The Ability in Tech Summit will address barriers and biases for people with different physical and mental abilities in tech – through workshops, panel discussions, solo talks, a technology showcase, a career fair and a safe space to learn and meaningfully connect. The summit is partnership between Computer Technologies Program (CTP) and Change Catalyst’s Tech Inclusion program.
As technology continues to affect every sector of business and innovation, there’s a growing concern for the lack of inclusion across the tech ecosystem: from the pipeline to the boardroom to Capitol Hill. While we work to correct through the increasing focus on diversity and inclusion, we often leave out populations of capable people in tech like those with visible and invisible disabilities.
When Melinda Epler and I organized the first Tech Inclusion conference in 2015, we did our best to make the conference as inclusive as possible for all people in tech – including individuals with visible and invisible disabilities. We worked to broaden our network so we could include speakers and volunteers with disabilities. The conference provided ASL interpreters for deaf participants and guides for blind participants.
While this was a significant first step, we learned post-conference that there is much more we can do. Melinda met with one of our speaker’s organizations Computer Technologies Program (CTP) which prepares people with disabilities for professional employment by providing technical training, coaching and associated services. Both Melinda and I also talked with several individuals with visible and invisible disabilities about how often they are left out of the diversity and inclusion tech conversation. One individual shared that while he works and tech, he doesn’t go to many tech events because he doesn’t feel welcome. We hope the Ability In Tech Summit changes that.
The Ability In Tech Summit is for everyone. We’ll focus on innovative technology for people with disabilities, data around disability in technology, how to support employees with hidden & visible disabilities, along with a career fair. We are looking for speakers and organizations to partner to help make a difference. Today we’re pleased to announce that registration and call for speakers is now open for the first Ability In Tech Summit, Career Fair & Technology Showcase.
Date: Saturday, May 21, 2016
Time: 8:30 AM
Location: ED ROBERTS CAMPUS, 3075 Adeline Street Berkeley, CA 94703
UPDATE: The Call for Speakers Application For Ability In Tech Summit is now closed