Global Accessibility Awareness Day
Thursday May 16th, 2019 marks the eighth annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). This day started out to bring about awareness to accessibility needs and inclusion-aware design when it comes to technology and development. This is actually a brilliant initiative as, with many things, thinking about inclusivity needs of those with disabilities tends to be helpful for everyone, not just those who inspire the initial ideas. A small example is push button doors; lets face it, everyone loves those bad boys! Got a baby in a buggy? Button that door! Got a bike you’re trying to get inside? Button that door! Your hands just really full? Bop that button with your elbow and you’re good to go!
Although “The purpose of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital (web, software, mobile, etc.) access/inclusion and people with different disabilities,” I think it has, and will continue to, develop into something more than only web and technology design, but all types of design and inclusive-aware development.
Accessibility in the Arts
I recently had the pleasure of joining the City of Vancouver’s jury for artists and although I was impressed with their desire for inclusion, it was interesting to see how able bodied people may not think about accessibility in the arts. And once these people listened to what I said it was this wonderful moment of clarity and interest in making the arts more accessible. Especially when it comes to venues, where most have obvious and pretty debilitating flaws.
Most commonly we think of stairs in and out of a venue, or properly accessible bathroom stalls, which is a persistent and annoying issue for all. But past that, many disabled artists are balked not only from getting into a venue, but getting onto the stage. There are currently a very limited number of venues in Vancouver where talented and well educated artists aren’t able to perform their craft. My hope is that going forward, all of these problems are addressed by the designers and developers.
To be honest, I’m only learning of this day this year, but I’m glad to have discovered it! I’ve been asked to join in the celebration with CiTR Radio’s All Access Pass, who’s doing a full day of programming around the theme: Accessibility in Our Communities. I will be on at 3pm and will be chatting a bit about Vancouver Adapted Music Society, along with singing some tunes! And, don’t forget to tune in at 12pm as well to listen to my fellow artist Greg Labine.
“CiTR works to foster and sustain a safe and inclusive environment for our members, volunteers, guests and supporters. We reflect the UBC campus, the city, and the multicultural/multiracial nature of both, and honour an inclusive, healthy and dynamic society in which each person, regardless of background, experience or circumstance, is able to participate and benefit in varying capacities.
CiTR’s Access Day programming focuses on these commitments through the content and voices of our guests, bringing these values, and the associated challenges, to the minds and ears of our listeners, volunteers, and programmers”. You can tune in at 101.9fm or online at www.citr.ca
Kristina is a Resource Coordinator at the Personal Injury Resource Centre. You can learn more about Kristina at www.kristinasheldenmusic.com or follow her at www.facebook.com/kristinasheldenmusic,! You can also find her on Instagram and Twitter.