Category Archives: Meetings

January 2019 Meeting – Optimizing Human Performance

Register for the January 10th meeting.

ITKAN kicks off our 2019 calendar with a local flavor dive of SciTech documentary series Liquid Science! It’s quite fascinating, touches on very familiar (at a high level) topics, and is quite accessible. In January we’re covering the topic of optimizing human performance in “Stronger, Faster”. The episode explores how high bio-tech can help us adapt to injuries and accomplish incredible feats. We’ll give a summary before the presentation and then dive into the topic experts!

Blair Lock, CEO and co-founder of CoApt, which develops and produces control systems for prostheses, as well as Nicole Kelly who utilizes one of these advanced systems in life will lead the discussion. Blair and Nicole will provide a demonstration and discuss the technology behind CoApt’s prosthetic. Then they’ll open it up to Q&A regarding the technology behind it.

Blair Lock, MScE, P.Eng. is a technologist, an established leader, and a well-known researcher in the field of advanced upper limb prosthetic control. He is the CEO and co-founder Chicago’s prospering Coapt, LLC – the world’s pioneering leader of pattern recognition systems for upper limb prosthetics. Prior to Coapt, Mr. Lock was the Operations Director for the research group that developed the groundbreaking Targeted Muscle Reinnervation surgical technique.

Blair has been dedicated to advancements in the field of upper limb prosthetics and myoelectric control for 15 years and holds graduate degrees in engineering, entrepreneurship, and management.

January 10, 2019
5-7:00 p.m.

Where
Aon Tower
Microsoft Technology Center
200 E Randolph Street, 2nd floor
Chicago, IL 60601

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ITKAN’s Business After-Hours with 1871’s Betsy Ziegler at Microsoft

Register for the November 8 event.

Join us as we celebrate ITKAN’s corporate and civic relationships at our third annual ITKAN Business After-Hours on November 8, 2018 at the Microsoft Technology Center in downtown Chicago!

Kick off the evening with a cocktail hour sponsored by SPR, and network with colleagues or make new connections in the business and civic community. Betsy Ziegler, 1871’s Chief Executive Officer, will give our keynote address – on tech innovation! Gain insights on her work with 1871 and learn about how diversity impacts innovation in the number 1 ranked university affiliated tech incubator in the world.

We will be honoring our partner David Douglas of Yolobe.com with the Rose Stein Light from Within Award for his Equal Access pilot and development program.

DATE AND TIME
Thu, November 8, 2018
5:00 PM – 7:30 PM CDT

LOCATION
Microsoft Technology Center
200 East Randolph Street
#200
Chicago, IL 60601

October 2018 Meeting – Equal Access

Register for the October 11th meeting.

Join us for a very unique, hands-on members meeting on Thursday, October 11 as we introduce Equal Access, a digital on-line career development platform targeting PwD! Equal Access is based on Yolobe.com’s progressive career platform out of tech incubator 1871 and is being launched with the support of SPR, ITKAN and a core group of respected organizations serving the disability community.

David Douglas, Yolobe’s co-founder, will join us as we walk through the essential functions of the platform, along with a hands-on opportunity for candidates with disabilities to join the platform free of charge! So be sure to bring your smartphone, tablet or laptop to the meeting.

October 11, 2018
5-7:00 p.m.

Where
Aon Tower
Microsoft Technology Center
200 E Randolph Street, 2nd floor
Chicago, IL 60601

August 2018 Meeting – Gaming and Accessibility

Register for the August 9th meeting.

In August’s ITKAN meeting a panel of ITKAN members will present and lead us in discussions on the intersection of gaming, accessibilty, and development.

For many people video games are just another form of entertainment. However, they have increasingly become a bigger part of our culture, a way to socialize and even a means of escape. Games can be therapeutic and even help with pain management. It has been historically challenging for people with disabilities to play video games whether they are on a computer or a console. In addition, as video games become ever more complex through the use of sophisticated controllers and more reliance on audio these challenges for people with disabilities increase. It has recently been revealed that Microsoft will release an accessible Xbox controller, and many gamers with auditory and vision disabilities advocate for greater inclusion. So, join us as Steve Luker, Bill O’Connor, and Orlando Herrera present and lead us in discussions about gaming and accessibility.

August 9, 2018
5-7:00 p.m.

Where
Aon Tower
Microsoft Technology Center
200 E Randolph Street, 2nd floor
Chicago, IL 60601

June 2018 Meeting – Artificial Intelligence

Register for the June 14th meeting.

In June’s ITKAN meeting Adam Hecktman, Microsoft’s Director of Technology & Civic Innovation Chicago, will lead us in a discussion of artificial intelligence and its many evolving applications.

Advancements in technology can be a force multiplier in unlocking solutions for some of the biggest challenges facing society. That’s why artificial intelligence (AI) is being applied towards unlocking solutions as diverse as driving customer satisfaction to addressing climate issues facing our planet. AI can be a game changer for people with disabilities. Already we’re witnessing this as people with disabilities expand their use of computers to hear, see and reason with impressive accuracy. Microsoft has been working on better solutions supporting PwD such as real-time speech-to-text transcription, visual recognition services and predictive text functionality. AI advances like these offer enormous potential by enabling people with vision, hearing, cognitive, learning and mobility disabilities to further advance in three specific areas: employment, modern life and human connection.  What is AI?  Where did it come from? What are the issues we need to be aware of to ensure that AI works to benefit, not to harm. Join us as we explore this fascinating topic!

June 14, 2018
5-7:00 p.m.

Where
Aon Tower
Microsoft Technology Center
200 E Randolph Street, 2nd floor
Chicago, IL 60601

April 2018 Meeting – Coding in Schools Effect on Diversity in Tech

Register for the April 12th meeting.

In April’s ITKAN meeting, we will discuss the relationship between two of the top tech issues, Diversity and Tech along with Coding in Schools, from the “Today in Technology:  The Top 10 Tech Issues for 2018” series.

One of the many benefits of pervasively promoting coding in school is how it can help address the tech industry’s shortage of communities of color, women, and individuals with disabilities.

We will start off the evening with Shelley McKinley, who runs Microsoft’s Technology & Corporate Responsibility team, saying a few words about the work that her Microsoft Accessibility team is doing.

Then Tim Roessler, ITKAN Advisory Board Member and Director of Enterprise Applications at Joliet Junior College, will facilitate a discussion panel which will speak about Diversity and Tech and how their organizations promotion of coding in schools helps create a diverse, technology savvy workforce for their community.

The three panelist are:

  • Mindy C. Diaz: Disability Services Coordinator Joliet Junior College
  • Liz Rafferty: Executive Director Genesys Works Chicago
  • Lance Russell: Chief Executive Officer Chicago Tech Academy High School

April 12, 2018
5-7:00 p.m.

Where
Aon Tower
Microsoft Technology Center
200 E Randolph Street, 2nd floor
Chicago, IL 60601

February 2018 Meeting – Cyber Security Panel Discussion

Register for the February 8th meeting.

Please join us on Thursday, February 8 for a panel discussion on cyber security facilitated by Adam Hecktman, Microsoft Director of Technology and Civic Innovation for Chicago. Our panelists will be:

  • Niren Shah, Principal at Jemurai – a firm that specializes in secure software development and cyber security
  • David Kinney, Principal Architect at SPR who will look at security from an Internet of Things (IoT) perspective
  • Matt Ramir, Web Developer at HS2 with a passion for cyber security

Consumer data breaches like those at Target, Yahoo! and Equifax have ranged in size and severity, but are not the only kind of cyber security issue. Hackers also try to use compromised IoT devices in order to launch cyber attacks. While there will always be people trying to break into systems, organizations cannot afford to be complacent. Those of us in the IT field, along with anyone using technology, must continually be vigilant, improve security and try to minimize these kinds of events and the damage they can cause. Please join us for what is sure to be an animated discussion of cyber security!

Niren Shah has over 15 years of cybersecurity experience and is currently a Principal at Jemurai – a firm that specializes in secure software development and cybersecurity.  Niren has unparalleled security experience in a wide variety of products: FW, IDS/IPS, WAF, SIEM, NAC, SWG, IVS/EVS, Penetration Testing and Vulnerability Management, Threat Management and more.

David Kinney is a Principal Architect at SPR with decades of experience helping startups and enterprises leverage emerging technology to enter new markets and improve operational efficiency. He has delivered solutions in the IoT, mobile, cloud, and web spaces, and has spoken at numerous conferences.

Matthew Ramir is a Web Developer at HS2 Solutions. A jack-of-all-trades, he employs his skills in back-end development, server management, database management, and front-end development to expertly tackle a wide-range of client projects.

February 8, 2018
5-7:00 p.m.

Where
Aon Tower
Microsoft Technology Center
200 E Randolph Street, 2nd floor
Chicago, IL 60601