Drew Fast 

Virtual Reality has tremendous potential to change the ways people work, play and learn; however, this new medium presents unique challenges to inclusive design. Accessibility is always one of the first things on the chopping block when working on a tight budget; however, accessibility broadens markets and increases user satisfaction for all types of people. Accessible design is good design. VR Designers and developers need to be aware of and solve these issues early in planning and development to maximize the amount of users who can enjoy the experience. This talk will cover the basics of universal/accessible design for VR as it currently exists, what you need to know about hardware and software, as well as ways to design more inclusively. This will be of interest to anyone with an interest in how technology can help people with disabilities, as well as anyone developing VR applications.

Speaker Bio

Drew Fast works as a Visual Media Designer for the Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning @ UIUC. He is in the Instructional Media Resources Group, where he works with other illustrators and instructional designers to create didactic visualizations to foster learning, including illustrations, animations and virtual experiences. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is one of the most accessible campuses in the world and the CITL supports the University’s mission in providing top-notch education to students of all abilities. Drew received his BS in Molecular Biology and BFA in Painting from UIUC and his MS in Biomedical Visualization from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Before attending graduate school, Drew worked as a graphic designer/web developer at UIUC, focusing on accessible design and websites. His Master’s thesis focused on improving educational materials produced for deaf and hard of hearing American Sign Language users by using eye tracking.