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.
UX or User Experience is the process of designing digital products with a deep understanding of users and their abilities and needs. This short video from UX Mastery is an introduction to accessibility for creators of digital experiences. This video asks developers to think harder about the end user, because everyone is different. “How we move, think, hear and see can vary greatly. Don’t cut someone out just because you aren’t prepared for the way they may react to your creation. And most of all, make it easy. This is what being inclusive is about.”
The Whitby Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Canadian Business SenseAbility sponsored Discover Ability featuring keynote speaker Mark Wafer. This event was held at the Abilities Centre in Whitby, Ontario. As a member of the Whitby Chamber of Commerce, Together We Rock! was pleased to be one of the presenting sponsors of this event. An audience of 100 employers and representatives from community organizations attended Discover Ability.
Inclusion in Action: Practical Strategies to Modify Your Curriculum is a soon to be released book by Nicole Eredics from Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co. Nicole Eredics is a teacher, speaker, and consultant who is a recognized advocate for inclusive education. Nicole’s highly successful blog, The Inclusive Clas is a well-respected resource for educators dedicated to the full inclusion of students with disabilities in school communities.
Canada defines itself by bridges, not walls. This is the sentiment of Canada’s Supreme Court Chief Justice, Beverley McLachlin, who will step down from her position at the end of this year. McLachlin said “Canada still defines itself by inclusion, by what it embraces, not exclusively by what it rejects.”
Aramark, a leading catering management and uniform company which serves sports teams, healthcare providers, educational institutions, cultural attractions and landmarks, as well as numerous municipalities in 19 countries globally was recently awarded top marks in the 2017 Disability Equity Index® (DEI®).
Effective teaching means effective communication. However, with students emerging from a variety of cultures, backgrounds and abilities in today’s classrooms, the language used in teaching can often stifle students’ progress. Subjects such as math and science use jargon which can be confusing, especially when the students speak differently and may use a different language at home.
Progressive businesses are implementing more diverse and inclusive recruitment policies to secure a more sustainable future. But, diversity is itself a term which can mean different things to different people. It can mean employing people from different backgrounds, ages, gender, sexual orientation, disability, education or religion. But also, according to Farrah Qureshi, CEO at Global Diversity Practice, diversity can also mean respecting and appreciating each other’s differences in an age of challenging geopolitical change, “The key question for companies is how to leverage those diverse perspectives, lifestyles and backgrounds to drive business success and innovation,” says Qureshi.
The more people with disabilities are seen on mainstream media, the more attitudes will change about accessibility and inclusion in the world. This perspective expressed by Australian lawyer, Meg Dalling, in an article for ANZ Bluenotes. Dalling says the media industry is slow to catch on to the fact that employing people with disabilities can benefit their organization by both reflecting the society it operates in as well making good business sense.
Without inclusivity, any attempt to create a diverse community is likely to fail. There must be a culture of acceptance and tolerance in order to be successful in embracing and strengthening eclectic views. One of Canada’s leading insurance companies, Aviva, has committed to change people’s attitudes by giving its top marketing executive, Jan Gooding, a mandate to work out how to move beyond tolerance to inclusion.
It is reported that one in five Australians live with a disability. But, if the images of society broadcast through the media and advertisers are to be believed, this sector of the population is vastly underrepresented. That was the case until recently, when some major retailers started featuring children with special needs in their commercials.
Cultural differences, colour, abilities and language may be barriers to creating relationships for some people. However, children don’t seem phased by differences. By teaching acceptance as a way of life to children at an early age, there is an opportunity to leave a lasting impression on them and the rest of the world.
Canada’s Best Diversity Employers recognize employers that inspire exceptional inclusiveness and diversity programs. This competition is sponsored by Mediacorp and considers diversity initiatives in a variety of categories, including programs for employees from five groups: for people with disabilities, women, visible minorities, aboriginal peoples, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered/transsexual (LGBTQ) people.
Toy manufacturers respond to what is happening around them, and changes in cultural perspectives play a role in the products which will be on children’s wish lists for the next holiday season. One of the biggest trends at the recent toy fair held in New York City was a move towards toys which reflect more diversity and inclusion in their appearance or packaging.