Yesterday, I set out on what promises to be a very memorable trip, called Road to CSUN. I’m traveling with Roger, who is my driver, videographer and friend. He and I met up with Daniel Hubbell and Gary Moulton from the Microsoft Accessibility Team. We will be traveling for nine days, and will ultimately end up at the CSUN Conference in San Diego, CA. We will be traveling 1500 miles through three states, to both observe accessibility in action and to spread the message of equal access for all. We are trying to raise awareness about accessibility and the power of social networking. We are not promoting a new product, but we may have some information to share when we reach CSUN, so please stay tuned for the latest news.
Some of the key points I am attempting to make are that accessibility and social networking are not new, nor are they difficult. They are things that anyone can do. By incorporating social networking into my travels, I hope to expand the interactivity of the whole experience, and to encourage others to do the same. In that vein, I have been using a wonderful accessible tool, the Hotels.com App. It uses my current location to provide information about nearby hotel deals, sometimes as much as 30, 40, or 50% off!
My aim is to post at the end of each day. However, that may not always happen. By the time we wrap up our day, it is quite late on the East Coast. I will post as soon as I can. I am tweeting regularly, so follow me on Twitter, or search for the #Road2CSUN hashtag for up-to-the-minute news. I am having some difficulty with my mobile internet connection, which should be resolved by tomorrow. In the meantime, please feel free to visit our event or join us in SAMNet Tech Chat. Other Serotek staff will be in and out of the room, and I will be there when I can. I do not feel we have any video to post from the first leg of the journey that is particularly unique, so I encourage you to check out the video being produced by the Microsoft Accessibility Blog team.
The weather so far has been wet, cold, and rainy, and I am fighting hard not to catch a cold that is doing its best to catch me. However, the chilly climate has been no match for the warm receptions we received at the facilities for seniors we visited on our first day of travel.
Yesterday, we left the Microsoft Campus around 9:30 a.m., and made our first stop at SeniorNet in Bellevue, WA, not far from the Microsoft campus. This organization provides peer-to-peer education in computer literacy and access to older adults.
Later, we visited the Tacoma Lutheran Retirement Community. They are very much at the forefront of technology and are building a model home using the Aging in Place concept which implements various adaptive and monitoring technologies to help seniors live as independently as possible in their own homes, for as long as possible. They are also incorporating Microsoft’s Kinect in their physical therapy program, with very positive results. While there, I met a lovely fifteen-year-old girl who was in a serious accident this past December. She is getting therapy, and is progressing. I ask that you remember her and her family, as well as those who are working with her in your prayers.
It is difficult to describe in a single post all the impressions of this first day. Microsoft is presenting only on accessibility in Windows 7 at the moment. However, I did see the form factor for a Samsung tablet running Windows 8, and I think we will be quite happy with the overall accessibility in the forthcoming OS.
I hope you will continue to follow me as we travel on the Road to CSUN.