Friday, November 14, 2014

Accessibility Worth Sharing (Part 1!)

November (and the cold weather that comes with it) swooped in fast, didn't it? It's hard to believe this month is halfway over!

This week's post is somewhat of a prelude to next week's. In an attempt to hold your attention and not beg for too much of your time, I've decided to split up the story of Haben Girma's ironical fight to gain accessibility in TEDx talks (and in other technologies, too) from the TEDx talk on disabilities rights that started the whole thing.

Haben Girma is the first Deaf-Blind graduate from Harvard Law School. But before she went to Harvard, she was an undergraduate student at Portland's own Lewis and Clark College. Girma says that Lewis and Clark was great about providing textbooks and course materials for her in Braille, which is her preferred mode of communication, but when it came to the lunch menus, things were harder:

"There were some unhappy surprises."

The video in and of itself is worth watching, but the real kick is what happened before and after Girma gave her speech at TEDx. She concludes her talk with a plea to people in various fields to familiarize themselves with the Americans with Disabilities Act so that through their own jobs, they can make the world more accessible. If only the people who run TEDx, the independent, community-based faction of TED, had listened to that request...

More on that next week!

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