Starting today, some 5,000 people are gathering in San Diego for California State University, Northridge’s 32nd annual conference on technology designed to help people with disabilities engage fully in education, work and other parts of their lives.

With attendees from all 50 states and more than 35 countries, the CSUN Assistive Technology Conference is the largest conference of its kind and the only one sponsored by a university. This year's event will take place from February 27 to March 4 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt and will highlight innovations in everything from wheelchairs to interactive software and apps.

The exhibit hall, with more than 130 exhibitors showcasing the latest technology, is open to the public free of charge.

CSUN has a long history of advancing access for people with disabilities. In 1983, seven years before the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed, the university created the Center on Disabilities to help all students realize their academic and career goals.

Two years later, the Center held its first CSUN conference. (Until a name change this year, the gatherings were known as the International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference.)

“Our conference brings together thousands of people from around the world—including scientists, practitioners, educators, government officials, tech industry executives and entrepreneurs—all committed to driving innovation in assistive technology to promote inclusiveness for people with disabilities,” said Sandy Plotin, managing director of the Center on Disabilities, in a press release about the conference.