Educate not berate
"Educate not berate”
This is from a brilliant, thoughtful post on LinkedIn from my fab friend, the amazing Meryl Evans.
She talks about the experience of a self-employed disabled person who had proudly used a 3rd party accessibility overlay to improve the accessibility of their website.
I did not see the original post but there was a backlash because, of course, 3rd party accessibility overlays make websites less accessible not more accessible.
They fixed the issue by removing the overlay but Meryl’s post highlighted the fact that, although it is easy to jump in and point the finger, it actually doesn’t help anyone.
It is unbelievably frustrating that 96.1% of the top million websites fail some basic accessibility checks, 24 years after the first set of website accessibility guidelines came out.
It is depressing beyond belief, frankly.
I never thought, when I first started speaking publicly about accessibility in 2008, that this would be the case.
But it is.
How can we be most effective?
The only way we can change that is by encouraging, supporting and educating.
Not making people feel bad.
What message does it send out when a self-employed disabled person gets berated on a platform like LinkedIn and gets slated just for trying to make their website more accessible and being proud of that fact?
What message does that send out to the rest of the people on LinkedIn that aren’t disabled?
I understand why it happens and I have been guilty of this myself, it is such a natural reaction when we see anything that promotes a solution that, frankly, is not a solution, but it does not help anyone.
The road to digital accessibility is often a long, winding and tortuous one and we are all at different points along it.
When you are on a difficult road, it is always better if you can meet someone who can help you along the way and share your load for a while.
Caption: Two dogs carrying a log between them. It is too heavy for one of them to carry on their own
My TEDxTalk is now featured on TED.com! 21/12/2022
In my previous post about my TEDxTalk, I said that the story did not end there.
A few months later, Dale Howarth got in touch again and told me that TED were very interested in featuring my talk on TED.com.
I was thrilled, of course, and rather overcome. There was extra due diligence required and I gave some extremely detailed feedback, explaining the clear evidence for everything that I had said. When a talk goes out on a channel as influential as TED.com, it is of course vital that everything stated can stand up to scrutiny.
I am so proud to announce that my talk is now live! This is not about me, or my ego or anything like that. It is about the message. That is all that matters and if my Talk can get more people thinking about Digital Accessibility, if it can get them a little further along on the journey, then that it all that matter.
However, the sobering reality is that over 230 million active websites on the World Wide Web contain basic accessibility errors and it MUST change.
Access by Design
Changing the World, One Website at a Time.
Vectis Radio Interview 02/03/2022
The day before my TEDx Talk on the Isle of Wight, I met the wonderful Ian Mac, the owner of an amazing community radio station, Vectis Radio.
Vectis has a focus on helping teenagers who have different challenges and I was deeply moved by Ian's passion, enthusiasm and commitment to his cause: for greater inclusivity and equality.
My TEdxTalk was purely about explaining the basics of website accessibility and I was so appreciative to have an opportunity to talk about what drives me, my background and how Access by Design came about.
It was also very helpful to chat about my amazing website audit team, consisting of people with different disabilities and the tremendous difference they make to my website accessibility audits.
Access by Design
Changing the World, One Website at a Time
I came across a CD of Library music on one of my visits to London to see Cliff, whilst I was at Uni. Cliff was working at Air Studios at the time. Library music is ready-made music, cut to commercial lengths and used mostly within the corporate world. As an aspiring composer who was set on a career of writing music to picture, I found the idea very odd and when I cut my first audio CD to demo my skills, I actually called it "This is NOT A LIbrary CD" .
There was a track on it, a string quartet that I had written for a Uni module. I got a call from a Media company that was doing a low-budget programme for Channel 4 that had a piece on Bosnia and they asked if they could use it. There was no budget but was I happy to get the credit, which was actually worth far more. The irony of my music being used as library music was not lost on me though!
© Channel 4 1999
The Kingfisher Tailor
I got a paid opportunity to write some music for a pitch for an animated project called the Kingfisher Tailor in 1998.
It was set in an Aztec kingdom and my oldest friend Nigel Rippon, the most brilliant all-round musician I know, gave me some very helpful input into the style of music that might work. He also did some quite convincing ethnic singing!
I travelled up to London to meet the director to play him my ideas and he liked it made a passing comment that he was not overkeen on the fake ethnic singing. The brilliant Sarah Erasmus came over and laid some simply awesome vocals down and I was so pleased with the final piece of music.
Unfortunately, it then got rather badly chopped up in post-production and squashed down in the mix but the original track is still one of my favourites because it is something rather different!
I do not think the project ever got taken up and it was certainly an experience in learning that, at the end of the day, we composers are very much at the bottom of the food chain!
© Peppers Ghost 2000
Whose Wall Was It Anyway
I made this film for my dissertation. By this time, I had decided that writing music for TV and Film was what I wanted to do with my life. I had the opportunity to make a film for my dissertation and it turned into rather an all-consuming project! I was obsessed by Pink Floyd's The Wall and so I wrote my dissertation on the subject of autobiography in film. As well as studying Alan Parker's brilliant film, I also looked at the inventive French filmmakers Jean Vigo and FrançoisTruffaut, who were both pioneers in their art. I spent the Autumn term filming and editing on Hi8 Tapes!
As I composed the music and then edited the film to it, it was the reverse of what followed for the next 8 years as I wrote my music to fit to the images. In 2004, the final piece of music I wrote, called Breaking the Circle, was not written for picture. It was written for my post-grad, which I also studied at Chichester University. It was actually a nice way of closing off that chapter in my life, although I did not know it at the time!
This film was looking at my life as a teenager up until the accident in 1989. I am still very proud of it although be warned: there is a section of the film where Cath Dillon recorded a vocal track that is just brilliant. It might sound a bit rude though!
© Clive Loseby 1996