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!
Hi everyone – if you’re on Twitter, please make sure to follow @ChiTechForGood https://twitter.com/ChiTechForGood and consider contributing a blog. Adam Hecktman created this Twitter page to amplify the great work that is occurring in Chicago in the Technology space that contributes to social good…like ITKAN! If you have any questions please ask on our ITKAN Teams page. Please email Brian or me (Pat) if you aren’t on Teams yet or the ITKAN Team. Our emails are firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
ITKAN members and friends. We would encourage you to consider voting for Jonathan Beyer of ELCA as a Top 100 Technology Professional. Jon and his tech team took on 2 interns from ITKAN years ago and provided both with a great experience. Jon and his team are committed to making a human difference in tech and many communities! https://www.onconferences.com/oncon2022-technology
Best of Business AI 2021 invites you to go behind the scenes with 10 leading global organizations using AI to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing their industries—and our world. These visionary organizations are powered by human innovators who combine strategic thinking and cutting-edge technology to create powerful results. https://businessai.microsoft.com/