Avatars in a virtual meeting space sit on benches in front of a presentation screen showing survey results on skills gaps and continued learning related to data analysis and data science

ITKAN in the Metaverse!

We launched ITKAN, Information Technology Knowledge and Abilities Network, in early 2008 with the tagline of  “Fostering Knowledge, Network, and Opportunity”. Early members of the tech meetup that targets people with disabilities may recall our blue and white swirling, mirroring logo that reminded me of Boomerangs. Well, while we’ve updated our logo and tagline to our recognizable signature above, we’ve remained true to our mission. We continue to foster all of these while remaining on the leading or bleeding edge of tech.

Speaking of leading edge of tech, we recently debuted our first formal topic meeting in the metaverse! For the past eight months we’ve been working with a great team from Virbela, who brings people together to work, learn, meet and train in an immersive virtual world – from anywhere. Migrating to a virtual-first community negates challenges and enables growth opportunities for us. The disability community has always faced logistical and travel challenges – gone! Some members of our community also face socializing, face-to-face challenges which may be reduced in a virtual world.

The promise of the metaverse and Virbela’s Open Campus are what really excite us at ITKAN. Virbela staff and specifically Sarah Segrest, their VP of Community, is open, engaging, willing and excited to learn the challenges of disability, and most importantly very creative and forward-thinking. While they admit it’s early in creating an environment that can work for all of us, we couldn’t imagine a better partnership.

“We are so fortunate to have ITKAN as part of the Virbela Community in our open campus. Including the voices and perspectives of people and professionals with disabilities is important to us. ITKAN can help Virbela continue to broaden accessibility for all in the virtual worlds of the metaverse. We’re glad to have ITKAN as neighbors and friends in our community.” – Sarah Segrest, VP of Community for Virbela Open Campus

Virbela is poised as a global competitor in the field of Virtual Reality, and that creates opportunities for every organization in-world to become global as well. Look for our January 2023 meeting announcement and join us. While we target disability, we are an open meetup and members without disabilities are critical to our mission! In the interim learn how to register with Virbela and experience campus for yourself!

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