Saturday, February 23, 2008

Accessing Second Life: Universal Design in a Virtual World

The SL Accessibility Center, Healthinfo Island, and Virtual Ability, Inc. are proud to present a panel discussion on the topic of universal design. Please join us for this event, which will take place on February 28, 2008, at 9:00 a.m. SLT (Pacific time) on Healthinfo Island ( Contact Gentle Heron or Carolina Keats inworld for more information.

With 35 years in education and rehabilitation services, Jondan Lundquist often found himself devising home made accessibility solutions for his students. Returning to studies in biomechanical engineering and later, a doctorate in education, Lundquist now works as a consultant in assistive technology in the Western United States. Jondan's interest in Second Life is in accessibility solutions for residents who have disabilities or impairments, in order that they may have the best possible in-world experience. Whether in the appearance of a building, an interface adaptation, or addressing any other particular need or desire of a resident, he hopes to use his expertise to apply principles of Universal Design whenever possible.

Atsuko Watanabe spends her Second Life redesigning and rebuilding some of the structures on Simon Walsh's Second Ability sim. Watanabe is a degreed engineer who has worked on accessible transportation engineering projects for many years, including contributing roles for major regulation and design criteria documentation for subway, bus, and light rail systems, recreational, and prison system. Atsuko has been a manual wheelchair user for over 30 years. Watanabe will discuss her experiences with accessibility issues in SL, as well as how access and acceptance of people with disabilities in SL is a reflection of attitudes in RL.

Watch this blog for an event transcript as well as pictures!

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