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Descriptathon 9 (Oct. 18-20, 2022)
October 18, 2022 through October 20, 2022
A Descriptathon is a hackathon-like collaborative workshop and competition designed to create more-inclusive public places. This one – Descriptathon 9 – will be offered Oct. 18-20, 2022, online – via www.unidescription.org – and through a connected Zoom call, with additional Zoom channels and conference-call lines also available for small-group work. The participants this time are mostly from U.S. National Park Service sites around the Midwest, Intermountain, and Pacific regions as well as the American Council of the Blind, plus special guests from the Aquarium of the Pacific, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Parks Canada, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Blinded Veterans Association, the Royal National Institute of Blind People, and the Canadian Council of the Blind. This Descriptathon happens in a walled garden, under standard research protocols, to protect the anonymity of the participants. Yet it also is a public research project, with its findings shared liberally. For participants, all of the connective details (such as the conference call numbers, and project details) can be found on your Descriptathon 9 Home Page link, including on your "To-Do" list within UniD. Through this sort of a "hackathon" process, the UniD research team has helped to make more than 150 U.S. National Park Service sites and other public places more accessible. Thank you for your participation!
First of all, thank you to every single person participating in Descriptathon 9! ... You are the Descriptathon. It happens because of you.
And thank you to the many people at the University of Hawaii, the U.S. National Park Service, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the American Council of the Blind, The Hawaii-Pacific Islands Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit, The University of Hawaii Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Blinded Veterans Association, the Royal National Institute of Blind People, the Canadian Council of the Blind, and Montana Banana for their supportive, kind, and in-kind services, without which this Descriptathon would not have been possible. We also really appreciate the U.S. National Park Service and its Midwest Region (especially Shawn Biessel and Holly Griesemer), its Intermountain Region (especially Michael Whiteman-Jones), and its Pacific Region (especially Amanda Schramm) for supporting this Descriptathon.
Thank you to Michele Hartley, Media Accessibility Coordinator for Harpers Ferry Center, the design hub of the National Park Service, for getting this project started in 2014 and for steadfastly supporting it through all of these years and nine Descriptathons to date. And for moderating most of this Descriptathon; she is the voice of the Descriptathon. Several other staff members at Harpers Ferry Center also have supported this project significantly and helped it along the way, including Brendan Bray, Melissa Cronyn, Pat Lovett, Betsy Ehrlich, and many others. UniD Research Assistants Beth Arnold, Daniel Bergin, Andreas Miguel, and Sajja Koirala (and Qiang Xu from Polytechnique Montreal) also contributed greatly to the organization of this event (and even are participating directly in the process).
Without web & mobile-app developer Joe Oppegaard of MontanaB.com, there also is no UniD project. Thank you, Joe! And our gratitude to MontanaB.com as a company for keeping us on target and handling all technical considerations.
Thank you to Executive Director Eric Bridges, President Dan Spoone, past-President Kim Charlson, and board member Jo Lynn Bailey-Page of ACB for their continued support of this project. And thank you to the dozens of ACB collaborators, sharing their experiences, wisdom, and energy.
Thank you to the core UniD team (including Co-PI Megan Conway) for their long-term devotion to the project.
Thank you to my faculty friends who joined us: Dr. Thomas Hurtut, Dr. Megan Conway, Dr. Dongping Zheng
Thank you to the returning Justices (16, or 1 per team): Susan Glass, Sheila Young, Renee Arrington-Johnson, Shirley Manning, Louise Gillis, Jane Manley, Sheila Strong, Debee Armstrong, Erika Wolf, Gary Schoelerman, Sudha Rajagopalan, Debbie Grubb, Samantha Rosa Leftwich, Jolie Mason, Robyn Hughes, and Pat Sheehan.
Thank you to the returning volunteers: Christine Lowe, Elizabeth Kerwin-Nisbet, Tera Lynn Gray, Jim Kennedy, Laura Congleton, Brian Thompson, Amiee Ginnever, Ed Marfut, Nichole Tramel, Toni Dufficy, Kate Kunkel-Patterson, Caiti Campbell, Tom Downs, Jennifer Heroux, Karen Edwards, Anne Nicholson, and Talea Anderson.
Thank you to Tia Oppegaard for her continued behind-the-scenes volunteer contributions. She is the coconut artist but so much more!
Also, a special thank you to Adrienne Biddings, Policy Counsel at Google, for introducing the UniD Research Team to ACB, and bringing all of us together for this project, and to Kyndra LoCoco, Accessibility Partner and Community Programs Manager and Christopher Patnoe, Head of Accessibility Programs, at Google, for bringing UniD into its new phase with Google as a supporter of our efforts to “Audio Describe the World!”