Inaugural Cherry Blossoms Conference on Federal Intellectual Property Policy: Accessibility, Copyright and New Technologies


April 5, 2013 9:00am – 6:00pm
Washington College of Law – Room 402
4801 Massacusetts Ave NW, Washington DC 20016 (directions)
Jump to:   Description | Agenda

On April 5, 2013, American University Washington College of Law will host the Inaugural Cherry Blossom Symposium, exploring intersections between intellectual property and Federal policy. This year’s inaugural symposium will focus on intellectual property and disability rights policy.

The symposium will take as a starting point the tensions between Federal intellectual property laws, which promote exclusion as a means of fostering creation and innovation, and disability rights law and policy, which promote universal access and social inclusion. There an increasing number of issues emerging at the intersection of Federal intellectual property laws and disability rights legislation – including in policy discussions and litigation over access to e-readers for people with visual impairments, over access to closed captioning for media content for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, over access to web content for people with cognitive disabilities and over strategies for promoting innovation in technologies and services that promote access more generally for people with disabilities.

The 2013 Cherry Blossom Symposium is being sponsored by WCL’s Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property, Disability Rights Law Clinic, Disability Law Society, and Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law.


9:00 Welcome –  Michael Carroll,  Director, Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property, American University Washington College of Law
9:15 Copyright and the Americans with Disabilities Act: Conflict or Coexistence?

  • Chair:  Peter Jaszi, Professor, American University Washington College of Law
  • Eve Hill, Senior Counselor to the Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division
  • Blake Reid, Graduate Clinical Fellow and Staff Attorney Institute for Public Representation, Georgetown Law
  • Tracy Mitrano, Director of IT Policy, Cornell University
  • Peter Blanck, University Professor & Chairman, Burton Blatt Institute, Syracuse University
10:30 Break
10:45 Technology as a Tool for or Barrier to Universal Access

  • Chair: Victoria Phillips, Director, Intellectual Property Law Clinic,  American University Washington College of Law
  • Karen Peltz Strauss, Deputy Bureau Chief, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, FCC
  • Jonathan Lazar, Professor of Computer and Information Sciences, Director, Universal Usability Laboratory, Towson University
  • Raja S. Kushalnagar, Assistant Professor, National Technical Institute for the Deaf Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Prue Adler, Associate Executive Director, Association of Research Libraries
  • Richard Culatta, Acting Director, Office of Educational Technology, US Department of Education
12:45 Luncheon

  • Keynote: George Kerscher, Secretary General, DAISY Consortium
2:00 IP and Disability Access in International Law

  • Chair: Hadar Harris, Executive Director, Center on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, American University Washington College of Law
  • Scott LaBarre, Legal Counsel, National Federation for the Blind
  • Nancy Weiss, General Counsel, Institute of Museum and Library Services
  • Facundo Chávez Penillas, Fellow, Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, American University Washington College of Law
  • Peter Jaszi, Professor,  American University Washington College of Law
3:15 Break
3:30 Roundtable Discussion: Patents and Innovation Systems for the Production of Accessibility Tools

  • Chairs: Jorge Contreras, American University Washington College of Law; Sean Flynn, Associate Director, Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property, American University Washington College of Law
  • Opening Presentation: Christian Vogler, Director, Technology Access Program,  Gallaudet University, Patent Issues in TTY-911 Services
  • Roundtable Discussion: Peter Blanck, Raja  Kushalnagar, Jonathan Lazar, Bob Dinerstein
4:30 Close and Light Reception