2009 APEX® Excellence Award Winner

Hooray! We are proud to announce that this blog won an Excellence award in the 2009 APEX® Awards for Publication Excellence in the category of "Blogs, Forums & Wikis"! Information about the competition is available at http://www.ApexAwards.com/. APEX 2009 awards were based on excellence in graphic design, editorial content and the success of the entry—in the opinion of the judges—in achieving overall communications effectiveness and excellence. This year, 3,785 entries were evaluated, in the following distribution: Newsletters: 385; Magazines & Journals: 706; Magapapers & Newspapers: 82; Annual Reports: 183; Brochures, Manuals & Reports: 378; Video & Electronic Publications: 193; Web & Intranet Sites: 267; Campaigns, Programs & Plans: 301; Writing: 659; Design & Illustration: 392; Special Publications: 239. A list of the winning entries is available as a PDF: Announcing the Winners of APEX 2009 (pdf). Award of Excellence winners are listed within each subcategory, alphabetically by organization, or by last name for individual entrants. Several other STC entries are also winners in this year's competition. Congratulations to them all!

Photos from 2009 STC Tech Comm Summit, Atlanta, GA

Photos of the conference taken by Rachel Houghton and Cynthia A. Lockley are up. So far there are 13 photos available. If anyone else has photos to add to the SIG's conference collection, please use the Contact Us form to let us know.
Accessibility SIG breakfast meeting
In the photo, left to right: Whitney Quesenbery, Lisa Pappas, Linda Roberts, Karen Mardhl (with camera), Shawn Henry. Photo credit: Cynthia A Lockley.
This year's conference photos are at https://www.flickr.com/photos/stc-access/sets/72157618066308364/ All our photo collections are at https://www.flickr.com/photos/stc-access/sets/

Recording of Similar David Pogue Keynote Found

David Pogue, the Keynote speaker at the STC 2009 conference, gave one of the funniest keynotes we've ever had. It was a shame that it wasn't recorded. However, I found a recording of a similar keynote address he gave to TED last year. The first half is similar to the one he gave to us and the second half contains two more songs. The recording is at Talks David Pogue: "When it comes to tech, simplicity sells" : http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/david_pogue_says_simplicity_sells.html

There is also a video on YouTube of his closing song, iPhone: The Music Video:

New York Times columnist David Pogue takes aim at technology's worst interface-design offenders, and provides encouraging examples of products that get it right. To funny things up, he bursts into song.

David has a brief bio on his site at davidpogue.com:

David Pogue is the personal-technology columnist for the New York Times. Each week, he contributes a print column, an online column, an online video and a popular daily blog, "Pogue's Posts."

David is also an Emmy award-winning tech correspondent for CBS News, and he appears each week on CNBC with his trademark comic tech videos.

With over 3 million books in print, David is one of the world's bestselling how-to authors. He wrote or co-wrote seven books in the "for Dummies" series (including Macs, Magic, Opera, and Classical Music); in 1999, he launched his own series of complete, funny computer books called the Missing Manual series, which now includes over 100 titles.

David graduated summa cum laude from Yale in 1985, with distinction in Music, and he spent ten years conducting and arranging Broadway musicals in New York. In 2007, he was awarded an honorary doctorate in music from Shenandoah Conservatory.

He's been profiled on both "48 Hours" and "60 Minutes." He lives with his wife and three young children in Connecticut. His website is davidpogue.com.

The Conference Accessibility Guide for Atlanta

The conference accessibility guide - 8th year in a row! - has been live on the conference site for two months. Additional material is available, as always, on our permanent page for the conference accessibility guides. We tooted our horn on our SIG discussion list and on Twitter - and we forgot to blog about it!

Thank yous

Let's have a huge round of applause for SIG member Brenda Huettner who organized this year's guide. The STC Atlanta host chapter had a fantastic attitude about this, which should set a precedence for future guides: they took for granted that they should assist with collecting information. It was regarded as all in the line of duty for a host chapter. That is how accessibility should be - a natural part of any project! Al Hood and Carol Boe from the STC Atlanta chapter deserve a special round of applause, too.

More to come

The guide on the conference site is actually a collection of pages, and not a PDF that was also printed in the past to be handed out at the conference. As you plan your trip, you print the pages you need to take with you on the trip, or you can download to a convenient gadget of your choice. We sincerely hope that all attendees will find useful information in the accessibility information collected in the links provided here. We will continue to update the permanent page for the guide, as well as broadcast tips on our Twitter account, @stcaccess, up to and during the conference. If you want to share some tips, please do so - here in the comments section or on Twitter. And for those traveling to Atlanta - have a safe and pleasant trip!

Atlanta Miscellany for the STC Summit

(Note: This post was originally written for the conference in Atlanta in 2009, but it only took a few tweaks to bring it up to 2013.) Whew! The STC Summit in Atlanta is less than 2 weeks away! To help you with your planning, we have some more information about
  • Getting to Atlanta
  • Getting Around Atlanta
  • Shopping
  • Traveling with your Service Animal
  • Tipping
  • Pharmacies and Emergency Care

Getting to Atlanta

Visit the Accessibility pages of the conference site to find information about traveling to Atlanta by plane, train, or bus. Information includes the cheapest way to get from the airport to the conference hotel - MARTA, the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) public transit system in Atlanta. MARTA takes you straight to the hotel. From the airport, take the northbound train to the Peachtree Center Station stop, which is one stop north of the Five Points transfer station. Exit the train and take the escalator up towards Peachtree Center Mall. Once inside the mall, follow the signs to the covered walkway into the hotel. There is also an elevator. You can visit the Peachtree Center Station virtually from the MARTA site to prepare for your trip. This Marta guide to the station has even more tips and photos. The Amtrak station in Atlanta is not connected directly to MARTA. You can either walk to the nearest MARTA station, or take a cab or bus from Amtrak to the hotel. The site for the Amtrak station in Atlanta has a map and phone number to call for more information. The site for the Atlanta Checker Cab to help you plan your budget for the trip.

Getting Around Atlanta

Get some sightseeing ideas from the STC host chapter in Atlanta. Wikitravel has a page dedicated to traveling to Atlanta and visiting Atlanta, all collected in one spot. You find climate information, city history, and additional details about getting to Atlanta by train, plane, and automobile.


This is about basic shopping - toothpaste, tissues, bottled water, and so on. Right across the street from the Hyatt Regency conference hotel is the Peachtree Center Mall. There is a convenience store just inside the Mall from the Peachtree Center Avenue side. For more information, visit the Mall site, which includes a directory of the shops and maps of the center. For your business needs, there is a business center in the conference hotel, in the Mall, and at 100 Peachtree St NW (FedEx Kinkos).

Traveling with your Service Animal

The conference hotel accepts service animals for those guests who need them. Contact them directly for more information. Bringing a service animal is not a problem, but do call ahead several days in advance so they can let housekeeping know. It is also helpful if the service animal looks like a service animal, for example, wearing a jacket to indicate that this is a working animal. Accessible Techcomm has more tips about traveling with service animals.


Tipping is always tricky, especially for people not used to travel or visitors from outside the country. Everyone has an opinion, and the opinions don't always match. We are providing links to two fairly updated articles about tipping, but you can also ask for more information in virtual or real-life fora.

Pharmacies and Emergency Care

Two of the nearest pharmacies are: Caremark 55 Park Pl NE Atlanta, GA 30303 (404) 522-6330‎ Walgreens 595 Piedmont Ave., Suite. 100 Atlanta, GA 30308 (404) 685-9665 You are always welcome to contact the hotel concierge with minor questions, and they will be happy to help you as best they can. Visitors to the US should note that the telephone number for emergencies is 911, but remember to also contact the hotel staff if the emergency is on the hotel property.