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VRATE 2016

"Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things"

The 21st Annual VRATE Expo will be held on Friday, September 30th, 2016 at the Glendale Civic Center from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Mark your calendar now

Attendee Registration is Free

VRATE 2016 is free to attend, but make sure to pre-register to avoid lines the day of. You will also be entered in a drawing to win $100! Public Transportation is available AND Parking is FREE!

Presentations and Exhibitions Focused on:

  • Life-changing Assistive Technology
  • Resources for combined vision and hearing loss
  • Government and Community Services
Animated image of a family in a magnifying lense.


Free Wifi!

Free all day Parking!

Public transportation is availlable!

Information on community and government resources

Access to volunteers, sighted guides, and interpreters!

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Feature Presenter David Hurd - N.A.S.A

NASA’s many successful space missions and discoveries have resulted in the acquisition of thousands of images, movie clips and a variety of data in a range of scales. These resources have helped most of us to visualize, interpret and map distant planetary surfaces, leading to extraordinary discoveries.

But, what about individuals that are visually impaired or blind? We ask questions like this all of the time so that people with disabilities can have the same experiences as people without, whether it is understanding what an asteroid or small body is, experiencing a lunar or solar eclipse, or using spectroscopy to determine the composition of a planet’s surface.
For the last two decades we have been working with students, colleagues, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), teachers and parents to make earth and space science accessible for all. Three tactile books and associate educator resources are currently available.

Hurd and tactile engineer John Matelock began creating tactile astronomy tools because a student with a visual impairment signed up for Hurd's introductory astronomy course. The course was primarily visual and auditory -- students used the university's planetarium, where Hurd pointed to and described what was there. Hurd and Matelock created a tactile star chart and a planisphere, which is used for determining the positions of the stars at a given time. Over the years Hurd has built a library of tactile charts, graphs and models.

Amazing Resources Explore today!


The Glendale Civic Center is located at 5750 W Glenn Dr, Glendale, AZ 85301

Free parking is available.

Multiple dining options nearby

Register for VRATE 2016 and Join the VRATE Blog.

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