Invitation to Boston Accessibility Conference 2017

Boston Accessibility Conference 2017


The Vision-Aid team is excited to announce details of the next major event on our  event horizon -  An amazing series of speakers and panels at a Conference co-sponsored by Vision-Aid : The Boston Accessibility Conference on Saturday October 7th at the IBM Innovation Center in Cambridge, MA. This is a FREE event, open to the public. Conference and registration information can be found below. Registration opens end-August.


2017 conference flyer




Chieko Asakawa  Keynote by Chieko Asakawa: Cognitive Assistant for the Blind


Keynote Abstract:  Computers have been changing the lives of blind people. Synthesized voice helped them access online services. Now, new cognitive computing technologies are reaching the point where computers can help in sensing, recognizing, and understanding real-world for people without vision. In this talk, Chieko will talk about her research activities related to Information Accessibility that she has been working with, at IBM Research. Then, after introducing the concept of Cognitive Assistant for the Blind, she will show us a large-scale indoor navigation system, NavCog which her team has developed, as the first step toward the goal. Lastly, computer vision-based technologies that should help improve the quality of lives for the blind will be covered by showing a variety of demos and videos.



Chieko's Bio: Chieko Asakawa has been instrumental in furthering accessibility research and development for three decades. By challenging traditional thinking on how the visually impaired use technology, she has explored solutions to improve Web accessibility and usability for the visually impaired and others with special needs. Series of pioneering technologies generated under Chieko's leadership significantly contributed in advancing information accessibility, including groundbreaking work in digital Braille and voice Web browser. Today, Chieko is focusing on advancing cognitive assistant research to help the blind regain information by augmenting missing or weakened abilities in the real world. She is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), and IBM Academy of Technology. She was inducted into the Women in Technology International (WITI) Hall of Fame in 2003. Chieko was appointed to IBM Fellow in 2009, IBM's most prestigious technical honor. In 2013, the government of Japan awarded the Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon to her. She has been also serving as an IBM Distinguished Service Professor at Carnegie Mellon University since 2014.



Chieko’s TED Talk: Click here to see Chieko's  amazingTED talk



Other panels and talks at  the 2017 Boston Accessibility Conference


Boston Accessibility Conference  Logo


Panel : Innovations in Affordable Assistive Technology (Sponsored by Vision-Aid)

This panel will explore innovations in affordable assistive technology and devices for individuals with blindness or low vision. While there have been many advances in the field of assistive technology and devices,  the high cost of such  innovations keeps many of them outside the reach of the visually impaired.  The focus of this panel will be to highlight innovations which are affordable, and can be scaled up to reach large numbers with low cost. 



Panel : Empowering and Employing the Visually Impaired (Sponsored by Vision-Aid)

This panel will focus on how to prepare the visually impaired to get relevant skills and good employment opportunities in today’s economy. Topics will include experiences in teaching programming to the visually impaired; the use of MOOC’s to provide high quality, relevant skills and connecting qualified students with employers. 



Talk: Vision-Aid and HPHC Count-Us-In Program Update


Harvard Pilgrim HealthCare Logo

Vision-Aid will  present an update about work being undertaken by Vision-Aid and HPHC to make a positive difference in the life of the visually impaired. Vision-Aid gratefully acknowledges the generous support of  Harvard Pilgrim HealthCare 's Count Us In Community Partnership, which makes such programs  possible!



There will be MANY other amazing speakers and panels at the event. Don't miss it!


2017 Conference Web site and Registration -  please click here!  Registration will open in end-August. 


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