I have been at the CWUAAT 2008 conference over the last few days. CWUAAT stands for ‘Cambridge Workshop on Universal Access and Assistive Technology’ and has the tag line of ‘Designing Inclusive Futures’.

This is a different style of conference from one that I might normally go to – it is very much a research dissemination conference as opposed to conferences such as RAATE or CM, which include a mix of research and practice. This, however, is not a criticism – indeed our department is involved in a number of bits of research and so this conference was useful for getting an idea about the field. There were a couple of differences about this conference too: there was only one stream of presentations, so you heard everything; poster presentations were given an hour long slot encouraging good discussion; there were good networking opportunities in a pleasant environment.

We had submitted a poster to the conference on our work on developing a speech driven environmental control – this was well received and there was a good level of interest in this work. It was also reassuring to note that our processes and work on including users in the development of this device are appropriate and well regarded.