With great success, enthusiastic visitors and sponsors, an exhilarating anniversary
celebration, the 5th DeafIT Conference took place on November 9, 2018 at the Hotel H4 in Munich Fair which is one of the city's youngest quarters and a place of innovation, the Bavarian Silicon
Valley. "Back to their roots!". In the state capital Munich, DeafIT had its birth and founding with its conference for the deaf, hard of hearing, CI wearers, deaf and hearing IT people. Of
course, the 5-year anniversary of DeafIT had to be celebrated with a special anniversary evening, the sketches by ThowShow and the party music of the famous Munich DiscJockey Marc
The DeafIT conference, in its unique form and unique offerings, has become a fixture in the
DACH (Germany(D)/Austria(A)/Switzerland(CH)) region for hearing impaired IT people. At the first time we could welcome guests from Brazil and Russia, who also gave exciting lectures.
This is a special milestone that will shape the future DeafIT conferences. The DeafIT homepage has not only experienced a fresh relaunch of the website this year, but besides the German language
there is also the possibility to read it in English language. This has led to growing and very great interest in DeafIT outside the German-speaking countries. Requests came from all parts of
the world, such as the USA, India, Pakistan, Australia, Africa, Japan, England, France, Italy and many more. "DeafIT goes international" - the next conference will therefore not only be signed in
German, but also in international and English language.
The lectures on artificial intelligence (AI) in the deaf community have already proven to be
popular and widely discussed contributions among hearing impaired and hearing professionals. The trends and news from the IT world, the latest innovations were among others, especially in the
sign language recognition at the top. This year, Artificial Intelligence, or AI for short, was clearly at the start, were there along with other topics such as social media, various software
developments, programming languages, Internet of Things (IoT), IT security, hacker school, digital inclusion.
Tobias Burz, the founder of the DeafIT welcomes the participants and says many thanks to the sponsors for the
support of this conference, especially for the Premium sponsor TechData, who is the partner of the DeafIT
The conference kicked off with Nicole Weißkopf (Community Manager), who is no longer unknown and, above all, very actively
responsible for DeafIT's Press & Marketing, also promoting the networking of the DeafIT conference. In her keynote speech, Nicole demonstrated the opportunities, chances and benefits
that a hearing-impaired person can get for developing their professional network and social media know-how, such as Xing, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. At the same time she
encourages the participants to apply this knowledge during the conference and it was also twittering actively with the hashtag #DeafIT18.
The speaker Julia Freudenberg, a new face from Hamburg, gave an exciting lecture with "The Hacker School: Barrier-free IT Enthusiasm for Children". In this great initiative to promote
young developers, Julia now wants to give deaf children the opportunity to experience and learn the IT world playfully. So how can accessibility be designed there? With her presentation, she
tried to recruit deaf IT professionals who can work there as IT trainers in order to make the communication between these "teachers" and the hearing impaired children barrier-free. The
interest of the participants is very high, we can imagine the working together with DeafIT and Hacker School to build something well.
Uta Meißner and Jörn Koch from delegs.de gave an insight into how they can develop the sign font editor with AI and gamification furthermore. Using projected QR codes, the survey was initiated
from the audience and the discussion workshop was successfully completed.
In his keynote addressed with "Microsoft Flow", Vincent Rothländer provided an instructive insight into automated workflows
based on the Twitter contributions to #DeafIT18 with AI for text analysis. With this example he showed that such a workflow can be provided in a central business process. In addition, he
briefly reported on the Microsoft conference "Ignite" in Orlando (USA).
Well-known faces from the previous year are the hearing speakers Harald Uebele and Rafael
Ulrich from the premium sponsor TechData. With "Internet of Things" on the
IBM cloud they showed an overview of how technical devices can now deliver error messages, such as increasing the temperature via the cloud to the user. Of course, Harald demonstrated this in
practice on site with a Raspberry PI.
Florian Gilcher introduced his Rust project as a new, low-level programming language from Mozilla
Research. It not only competes with C ++, but also with other high-level programming languages. He was able to convince the participants of the peculiarities of the programming language
The speech "Competence center - Digital Inclusion" by Dr. med. Irmhild Rogalla reveals figures on the
participation of people with disabilities on the basis of an opinion from the German Bundestag. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) and the Accessible Information Technology
Ordinance (BITV) are mainly geared towards blind people. In the discussion, it was mainly about how accessibility in Germany shows and expresses. A particular key to the solution would be
disabled developers who have knowledge of real user behavior.
The international keynote „Hand Talk“ - Digital Translation with Joaquim Amado Da Silva Junior gave an exciting insight into virtual
accessibility through a sign language avatar named Hugo. Hugo is already used in Brazil in practice at various locations, such as the ATM. Amado is also one of the founders of World Deaf Tech (WDT) and briefly talked about their beginning and the WDT
Roman Kuznetsov showed in his speech that password-based authentication is still vulnerable in
today's world, even though this issue is being tackled with current methods. However, there is a new sign-on process to increase the security of the users and companies which he
recommended to the participants.
Jo Spelbrink from Austria, who uses his good sense for the audience as in previous conferences, gave us an overview of the
web performance as a consequence of Google due to the immense growth of the mobile internet, the "2018 Performance counts" Apple had rated the websites more stringently and put more emphasis
Alexey Prikhodko, doctoral candidate from Novosibirsk in Russia, amazed everyone with his lecture
"Sign Language Recognition with Deep Learning". His comprehensive lecture provided a tangible insight into the complexity of automatic handheld recognition. Such a recent development, which
certainly has great potential for the future, could open up new fields of research that can be of benefit to many sign language users. Currently, Alexey Prikhodko is a scholarship holder at
the Institute of German Sign Language in Hamburg.
Florian Katzmayr introduced the participants with the overview of current topics, technologies, products for web development
as a starting point, how to learn codes and thus become a developer. What do I need for this, which technology differences are there and which one should I use best for the new web
development? Such questions were in the room and he showed possible answers to them, which can only be of different benefit by the individual IT people.
With his lecture on the opportunities and risks of artificial intelligence (AI) in the deaf community, Manuel Gnerlich made a
very interesting content-related basis, which led to a concluding discussion. In the end, most of the participants are convinced that it is a legitimate concern that AI can and will be used
fairly and conscientiously.
The founder Tobias Burz and his "right-hand man" Nicole Weißkopf got a very big
surprise. Both DeafIT team members were praised by the rest of the organizing team for their tireless efforts
to organize and prepare the 5th DeafIT conference in Munich and presented them with flowers.
Last but not least, the DeafIT team is very proud to have made this jubilee with a
conference that has reached a very high level, can now be shown at eye level with other conferences.
We, the DeafIT team would like to thank our sponsor GMU, all sponsors, speakers,
participants and helpers for the great conference and look forward to 2019! "DeafIT goes international 2019!"
Report by Tobias Burz & Nicole Weißkopf (DeafIT)
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