DeafIT: An IT conference that stands for accessibility, diversity & inclusion.
DeafIT is the only non-profit organisation offering an IT event in Germany with a diverse, inclusive and accessible programme and a broad range of professional talks and workshops on information technology. The DeafIT conference is accessible to everyone in sign language, written and spoken language.
We are committed to a low-barrier, diverse and inclusive event:
All visitors, regardless of whether they are deaf, hard of hearing, cochlear implant users, hearing, young or old, should enjoy the training together, be able to exchange ideas and experience both empowerment and diversity for higher professional goals.
Why is there DeafIT conference?
There must be a low barrier education and information event, especially for sign language users, hearing impaired and hearing IT professionals.
In addition, the DeafIT conference in Germany is primarily aimed at creating an inclusive network platform for the Deaf and hard of hearing, CI wearers, late deafened and hearing, at expanding and promoting the active exchange of professional experience and networking in the IT industry.
This also leads to the motto: “Focus on excellent network“.
This conference is so far the only barrier-free meeting place for IT professionals in Germany, in which the possibility exists to pass on specialized knowledge as well as to acquire new and interesting topics. In addition, the conference offers a very effective platform for professional development and can help to expand one’s network.
What is the story behind it?
In Germany, there are over 80,000 deaf people and over 16 million hard of hearing people. The majority of them need additional special access to participate in the events: Sign language interpreters, live subtitling, T-Loop hearing amplifiers or, for example, wireless speaker systems for cochlear implants (CI) and hearing aids. About 200,000 people need permanent or partial access to German Sign Language to enable full participation
Hearing-impaired IT professionals have great difficulty attending professional IT-related conferences because most conferences do not offer live captioning or other solutions. Affected persons often have to organise sign language interpreters or live transcription themselves.
Here, one of the goals of the DeafIT team is to break down barriers in communication and language as well. Make the conference accessible to everyone.
Where are the visitors from?
In the meantime, not only participants and speakers from the German-speaking region (DACH region) come to the conference, but also from all over the world. Increased marketing activities and the international IT network attract IT experts not only from German-speaking countries (Austria, Switzerland), but also from abroad (including Brazil, Russia, Great Britain, USA, Canada, Sri Lanka, Italy, Scandinavia, Hungary). Each participant helps to strengthen the sense of community among and to exchange on a professional level and to broaden the knowledge horizon in the IT fields.
Who is organizing the DeafIT conference?
The DeafIT conference is hosted and organized by the independent DeafIT team. They come from a mixed background of various IT Specialties. They are a volunteer team. Under the heading “Team” you can get to know the team members.
The DeafIT Team is under the umbrella of Gehörlosenverband München und Umland e.V. (GMU).
History: How many DeafIT conference have been held?
In 2014, the first DeafIT conference was held in Munich. Under the leadership of DeafIT founder Tobias Burz and the team, this laid the building block for the future of DeafIT, as it was already clear at that time that there was a huge need for the sign language users & hearing impaired IT community.
The DeafIT conference can now look back on six successful conferences. The sixth conference was scheduled to take place in March 2020, but was postponed by two years due to the Corona pandemic. 12th and 13th March 2021 and an online-only conference with live streaming. At this conference, we reached the next milestone with more than 100 participants and would like to exceed this number with the currently planned hybrid conference in March 2022.
2014: 1. DeafIT conference in Munich
2015: 2. DeafIT conference in Nuremberg
2016: 3. DeafIT conference in Hamburg
2017: 4. DeafIT conference in Frankfurt
2018: 5. DeafIT conference online
2021: 6. DeafIT conference online
2022: 7. DeafIT conference online 18. 18th & 19th March 2022