At the heart of the disability rights movement, throughout its countless demonstrations across the decades, and right up through today, there’s a motto, a rallying cry, a mission: “Nothing About Us Without Us.”
Involving members of the disability community into the processes and decisions affecting them—whatever the area, industry, or cause—is absolutely fundamental to making any meaningful stride toward true equality and inclusion.
Throughout our series, our host Sam Proulx and our many extraordinary guests have stressed this critical requirement. From Judith Heumann sharing her experiences spearheading many of the key disability rights protests of the ‘60s and ‘70s to Jennifer Keelan-Chaffins recounting her pivotal participation in the Capitol Crawl to help force the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), “Nothing About Us Without Us” has remained at their core.
In this extraordinary episode of The InclusionHub Podcast, we delve even deeper into its meaning and ongoing application in the fight for a fully accessible web. We’re honored, once again, to have truly incredible guests sharing their personal and collective experiences with us, toward this end.
As our host Sam notes in the episode: “The spectrum of disabilities impacting people around the globe are wide ranging, and encompass far too many conditions to name here. Yet whether blind, d/Deaf, living with cognitive disabilities, speech difficulties, psychological, or physical challenges, this community deserves and demands the same level of access and inclusion to every facet of society as those who are not experiencing these things.”
This episode’s amazing guests represent a tiny cross-section of those living with several types of disabilities, and share their experiences navigating an inaccessible web. They provide tips and advice, and explore how to make meaningful improvements.
Laura Kalbag, co-founder of the nonprofit Small Technology Foundation and author of the book ‘Accessibility for Everyone,’ who spoke with us for our very first episode, ‘Accessibility by Default,’ joins us once again. So does Bradley Rikard, former Salesforce administrator at the nonprofit Blind Institute of Technology, now accessibility architect at Charter Communications. Will Butler, former chief experience officer at Be My Eyes, now working in corporate communications and accessibility at Apple, also weighs in. So does lifelong disability rights advocate Jennifer Keelan-Chaffins, who at just eight years old played such a crucial part in the aforementioned Capitol Crawl, and who remains a guiding light for so many around the world in the struggle for equality. You can hear her life story, as well as her thoughts on that oh-so critical demonstration, in episode four, ‘The Capitol Crawl.’
“As a person with cerebral palsy, I also have low vision, and I have visual tracking issues. And so I use assistive technology on a daily basis to help me navigate the digital space,” Keelan-Chaffins explains in the latest episode. “I use a screen reader, and I use all these different assistive technology devices, so that I can freely navigate that space, and it is just as important to be able to freely navigate that space and be accepted and acknowledged in that space, as it is the physical world. Otherwise, you are intentionally excluding someone from that environment. And, that's not right.”
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The InclusionHub Podcast is sponsored by our Founding Partners: Salesforce, a leading customer relationship management software provider; Morey Creative Studios (MCS), a HubSpot Diamond Partner Agency; Fable, a leading accessibility testing platform; and Be My Eyes, a free app connecting blind and low-vision people with sighted volunteers.
More About Laura Kalbag
More About Bradley Rikard
- Bradley on LinkedIn