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NCTI to Showcase Social Media, Video Games at Disability Conference

November 9 2009 | by


At the upcoming 2009 NCTI Technology Innovators Conference, it’s no surprise that the agenda hinges on new and emerging technology trends. The National Center for Technology Innovation (NCTI), which hosts the conference each year, was smart to include the much-anticipated topic of social media, and those attending will hear from experts such as Steve Hargadon, founder of the Classroom 2.0 social network, and Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project, a nonprofit think tank hat studies the social impact of the Internet.

The conference will be held at The Madison Hotel in Washington, D.C. Nov. 16-17, and the first day is packed with panels. After a lunch keynote by Kareem Dale, President Obama’s Special Assistant on Disability Policy — the highest ranked spot ever created by a President on disability issues — guests will have to make a tough choice about which breakout sessions to attend.

Among the offerings, Alan Brightman, one of the pioneers of Apple Computer’s assistive technology group and now the senior policy director of special communities for Yahoo!, will moderate “The Net Generation, where a panel of social entrepreneurs and educational innovators will discuss new solutions powered by technology.

Another interesting session takes a look at the future of the assistive technology marketplace. Attendees will hear from Alan Gershenfeld, co-founder and managing partner of venture capital fund E-Line Ventures. Gershenfeld’s fund focuses on helping individuals, small businesses, and disenfranchised communities through digital media and on-demand business services. He’ll join Cheryl Volkman, co-founder and former CEO of assistive technology e-commerce site AbleNet, Inc., among other speakers.

If you love video games, then you won’t want to miss “Games for Therapy for Students with Disabilities,” led by Mark Barlet, editor-in-chief of, a website that ranks and reviews video games for accessibility. Panelists will discuss games for students on the autism spectrum, which is the fastest growing category of U.S. special education.

NCTI will also host its Tech Expo on-site that’s free and open to the public from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. Visitors can experience hands-on demonstrations of innovative learning and assistive technology products and have the opportunity to network with the developers and researchers.

NCTI’s conference website has information about registration and the tech expo. You can also follow @NCTI2 live on Twitter. The twitter feed is #NCTI2009

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