We can fly through space. We can walk on the moon. But we cannot make our world accessible? Delivered in sign language with a voice over, deaf communication specialist and disability activist Eva Westerhoff explains in this Tedx video using vivid language what it’s like to be left out.
“Imagine you’re on a train,” she signs. “There is announcement that you have to change trains but you can’t hear. So you miss your job interview, and you don’t get the job. Imagine you’re a student and you’d like to do online research but you’re blind and there is no accessible software on the computer. You have to quit your studies.”
“Most people aren’t born with a disability. It can come later in life through an accident, or aging. Imagine you’re 80 years old. It’s your birthday. You’re hard of hearing and visually impaired. Your family is there and they’re laughing and talking, and you ask what are you talking about? Your daughter says she will tell you later. But she never tells you. You will lonely in a room full of people.”
"Accessibility does not affect a few people. It involves billions of people. It affects everyone, sooner or later. Keep accessibility in your mind with everything you do. Make sure that everyone can participate.”
Eva Westerhoff works on the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the Netherlands, and has a passion for digital inclusion. She believes that by communicating with diversity and accessibility in mind it is possible to reach out to more people.