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CSUN Technology and Persons with Disability Conference 2012

annual itpwd conference logoLainey Feingold will be presenting two times at the 27th Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference in San Diego in late February – early March, 2012. Commonly referred to as CSUN, the abbreviation for conference sponsor California State University Northridge, the conference is the largest conference of its kind on technology and people with disabilities.

AccessU Pre-Conference Presentation: Civil Rights and Legal Aspects of Web Accessibility

In 2012, for the first time, Austin-based Knowbility is bringing a mini-version of its annual John Slatin AccessU conference to CSUN. Knowbility’s AccessU at CSUN will be held on February 27th and 28th before the general CSUN sessions begin. Lainey will be speaking at the AccessU opening Plenary Session about the civil rights and legal aspects of web accessibility. Also speaking at the Plenary session will be Shawn Henry, who leads worldwide education and outreach activities promoting Web accessibility for people with disabilities at the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Visit Knowbility’s AccessU at CSUN web page.

CSUN Friday General Session Presentation: “Web Accessibility and the Role of the Law”

Lainey will be presenting during the general sessions this year with her long-time colleague Linda Dardarian, a partner in the Oakland, California civil rights firm Goldstein, Demchak, Baller, Borgen and Dardarian. Their session is titled “Web Accessibility: The Role of Law” and will take place on Friday morning, March 2 at 8:00 a.m. in Room Gregory AB. Visit the CSUN Conference page for the Feingold / Dardarian web accessibility session.

The Role of the Law session grew out of a discussion at the 2011 CSUN conference in which someone referred to the law as a “blunt instrument” and wondered whether or not the law should be seen as a method of “last resort” in efforts to advance the cause of web inclusivity.

This got us thinking about the importance of distinguishing between the civil rights laws that protect the rights of people with disabilities, and the way those laws are used:

  • What exactly are the laws that apply to web sites? (While the session will primarily focus on law in the United States, legal issues in other countries will be touched on.)
  • What legal strategies have been used to achieve greater accessibility of both commercial and public websites and what lessons can we learn from these cases?
  • Is the law a blunt instrument that can only be used to hit someone over the head and force them to make their website accessible? (hint: it can be, but we don’t think it has to be)
  • Can the law be used instead as a key to unlock doors so people with disabilities can talk to the very people responsible for making web sites accessible? (hint: that is the premise of Structured Negotiations)
  • Will the United States Justice Department ever finalize regulations that apply to commercial websites and does it even matter?

These are some of the questions we will explore during our CSUN session. To read more about our experience negotiating complex web accessibility settlements without litigation, please visit the Web Accessibility Settlement category of this website. Press releases issued about our web accessibility (web inclusivity) settlements with large commercial websites such as Bank of America and Major League Baseball can be found in the Web Accessibility Press Release category.

We look forward to participating in CSUN with you. Visit the CSUN Conference Homepage.


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