will review the latest innovations that organizations can leverage to implement inclusive workplaces strategies.
Session Chair: Shilpi Kapoor, CEO, BarrierBreak
During this session, expert panel members will provide an overview of the vast array of solutions that AI-enabled signal processing, brain computer interfaces (BCIs) and Neuro-technologies can potentially bring to improve the quality of life of Persons with Disabilities. User testimonies and examples of existing applications will be shared as well as current research that may lead to potential breakthroughs in key areas such as BCI enabled communications for persons with aphasia or allowing control and sensory feedback for individuals with artificial limbs. Looking forward, the panel will discuss how the perspective and requirements of persons with disabilities may be best factored in regulatory approval processes and in addressing the complex ethical issues around invasive and non-invasive BCIs and the manipulation of user data.
Session Chair: Theresa Vaughan, Research Scientist, NCAN; G3ict/NeuroAbilities Program Advisory Council Chair
Technology leaders, international organizations, national and regional policy makers, and advocates are all calling to regulate AI, driven by an urgency to limit its risks. Yet, for many areas of society for which AI already brings tremendous benefits as seen at the recent UN Summit on "AI for Good", well intended regulations can also impede innovation. This session will examine expected benefits of AI regulations for persons with disabilities as well as specific promising areas for which regulations may create unintended barriers to innovation such as AI enabled assistive solutions, adaptive user interfaces, biometrics, voice applications or brain computer interfaces.
Session Chair: Brian Scarpelli, Senior Global Policy Counsel, ACT | The App Association
Accessibility isn't just a feature or a Center of Excellence —it's the essential thread seamlessly woven throughout the organizational fabric. Engage in a dialogue with industry trailblazers who hold strategic roles within their respective businesses. Gain insights from strategists who are reshaping internal landscapes for greater employment equity and uncover the wisdom of brand and social media pioneers who are bridging today’s digital divide for disabled consumers. This conversation serves as a gateway to comprehending how organizations can genuinely reconceptualize accessibility and disability inclusion as the integral "spider in the web."
Session Co-Chairs: Caroline Desrosiers, Founder and CEO, Scribely & Daniella Decker, Independent Consultant
Excused: Cat Noone, CEO, Stark
The multiplication and diversification of digital media platforms for entertainment and the availability of mainstream digital accessibility features and services have progressed significantly over the past few years. Entertainment industry participants and advocates for persons with disabilities will discuss the most notable progress accomplished from the perspective of persons with disabilities, remaining gaps, emerging technologies to watch, and how further progress may be accomplished from a technology, policy and implementation standpoint.
Session Chair: Christian Vogler, Ph.D., Director, Technology Access Program, Gallaudet University
50th Anniversary Celebration of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Introduction of Keynote Speaker by Maria Town, President and CEO, AAPD - American Association of People with Disabilities
Keynote will be followed by Q&As from the audience.
Mark your calendar!
2024 M-Enabling Summit: October 15-17.