My First trip to CSUN (CSUN 2016)

Any accessibility consultant will have a wish to visit CSUN at least once in a life time. For a consultant from countries like India it’s not so easy unless organizations support or your from that multi billionaire family. Being in Deque Systems IncExternal Website a 100% accessibility focus company I got an opportunity to visit CSUN 2016.

Rakesh Paladugula with Stevie Wonder  at CSUN 2016 exibit hall

Deciding not to attend pre-conference workshops we have reached Sandiago by evening of 21st March. On Tuesday evening 5.30 we have attended the keynote address. This year’s conference chair Dr. Caren Sax delivered the opening speech with a welcome to the attendees’. CSUN 2016 keynote speaker Christopher P. Lu, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor Addressed the gathering later.

Day 1 Wednesday 23rd March at CSUN 2016

The actual CSUN 2016 conference began on Wednesday. I have my time table decided for the day and headed over to the conference hall after a breakfast at Deque Systems ball room.

The first technical session I have attended for the day was Using Visual ARIA to Physically See and Learn How ARIA Works by Bryan Garaventa and Mike Schutte of SSB Bart followed by Inclusive Design Thinking Workshop by Bo Campbell of IBM, Section 508 Refresh: Understanding the New Requirements by Jonathan Avila of TPG in the morning. Post lunch I have attended Accessibility… A Mindset Not a Process presentation by Maureen Kraft of IBM, Creating Accessible Documents with Google Docs by Shawn Lauriat, Jen Devins, Astrid Weber of Google, Android Accessibility and TalkBack by Maya Ben Ari, Victor Tsaran of Google.

In the evening the real fun was at Deque Systems accessible karaoke! I cant forget that moments of meeting my accessibility Guru Jared Smith Director at Web AIM. I also had the privilege of meeting the co-founder of NV Access Michael Curran who is the man behind NVDA the world best free and open source screen reading software.

Rakesh Paladugula with Michael Curran  co-founder NV Access at CSUN 2016
Rakesh Paladugula with Jared Smith Director web AIM at CSUN 2016

I am tired to attend Heroes of Accessibility Awards party by Knowbility in the evening. It might be the one I would not have missed. Thanks for the recording of Heroes of Accessibility AwardsExternal Website The highlight of the awards I would have not missed watching live is the Lifetime Achievement Award for Mike Paciello. Read the list of awards hereExternal Website.

Day 2 Thursday 24th March at CSUN 2016

The sessions on the second day were started at 8:00 am. The sessions I liked are Interactive Maps, from Google to Bing, How Do You Make Them Accessible? By Gian Wild of AccessibleOZ, BBC-A11y – Automated Accessibility Tests by Emma Pratt Richens of BBC, Accessibility for User Experience Designers by Matthew Isner of Deque Systems, Digital Accessibility Professional Certification by Glenda and Paul B of Deque Systems.

I have stepped into the exhibit hall later in the noon along with my friends Dinesh Kaushal of Sapient India and Shrirang a PHD student.

Google party is where we have spent good time with our Deque colleagues and super conversations with Sujasree Kurapati, Reena Barathi, Raghava Perri, Tod , Steve Sawczyn and CB Averitt. How could I forget meeting Denis Boudreau, Dennis Lembree, Jatin Vaishnav and CB Averitt discussing few cool presentations at Tweetup. I have met few accessibility engineers from Google in the party. Meeting Jennison Mark Asuncion is what I should mention in specific.

Rakesh Paladugula with Jennison Mark Asuncion at CSUN 2016 Google party

Day 3 Friday 25th March at CSUN 2016

At 8: 00 am I started with the discussion “Towards Common Test Rules for Evaluating Conformance to WCAG 2” by the W3C team Shadi Abou-Zahra, Richard Schwerdtfeger, Jon Gunderson, Dylan Barrell, Katie Haritos-Shea and Wilco Fiers. Providing a Remarkable Experience with Native Mobile Components by Jatin Vaishnav of Deque Systems, Testing Mobile Content to WCAG 2.0 Guidelines by Susan Hewitt, Raghavendra Satish Peri of Deque systems.

Meeting Jon Gunderson to discuss my participation in W3c ARIA Working Group, taking a picture with Stevie Wonder and rounding up the exhibit hall with Sujasree, Jatin and Katie are the other highlights of the day. Later in the evening we the Deque colleagues had an official meeting with our CEO Preety Kumar.

Rakesh Paladugula with Jon Gunderson

Day 4 Saturday 26th March at CSUN 2016

Post CSUN 2016 sessions on 25th, an aXe Hackathon by Deque Systems and UXathon by TPG are held. Due to our schedule for return journey we could not participate any of these.

Whom did I miss meeting?

Andrew Kirkpatrick,, Marco Zehe, joedolson, Mike Paciello etc. Few more people I met and worth mentioning are Jonathan Avila,, LAINEY FEINGOLD, Kiran Kaja, Jim Allen along with my wonderful team at Deque Systems Preety Kumar, Glenda Syms, Paul Adam, Paul B, John Foliot, and many others.

A big Thanks to the Deque Systems management Sujasree Kurapati and Preety Kumar for giving me a wonderful opportunity to attend CSUN 2016.

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