John M. Slatin

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John Slatin (1952-2008), Ph.D, founded the Institute for Technology and Learning at the University of Texas at Austin. Slatin was visually impaired, suffering from retinitis pigmentosa, which causes gradual deterioration and ultimate loss of vision, and had been working with accessibility issues since 1985. During 1985, Slatin received a grant to develop software for visually impaired students for UT's first computer-based writing class.

In 2005, Slatin was diagnosed with leukemia, but that did not slow him down. In 2006, Slatin participated in a dance called "Sextet," created by Allison Orr, which featured two professional dancers, two blind people and their guide dogs, and was performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. Slatin also frequently danced with Austin Body Choir, an improvisational world music dance group that was held at a yoga studio. The members of this dance group gave Slatin much support when dealing with his illness.

Through his illness, he and his wife Anna kept a blog titled "The Leukemia Letters," and blogged their way through Slatin's entire illness. According to Slatin, the blog was extremely therapeutic.

During his lifetime, Slatin also chaired on the Accessibility and Usability Domain committee of a Texas initiative to develop information architecture for electronic government services in Texas. The mayor of Austin's Committee on People with Disabilities awarded John with a Distinguished Service Award for his work at AIR Austin, and Slatin also sat on the Board of Directors of Access Arts Austin, a group that works with people in Texas and the United States to make the arts more accessible to people with disabilities.

Slatin passed away on March 24, 2008. He was 55 years old.

Article Summaries

Slatin, John M. "Reading Hypertext: Order and Coherence in a New Medium"

Additional Works/Publications


Maximum accessibility: making your Web site more usable for everyone



The Leukemia Letters

Further Readings

Other Scholarly Views


Those authors that agree with Slatin.


Those authors that disagree with Slatin.


External Links

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