Over a quarter of sessions for the CSUN Assistive Technology Conference have now been canceled with more on the way, but organizers insist the event is still going on as planned and no refunds are being offered, according to some participants.
Major sponsors including Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Deque, and Capital One have all canceled their conference plans due to the spread of COVID-19, known informally as the Coronavirus. We've included an updated list below,though there are likely more that we are not aware of.
Los Angeles County issued a health emergency earlier today. The conference itself is hosted in Anaheim in Orange County, though many would be flying through the Los Angeles airport.
As we posted yesterday organizers have shared updates to the official conference page with guidelines for attendees including a no handshake policy and stressing the importance of social distancing. Flight waivers may be available depending on your airline, especially for international flights.
Thanks to @chiefkikio on Twitter for helping to curate this list.
@mattmay: Dear #CSUNATC20 folx:
Is your trip and/or talk canceled? Mine too! WE HAVE SO MUCH IN COMMON but anyway
I'm looking at curating a virtual conference in the next few weeks for speakers who want to give their canceled talk (or something newer).
DM if you want to talk, or assist.
Deque is foregoing the conference, canceling its reception and booth presence, and hosting its sessions on Zoom.
Deque to shift its CSUN 2020 presence to virtual
Google has posted a notice on their site.
Based on our assessment of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, the potential difficulties around travel, and in consideration of general public health and safety, we have decided not to attend the CSUN Assistive Technology Conference in Anaheim this year. We did not come to this decision lightly, as we spend most of the year preparing for CSUN and looking forward to the amazing experience the conference provides. Our team will miss being in Anaheim with everyone and engaging with accessibility community members, partners, and friends. Lastly, we are exploring other ways to connect and, if possible, we will follow up with additional details on this site shortly.
@jennylayfluffy: Folks, we ve made the difficult decision to withdraw from #CSUNATC20 #accessibility conference next week in Anaheim due to evolving nature of COVID-19. Working on how best to share the content with you all - more to come. In meantime, thank you for hard work and partnership.
@verizonmedia: The Accessibility Team here at Verizon Media has decided not to attend #CSUNATC20 due to ongoing public health concerns.
@MargauxJoffe: .@verizonmedia Accessibility team has made the difficult decision to withdraw from #CSUNATC20 this year to protect the health and safety of our employees and community. We welcome the opportunity to present and attend virtually if that becomes an option. @CSUNCOD #a11y
@accessibilityoz: For those of you looking forward to our clip-on koalas & chocolates at this year's CSUN, we're sorry to say that our team will not be attending due to growing concerns over COVID-19. To those attending & exhibiting, have a great conference! #CSUNATC20
@sogami: #hp will not be participating in #csunatc20 #accessibility conference next week. We look forward to attending next year.
All sponsor sessions have been canceled.
@TetraLogical: After considering all the factors we've decided not to attend #CSUNATC20 next week. We're sad we'll miss the opportunity to meet old and new friends, but believe it's the right decision at this time.
@teachaccess: We have decided not to attend #CSUNATC20 this year due to ongoing health concerns stemming from Coronavirus. We are looking into other ways to share our 2020 Teach Access update in the future. Stay tuned!
Several people have indicated that Amazon is not coming, and their sessions have been listed as canceled.
@mikeyil: Comcast's small team of attendees will not be attending this year, unfortunately.
@IBMAccess: Given these recent developments in LA County, we've made the difficult decision to not attend #CSUNATC20 We're looking at ways to virtually share the sessions we had scheduled. We'll connect with you all soon and post an update once we have more information.
@mhakkinen: @ETSresearch has decided we will not be traveling out to Anaheim and #CSUNATC20 . That said, we're all #a11y professionals and just because we physically can't be in Anaheim doesn't mean we can't also be creative and improvise virtual knowledge sharing solutions!!
@TechThomas: Unfortunately, due to concerns regarding COVID-19, the @Equal_Entry team will be unable to attend #CSUNATC20.
We are hoping to share our presentations with the community another time!
@terrillthompson: Our team from @doituw and University of Washington has decided not to attend #CSUNATC20. We're bummed.
@NVAccess: Due to withdrawal of organisations from #CSUNATC20, cancellation of meetings, LA's emergency declaration & overall COVID-19 concerns, NV Access has regrettably cancelled our attendance at CSUN. Like others, we are open to a virtual event. Full statement
Based on session cancellations and other information, it appears that the following additional companies or organizations are not attending: This list is certainly incomplete.
- Independence Science
Exhibitors Not Attending
The following exhibitors are not attending, according to the current list.
- Deque Systems, Inc.
- DO-IT **
- Educational Testing Service **
- Equidox by Onix
- Federal Communications Commission/MITRE
- HP Inc
- IPEVO Inc.
- Level Access, Inc.
- Next Innovation
- Overflow Biz, Inc.
- SightCare Technology CO., LTD.
- Sonocent Ltd
- The Bureau of Engraving & Printing
- U.S. Intelligence Community
** Still listed in the exhibitor directory, but has indicated they are not attending.
We are seeing reports from attendees that the organizers are not currently offering refunds, despite the numerous sponsor and session cancellations.
This is the latest tweet from the official conference Twitter account about the current situation.
Thank You for Your Concerns, Patience & Support.
Changes to the Presentation Schedule Will be Updated Later Today.
The Schedule/Addendum Will Only Reflect Sessions Not Being Presented.
More Updates Will Be Posted When Available.
We Will See You in Anaheim.
Here's the list of canceled/rescheduled sessions. As of this post, 118 sessions have been listed as canceled, or about a quarter of the total. Additional sponsor sessions from Deque and others are expected to be added to the list.
We will post updates as we receive more information.Category: News
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J.J. Meddaugh is an experienced technology writer and computer enthusiast. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a major in telecommunications management and a minor in business. When not writing for Blind Bargains, he enjoys travel, playing the keyboard, and meeting new people.