The 2019 Business Summit “Decoding Disruption” was recently hosted by the Whitby Chamber of Commerce at the Ajax Convention Centre. John Draper, Founder of Together We Rock! and colleagues attended the event that attracted over 220 business leaders. The Summit program was filled with innovative leaders who informed and inspired.
Together We Rock! has a number of free resources designed for corporations, community organizations and educational institutions to inspire learning and champion leadership to create more accessible and inclusive communities. The “Myths and Misconceptions” and “Words Matter” are two of the most popular resources.
Accessible and inclusive communities need great leaders to make it happen. This workbook is designed to assist educators and intermediate-level elementary school students (grades 6–8) and high school students (grades 7–12) to gain a better understanding of what makes a good leader and what they can do to encourage change amongst their peers.
Diversity is what makes the world such an interesting place, and at Together We Rock! we believe in celebrating the things that make us different. This workbook is designed for educators and intermediate-level elementary school students (grades 6–8) and for high school students (grades 7–12) in their journey to better understand diversity and disability.
Technology is changing the daily lives of people with disabilities to create a more accessible and inclusive human experience. In particular, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Google and other companies have the potential to fundamentally change the mobility, employment and lifestyle of people who are blind and vision-impaired, says an article on MacRumours. The same can be said for artificial intelligence software like Amazon's Echo, Microsoft's Seeing AI app, and Apple's Siri.
Inclusivity in the workplace is not just a nice-to-do. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has published a study that found the inclusivity of an organizational culture affects job performance, emotional well-being, and workforce engagement. Researchers called for anonymous narratives about inclusion and lack of inclusion from a range of employees, faculty, and students from several hospitals, health sciences schools, and outpatient facilities.
Accessible can easily be beautiful, as these award-winning bathroom remodelling projects show. Take a look at the impressive Gold, Silver and Bronze prize winners in the Universal Design category of the 2018 Kohler Bold Design Awards (KBDA). The winners elevate universal design to a high art in these three residential bathroom designs. Each winner offers an enticing environment, with total accessibility.
In 2017 the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and the Institute for Canada Citizenship (ICC) surveyed 64 major Canadian corporations about diversity and inclusion: how they define it, how they go about promoting it, and how they measure it. Respondents to the RBC-ICC survey were asked to take stock of their diversity and inclusion efforts in two ways. Gender was by far the most commonly identified area where diversity and inclusion has improved in the workplace, with 81 percent of respondents selecting it as one of their top three choices for diversity and 76 percent for inclusion.
How many of the colleagues that you work with on a daily basis have a disability? Chances are it’s more than you think. That’s why inclusive design makes business sense, says this article on Real Views.com. Companies that leverage inclusive design have a broader talent pool to draw from which can translate into a business advantage. The aging baby boomer population, for example, is prone to hearing or vision impairments yet brings a wealth of experience to a company.
Digital tools are providing more insight into the accessibility of learning materials, and even automating some steps in making more accessible alternatives available. "We have been fighting this uphill battle of content accessibility for years, and we have been fighting it without knowing what is actually out there," said Jeremy Olguin, accessible technology manager at California State University Chico, also called Chico State (https://www.csuchico.edu/).
Accessible Tourism Consultant Chris Veitch wants the tourism industry to stop thinking of people with disabilities as special or unusual. “People with disabilities do not form some sort of niche market: they are just part of the mainstream market that all successful businesses and destinations need to be, and in many cases already are, reaching out to,” he says on NewMind.com.
On Mismatch, a digital magazine for designers, founder Kat Holmes calls inclusive design “a skill that is developed with practice, over time.” Holmes continues, “In my education as an engineer, designer, and citizen I never formally learned about inclusion or exclusion. Accessibility, sociology, and civil rights weren’t required curricula for learning how to build technology.” For designers, she writes, “three fears of inclusion will likely strike you at some point. If so, you’re not alone. But from each of them grows an insight into the nature of inclusion.”