Imagine a culture of inclusion.
What does that look like for you? For me, it is a time when Universal Design is not an afterthought to give the appearance of diversity but a natural and organic first priority, a time when we are surrounded by the reality that from a young age, children are taught diversity and acceptance, and those children grow up to create an inclusive society where things like Universal Design and accessible workspaces, entertainment venues, and academic environments are commonplace. I look forward to a time when we no longer have to cringe at last-minute “inclusion” efforts that most often fail miserably.
There is a very big difference between saying your environment is inclusive and indeed having an inclusive environment. What are you, as an organization, doing to represent your culture of diversity and inclusion? Where are your priorities? Has it become second nature for the people in your organization to consider accessibility and inclusion in events they plan, conference calls they schedule, presentations they make, webinars they host?
Do not underestimate the power of inclusion. Everyone brings something to the table, those with and without disabilities, and that untapped talent allows us to experience different perspectives, gives us the opportunity to see situations through many different lenses, and reach goals we never imagined because we are reaching the whole instead of selective groups.
Organizations are recognizing the value of accessibility accommodations and the inclusion it creates in their organization and in the world they are attempting to reach. By giving people access to accommodations, previous limitations based on ability versus disability are eliminated. New levels of innovation, growth, and success are emerging, and it is directly related to the talent and creativity of a workforce that has been underestimated or overlooked in the past.
Instead of concentrating on what a person cannot do, focus on their potential if they are provided with appropriate accommodations. Giving people access to accommodation tools breaks accessibility barriers, and fostering a culture of inclusion in the workplace expands the pool of talent and builds confidence instead of exacerbating insecurities.
By incorporating Universal Design and creating an environment with equal and effective access, the result is an atmosphere of inclusion and diversity. The circle of creativity, knowledge, and production increases, thereby expanding the circle that delivers your content AND the circle that receives your content. This makes way for society to recognize, appreciate, and value individuals that are not defined by disabilities.
Live Captioning (CART), One Accessibility Accommodation Serving Multiple Communities
Live captioning accommodates not only the communities of the deaf and hard of hearing but also those with auditory processing disorder, ADHD, dyslexia, English language learners, those who speak English as a second language, and more. Open and closed captioning aids those without disabilities in cases of noise disruption, poor-sound environments, and in scenarios where content must be viewed in silence. It is proven that accurate, high-quality captioning reinforces content retention and improves reading levels in all ages, early youth to adulthood, and countries with the highest reading scores are the same countries with the highest captioning consumers.
For some, their disability has given them a strength that empowers them every day, yet they will not self-identify unless they feel safe enough to do so. When an accommodation, like closed captioning, that serves multiple disabilities is integrated from the beginning, it shows genuine thoughtfulness in creating a space that welcomes everyone without shining a light on anyone.
Accessibility as defined by The Office for Civil Rights
The Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education defines accessibility: “when a person with a disability is afforded the opportunity to acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services as a person without a disability in an equally integrated and equally effective manner, with substantially equivalent ease of use.”
Breaking Barriers Captioning is captioner-owned by one of the founding members of Global Alliance of Speech-to-Text Captioning and managed by experienced captioners that are advocates for the captioning profession and for quality accessibility accommodations. How can we help?