SXSW 2017

SXSW 2017 Summary


At SXSW 2017, the world’s biggest interact festival, Gene and Dave examine many of the disability related products, services, and presentations that can enable people with disabilities.  We learned about unique assistive technology, we got the low down on the latest in accessible information technology, and learned about a global movement that empowers changemakers worldwide.


Watch our SXSW 2017 show to see the following highlights:

BBQ Movie

To prepare for the Barbecue movie, my friend and videographer, Brian Miller and I ate BBQ at the County Line, Stiles Switch, Blacks BBQ in Lockhart, Rudy’s, Terry Blacks on Barton Springs Road, then double checked our research by going back to Terry’s.  We also tried BBQ at Fogo de Chao.  While we waited in line for the movie, we were treated to more free BBQ from Terry Blacks BBQ before and after the movie.

The film starts in South Africa, where locals sing the praises of braii –Afrikaans for BBQ.  The theme was “Fire brings people together,” explains one subject, assessing its primal roots.  I’ve been to a braii in South Africa so, Of course, I had an opinion on that.


Central Texas Droids

We interviewed R2D2 from Central Texas Droids.  Perhaps these are the droids you’re looking for.


Change makers and maker spaces

In this session, leaders of these movements will discuss current activities and future possibilities for a global movement that empowers changemakers worldwide.  Presenters included:


Arnon Zamir from TOMglobal

Dayaprasad Kulkarni from Global Health Volunteer Alliance

Jonathan Schull from e-NABLE

Sherry Lassiter from Fab Foundation


Makerspaces worldwide are becoming an important piece of an emerging Connected Humanitarian network with the potential to meet unmet needs worldwide.


e-NABLE, Global Health Volunteer Network, and TOM Global evince an emerging pattern–global networks of volunteers providing free medical solutions to underserved populations.

e-NABLE volunteers create open source 3D-printed prosthetics for children.


Global Volunteer Health Alliance volunteers include tens of thousands of medical professionals who provide free medical care in over 12 countries.


TOMglobal volunteer makers and hackers particpate in 72-hour assistive technology hackathons to develop custom assistive technology solutions.


Makerspaces are a natural hub for these activities, and are emerging as a global network for humanitarian as well as social and commercial entrepreneurism, and the opportunity “to do good by making”” is emerging as an important recruiting tool for the maker movement.


Inclusive Design in an Exclusive Industry

Description: . People who use wheelchairs, have disabilities or different body types often find themselves

Having difficulty finding clothes that fit.


Home testing by Everlywell

If you have a food sensitivity, or suspect a thyroid or women’s health issue, you may want to test for it in the comfort of your own home.


See  to learn how to make web pages and other documents accessible to people with disabilities.


We meet up with our old friend, Brittany from to see what she is doing.


Don’t Dis My Ability: Universal Inclusion

Brittany, et al, discuss reasonable accommodation.  This is the first presentation we went to where there was a portable ramp for wheelchair users to access the stage.


Watch Manda demonstrate the Uplift Desk.


The Case Foundation makes their exhibit, Getintheareana, wheelchair accessible.  Check out the 360 degree video they made of Gene.


SXSW Community Service Awards

Formerly called Dewey awards, they are given to individuals for using technology for community service.  While there we saw old friends of the show, including Sharron Rush, Kathy Keller, Glenda Sims, George Cummings, and Erin.


Disasters in Diversity: Disability in Media

Description: Using examples from popular culture and a dash of humor, disability experts in film, and media will discuss how to develop authentic disabled characters and stories.


Heal thyself

Communications and healthcare – over internet diagnosis.  You’ll have to hear about this.


The End of Disability? Neurotech’s Future

Brain implants, stimulating the brain electronically, is giving disabled Americans a new hope.


Brain wearables

Wear small headset like apparatus to control devices – even wheelchairs


Sign up for Gene and Dave’s class on captioning at AccessU