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Descriptathon 8 (Oct. 26-28, 2021)
October 26, 2021 through October 28, 2021
Descriptathon 8 (Oct. 26-28, 2021)
A Descriptathon is a hackathon-like collaborative competition designed to create more-inclusive public places. This one – Descriptathon 8 – will be offered Oct. 26-28, 2021, 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 and the West, plus special guests from Parks Canada, National Parks UK (United Kingdom), National Parks Nigeria, The Kennedy Center, the Royal National Institute of Blind People, the Royal Society for Blind Children, 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 8 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 130 U.S. National Park Service sites more accessible. Thank you for your participation!
First of all, thank you to every single person participating in Descriptathon 8! ... 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, National Parks UK, Nigeria National Park Service, The Kennedy Center, 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 Royal Society for Blind Children, 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) 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 eight 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. NPS Public & Congressional Affairs Fellow Emily Gotesman and UniD Research Assistants Beth Arnold, Sajja Koirala, and Andreas Miguel also contributed greatly to the organization of this event (and even participated 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 project manager Chris Matthias for keeping us on target.
Francois Duclos brought Parks Canada into the Descriptathon realm for the first time in D6 (and returned Parks Canada to participate in D7 and D8). Jennifer Heroux did the same for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. We are excited to welcome their organizations back to the project.
Thank you to Executive Director Eric Bridges, President Dan Spoone, past-President Kim Charlson, and board members Jo Lynn Bailey-Page and Deb Cook Lewis 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 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 at Google, for bringing UniD into its new phase with Google as a supporter of our efforts to “Audio Describe the World!”