I can hardly believe that it is that time of year already with only five more weeks remaining until the new year! If you are like me, you find yourself spending a fair amount of time this week not only being thankful but also reflecting on all that has happened this year. For example, I am very thankful to have had the opportunity to spend last week at my first accessibility conference, Accessing Higher Ground in Colorado. To top it all off, it was also my first solo conference presentation entitled, “Creating Faculty Buy-in for Accessibility” where I shared about my Action Research project that I completed during the Spring 2015 semester for my Master’s degree.
Prior to the conference, I had received an email showing that I would definitely have an audience but that only a portion of attendees completed the “pre-registration” session information so the number would likely be higher. Do you remember when you presented your first conference presentation? I will definitely remember my experience for many years to come. In all honesty I was more focused on providing enough information than on how many people might be attending, but was shocked when it was a full house.
My session was part of a virtual track, one of two online tracks available. I did not expect the room to be packed or to find out afterwards that there were at least 45 sites logged in for my session with at least 1+ person per site. The biggest surprise for me was how the video (posted below) I made to demonstrate the screenreader experience was received by an audience that unlike my original audience likely have at least some past exposure to assistive technology. Incorporating the use of a screenreader in to my first phase was very insightful for participants so I wanted to have a way to incorporate it into my presentation too and yes, the video is captioned but is meant to be watched without them on.
I wanted to take the time to first thank the CI faculty who were able to participate in my research; many of the insights and quotes I shared resonated with the audience, and secondly, I would like to thank the T&L Innovations team (yes, that means Berman too) for encouraging and supporting me from the very beginning. I am excited to be transitioning into a new position where I will have more time to dedicate to accessibility, faculty development, and related resources.
The image above was taken by Cindi Albright CC-BY-ND