Twenty Five Years From Today

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This post is about a workshop that Lainey Feingold will be co-leading at a conference at the end of March. The other person leading the workshop is Peter Blank, a law professor and expert in the legal rights of people with cognitive disabilities. The conference is called the tenBroek Disability Law Conference and is sponsored by the National Federation of the Blind. The theme of the conference is The ADA at Fifty: The Future of Disability Law and the Right to Live in the World. The workshop will focus on the year 2040. What will technology look like twenty-five years from now? What will people be able to do on line or on their mobile phones? And what will be invented that we can’t even imagine?  Will people with disabilities be included in tomorrow’s technology?  What can we do today to make sure everyone can use the Internet, the web, and whatever tomorrow might bring. Back to the top of this post.

finger pointing to digital screen of the future

What will the digital world be like in 2040? Will we even use the term ‘digital?’ Just what will be tomorrow’s wearables, and how many “things” will be part of the web of things (assuming there is a web)? What about accessibility? Will accessibility and usability be integrated into the new reality? Will the civil rights of people with disabilities for full inclusion in all things digital be widely recognized? Or will advocates, champions and disability rights lawyers still be fighting the good fight twenty five years from now? And what about laws and regulations? Can they keep up with the pace of change? Or do we need another model to ensure that people with disabilities are not left out of the future?

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On March 27th I’ll be co-facilitating a workshop at the 2015 Jacobus tenBroek Disability Law Symposium that will explore these very questions. My co-facilitator is Syracuse University professor Peter Blanck, who recently wrote eQuality:The Struggle for Web Accessibility by Persons with Cognitive Disabilities. Together with our audience we will be riffing off the title that the tenBroek organizers chose for our session:

Integrating the Internet: Now and in Twenty-Five Years tenBroek Symposium Workshop

The theme of the two-day symposium, sponsored by the National Federation of the Blind, is “The ADA at Fifty: The Future of Disability Law and the Right to Live in the World.” If you’re in Baltimore for the tenBroek Symposium, I hope you’ll join our conversation on Friday, March 27 at 10:30. In advance of the conference, I’d love to hear your thoughts on 2040. What will the digital future look like? And how can we answer the question most pressing to me: What can we do today to ensure an integrated digital world tomorrow?

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