Borshoff

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12 / 07 / 2011

Accessible Communication

Last week, the Indiana Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities held their annual convention – a gathering of more than 400 advocates and individuals with disabilities around the state focusing on “Celebrating Community.”  For me, the conference was more than the incredible keynotes by Glen Hiemstra, Aaron Bishop and Ceasar MacDowell. It went beyond the engaging workshops focused on building an inclusive, livable community.

I was captivated by the stenographer.

During each presentation, the stenographer diligently captured the spoken words and projected them onto a large screen for anyone to read. This observation took me back to COMM 101 – the transportation of a message between the sender and the receiver.  Throughout the conference, I observed so many different methods of message delivery:

  • Sign language interpreters
  • Braille note-taking
  • Low-vision aids
  • Hearing aids
  • Closed-captioning

It made me think: How do I ensure that the messages I send – videos, logos, presentations, blogs, etc. – are accessible and communicable to everyone? Do our tweets, PowerPoints and YouTube spoofs take into consideration the stenographer’s ability to recount the words or an interpreter’s capability of expressing the sentiment?

Thanks to the stenographer, I will be mindful of creating accessible communications. Please let me know in the comments below any tips you have for ensuring accessible messages.

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