Virtual Ability, Inc.® presented the 9th Annual International Disability Rights Affirmation Conference (IDRAC) on October 10, 2020.
This is an annual professional conference held online, that is free and open to the public.
The conference took place in Second Life® at The Sojourner Auditorium on Virtual Ability Island.
The conference was Live Streamed on YouTube.
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disability Act, our theme this year was “Where have we been? Where are we headed? How should we get there?” We enjoyed lively discussions and information sharing among presenters and our very interested and interactive audience.
Below is an at-a-glance schedule of the presenters who shared their observations of the progress, benefits and challenges in disability rights in different parts of the world as applied to this year’s theme.
IDRAC 2020 Schedule of EventsAll times are in SLT/PDT.
|Saturday, October 10|
|7:00 AM||Manohar Swaminathan||Microsoft Research India||Ludic Design for Accessibility||Technology solutions for accessibility have long been created using a narrow utilitarian lens, especially in the global south due to multi-dimensional challenges and resource constraints. We propose an alternate design methodology called the Ludic Design for Accessibility (LDA) that puts play and playfulness at the center of all assistive technology design and use. We present some current efforts in the use of AR and VR technologies as arenas of play while imparting skills and abilities to children who are blind. We briefly touch upon the challenges of accessibility faced by the huge population of people with vision impairments in India.
(Disclaimer: This talk is on the research work being done at MSR India by the speaker and not about accessibility products of Microsoft, though there are many.)
|8:30 AM||Amelia Fiske||Technical University of Munich||Exploring Ethical and Social Implications of Embodied AI||Research in embodied artificial intelligence (AI) has increasing clinical relevance for therapeutic applications in mental health services. With innovations ranging from ‘virtual psychotherapists’ to social robots in dementia care and autism disorder, artificially intelligent virtual and robotic agents are increasingly taking on high-level therapeutic interventions that used to be offered exclusively by highly trained, skilled health professionals. This talk explored the ethical and social implications of embodied AI for mental health care, and argued that further research is needed to address these broader concerns in order to negotiate best research and medical practices in innovative mental health care. The talk concluded by indicating areas of future research and developing recommendations for high-priority areas in need of concrete ethical guidance.|
|9:15 AM||Margaret Nosek||Baylor College of Medicine||Memories of July 26, 1990||Dr. Nosek has worked closely with Justin Dart and others in the independent living movement. She was present at the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act on the White House Lawn thirty years ago. She shared her memories of that historic event.|
|10:00 AM||Barry Whaley||Southeast ADA Center||Who are the Heroes? A History of the Disability Rights Movement||In celebration of the thirtieth anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, this presentation traced where we have come from in the struggle for equality and full participation. Many do not know the histories of the heroes that came before us who, through their courage and conviction, fought for equality and laid the foundation of the four "pillars" of the ADA; full participation, independent living, equality of opportunity, and economic self-sufficiency. The disability rights movement has been one of constant struggle for basic human dignity. The ADA was the emancipation proclamation for people with disabilities. While the ADA can ensure facility access, effective communication and legal protections, It is only by our continued struggle and the leadership of a new generation that we will ensure the achievement of full equality.|
|11:30 AM||David Larson||Hamline School of Law, Dispute Resolution Institute||Access to Justice and Persons with Disabilities (PWD)|
|1:00 PM||Krista Watson||Equal Employment Opportunity Commission||Employment and the ADA||This was a fun and interactive session on the Americans With Disabilities Act! It included 30 Fun Facts and Practical Tips in honor of the 30th Anniversary of the ADA -- a look back prior to the ADA and where we are headed in the future. Via the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, we took a closer look at employment and the ADA.|
|2:30 PM||Rhoda Olkin||Alliant International University||Women with Disabilities: Experiences of Microaggressions||Only two previous studies have examined the experiences of microaggressions against people with disabilities. We conducted the third study, focusing on women with disabilities, collecting data on a survey and in focus groups. Results indicate a high level of both frequency and bothersomeness. We confirmed previous themes and added two that may be more pertinent to women than men with disabilities.|
|4:00 PM||Marco Gavério and Anahi Guedes de Mello||Universidade Federal - Brazil||Avatar- Crip Readings From the Global South|