DeafIT: An IT conference that stands for accessibility, diversity & inclusion.
DeafIT is the only non-profit organization offering an IT event in Germany with a diverse, inclusive and low-barrier program, a wide range of professional lectures and workshops related to 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, whether deaf, hard of hearing, CI-wearing, hearing, young or old, should enjoy continuing education together, be able to exchange ideas and experience both empowerment and diversity for higher professional goals.
Why is there DeafIT conference?
There should be the least barrier education and information event, especially for Sign language user, the 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 captioning, 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 individuals often have to make their own arrangements for sign language interpreters or live transcription.
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 do visitors come from?
In the meantime, not only participants and speakers from the German-speaking 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 five successful conferences. The sixth conference, with steadily increasing attendance, was scheduled to take place in March 2020, but due to the Corona pandemic, it was postponed by one year to the 12th and 13th of March 2021. At this conference, the next milestone is to be reached with more than 120 participants