A global, virtual event focused on how rapid advances in AI-related technologies will alter the future of accessibility and assistive technologies
Sponsored by Verizon Media and Live-streamed on TechCrunch, December 2-3, 2020
NEW YORK, Aug. 03, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, Sight Tech Global announced its first annual event, dedicated to rapidly advancing technologies and innovations for people who are blind or visually impaired. The first of its kind, virtual and global event will livestream on Verizon Media’s TechCrunch on December 2-3 and also be available live and on-demand on other platforms. Sight Tech Global will convene top technologists, human-computer interaction specialists, product designers, researchers, entrepreneurs and advocates to discuss the future of assistive technology as well as accessibility in general and how powerful emerging technologies like AI and AR will alter current-day approaches to navigation, human interaction, and access to information. Many of those experts and technologists will themselves be blind or visually impaired.
“It’s very exciting to draw on TechCrunch’s expertise in events production to assemble the world’s top experts on the topic of accessibility and rapidly advancing technologies like AI,” says Ned Desmond, Sight Tech Global’s founder and the former COO at TechCrunch. “Everyone working in this area believes we are on the cusp of a revolution in capabilities and at the same time there’s a huge amount of work to apply these emerging technologies in smart, inclusive and affordable ways.”
The Sight Tech Global website launched today and is open to the public. Sign up today to receive a free pass to the event, which will be 100% virtual. A $25 Pro Pass option will also be available that offers a more in-depth experience, including breakout sessions, Q&A with speakers, and networking. To sign up and learn more go to www.sighttechglobal.com
Initial sponsors for the event include Verizon Media, Waymo and TechCrunch. Sight Tech Global is also announcing three speakers on the agenda: Professor Amnon Shashua, SVP at Intel, Dr. Cecily Morrison, a principal researcher at Microsoft, and Jim Fruchterman, founder of Benetech.
Sight Global Tech is the initiative of the Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, a non-profit serving people with sight loss in Silicon Valley and the surrounding area. All proceeds from Sight Tech Global will go to the Vista Center. “Sight Tech Global is a natural initiative for Vista Center, given our location in Silicon Valley, which has been the source of so much technology to benefit people who are blind or visually impaired, ” says John Glass, the Vista Center board treasurer, who was born blind and worked for decades in sales and quality assurance roles at tech firms. “Our hope is that this event helps quicken the effort to bring the latest technologies to bear on accessibility.” This year marks the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which is a reminder to all technology and media companies of the work that remains to be done to make their products fully accessible.
Verizon Media’s support for the event underscores the company’s commitment to creating premium experiences for all of its users – including the 253 million people in the world who live with some type of visual impairment. “Sight Tech Global’s focus on the application of advanced technologies like AI for assuring full inclusion of people with disabilities in our society is one of the most important discussions we should have right now,” said Larry Goldberg, Verizon Media’s Head of Accessibility. Verizon Media is providing advice on available resources for assuring a fully accessible event.
Sight Tech Global is a virtual, global event founded in 2020 dedicated to exploring how advances in technologies like AI will produce better assistive technology and accessibility for people who are blind or visually impaired. The event is an initiative of the Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired
The Vista Center, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit serves thousands of youth, working adults and seniors, who are blind or visually impaired through evaluation, counseling, education and training in Silicon Valley and the surrounding area. Founded in 1936, Vista Center is committed to developing thought leadership through the establishment of Sight Tech Global.
Verizon Media, a division of Verizon Communications, Inc., houses a trusted media ecosystem of premium brands like Yahoo, TechCrunch and HuffPost to help people stay informed and entertained, communicate and transact, while creating new ways for advertisers and media partners to connect. From XR experiences to advertising and content technology, Verizon Media is an incubator of innovation and is revolutionizing the next generation of content creation in a 5G world.