Dr. John M. Slatin
John Slatin, PhD is the founding Director of the Accessibility Institute at the University of Texas at Austin. John, who is blind, has been involved with accessibility issues since 1985, when he received a grant to develop software for visually impaired students in the University's first computer-based writing class.
John received a Distinguished Service Award from the City of Austin's Mayor's Committee on People with Disabilities for his work on the advisory board of AIR Austin, an annual event in which teams of professional Web developers and nonprofit organizations compete to produce Web sites that are accessible to people with disabilities. He is Vice President of the Board of Directors of VSA Arts of Texas, a statewide organization that works with groups throughout Texas and the United States to make cultural events and facilities accessible to people with disabilities.
John chaired the University of Texas (UT) at Austin's Task Force on Accessible Electronic Information. The recommendations in the task force's 1999 report, "Information Anytime, Anywhere, for Anyone," are currently being implemented. John is a Director of UT Austin's Institute for Technology and Learning (ITAL) from 1996-2004, John worked to promote the development of pedagogically effective, aesthetically rich, intellectually exciting learning experiences that challenge all learners to the full extent of their abilities. The combination of visual appeal and accessibility in ITAL's "TX2K: The Texas 2000 Living Museum" earned first place for extraordinary Web design in Project EASI's 2000 Web Design Contest. Slatin launched the AccessFirst initiative, a comprehensive program of research, development, and outreach dedicated to excellence in accessible design, in November 2000 under the auspices of ITAL. The AccessFirst Design and Usability Studio opened in April 2001 and remains a cornerstone of the Accessibility Institute's research.
John currently chairs the Accessibility and Usability Domain committee of a statewide initiative to develop information architecture for electronic government services in Texas. As member of the Disabled Community, John works to help the growing number of people with limitations either physical or technological in the quest for information requiring accessibility from technology.
To meet these needs, John co-founded RampWEB to provide accessibility through innovative uses of technology in 2003. Since that time, RampWEB Teams have won awards for design and implementation of accessible web sites from the Austin Internet Rally (AIR Austin) and Knowbility.
John works extensively throughout the world to help senior management and other operational groups develop skills to meet evolving business demands for accessibility. John's most recent publications are "The Distance in Distance Learning" (2000), "The Art of ALT: Toward a More Accessible Web" (2001), and "The Imagination Gap: Making Web-based Instructional Resources Accessible to Students and Colleagues with Disabilities" (2002). Maximum Accessibility: Making Your Web Site More Usable for Everyone , considered a seminal work in the field of accessibility. He has also written several articles and training materials on accessibility, many of which may be viewed in the resources section.
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