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The Arts and Culture sector has always wanted to be a sector where people come together. Over the years, this sector has been moving towards trying to be inclusive and accessible of persons with disabilities – on stage/off stage/behind the stage and on/off the dance floor. The sector was making strides until the COVID-19 pandemic set the arts back 30 years in regards to accessibility for people with disabilities.
2020 marks the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, yet few realize that access to the arts is a disability right. The vast majority of people with disabilities seldom have an opportunity to enjoy or participate in the arts. As the arts transition to using virtual platforms, this can mean either greater inclusion or greater exclusion for people with disabilities. The Inclusive Creativity webinar teaches how the arts and culture sector can provide a creative outlet in an accessible and inclusive way.
This free webinar includes the following:
Kerry Thompson is the Executive Director For Silent Rhythms, Inc. and a 2018 recipient of the New England Foundations for the Arts’ Creative City grant. She is also the Senior Officer of Communications, Inclusion, & Analytics for the Disability Rights Fund. In these roles, Kerry is a renowned inclusion expert in how to create inclusive and accessible communications for various sectors – the arts, healthcare, human rights, nonprofits, and disability rights movement. She is also a dancer and a dance instructor having taught more than 5,000 people with disabilities how to dance.
Thank you everyone for joining us. There are a couple more people logging in now. But I think we will get started. So now I can officially say, hello, everybody, and thank you for joining us today for this inclusive creativity webinar, creating access to the arts for people with disabilities.
I am Ann Wicks, I'm the communications director at New England Foundation for the Arts. I have a few important notes for you. This event is captioned. You may turn on the captions using the button at the bottom right of your screen. You will see that there are options to enlarge text in that same -- on the same button.
And I will put a link in the chat for anyone who has difficulty seeing the Zoom captions or who prefer quicker captions. Let me just do that now. There we go. This event includes an ASL interpreter. If you need a larger view of our interpreter,please put a request in the chat. And I''ll be able to grant that to you.
And at the end we will have time for Q&A. I request you put your questions in the Q&A, not the chat. That button is also found at the bottom of your screen. Slightly to the left of center. This event is being recorded. We will share it on our blog and our channels.
So as you know, this is the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. We are thrilled to have Kerry Thompson present this training today.
Kerry is the executive director for Silent Rhythms, and a 2018 recipient of NEFA' s Creative City grant and is the Senior Officer of Communications, Inclusion & Analytics for the Disability Rights Fund. She is a renowned inclusion expert in how to create inclusive and accessible communications for various sectors, including the arts, healthcare, human rights, non-profits and the disability rights movement. She is also a dancer and a dance instructor, having taught more than 5,000 people are disabilities how to dance. NEFA had the pleasure of getting to know Kerry and her work over several years through a grant to Silent Rhythms and other workshops she has presented. Kerry, take it away! I''ll turn off my video now.
Hi, everyone. Thank you so much, Ann, for that wonderful introduction. Good morning, good morning, and thank you all for being here. And I''m so thrilled to have this opportunity to share with you about how to be inclusive and accessible. As Ann mentioned this is the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. And I remember the day that this Act was signed 30 years ago. I was too young to understand what it was. But my mother put me in front of the television and she said: Watch, our lives are about to change.
We were just starting to put me into education. And as a DeafBlind person, we weren't sure what did that look like. How could I get the best education possible while also having to be accessible? We didn't have rights just yet. But that day I remember not what was happening, but I remember watching on the television that there were people using sign language that was my special language. I had never seen anyone on television before using my special language. That is what I remember about that day.
I'm not going to tell you about all the struggles to get an education, because I really want to focus more on now, 30 years later. I do want to say that the ADA has been a tremendous achievement for the disability rights movement to help people with disabilities. There are 1 billion people with disability around the world and make up 15% of the world's population.
The United States, it is actually 20% of the population has a disability, because we have more defined definitions of what disability is. And also, I wanted to say that a few years later, after the ADA was signed by president George H.W. Bush, I walked across the stage at Louisiana State University to receive my college diploma, in front of the commencement speaker, president George H.W. Bush. As I walked across I mentioned to him "thank you." That is all I could say, was just thank you. Thirty years later there is still a struggle for people with disabilities to have access to the basic human rights in education, especially healthcare right now, Employment, and the arts. But we here today really are leer to focus on how we can bring creativity to people with disabilities so I'm going to ask that Jeffrey go to the next slide, please.
Ann already mentioned some of the accessibility notes about having an American Sign Language interpreter. I want to say that there are two different kinds of Zoom meetings. One is a Zoom Meeting. That Zoom meeting, you are able to pin the video of anyone in the meeting and make their video larger. However, this is a Zoom webinar. You don't have the power to pin or make panelist videos larger. As Ann said if you need the interpreter's video larger please let us know in chat and she will upgrade your status to panelist and you can pin the video inside the panelist room. The closed caption is also something that is a great feature that Zoom offers where if you click closed caption icon at the bottom it has several options for, one, turn on subtitles, and two if they are too small they have settings to make it larger.
The other thing that Ann just put in the chat, the CART link. CART is short for captioning in real time. The captions for food is being provided by a live human being. Not a robot! Not an imitator. But in Zoom you are able to assign anyone as a captioner. It could be Ann. I could assign Ann as a captioner. She could type this what people are saying. She wouldn't do a great job at it because she is not a professional, but it is a good option if you have a one-on-one meeting.
The other thing I like to do for accessibility is a video description. I like to describe what you you see in my video for those with visually impaired. So I'm a white woman who has long brown hair and wearing a headphone with a microphone in front of my face, wearing a red dress. Behind me are three pictures of some of my favorite musicals: Wicked, Rent in the center, and behind my head is Kinky Boots.
So now you know what I look like. I want to go to the next slide. So I can tell you about who I am. Next slide, please. This is another picture of me in another red dress, red is my favorite color, I think it is very good for stopping traffic when I'm walking around with a white cane. So if you don't see the red dress you see the cane! In front of me is an American Sign Language interpreter signing into my hand what people are saying. Behind me is another interpreter. She is using pro-tactile. She is drawing on my back what is happening around me, what people are doing, what people's facial expresses look like.
I will do a demonstration now. About pro-tactile. I do not have a human model because clearly I'm supposed to be quarantining, social distancing, so I have this little guy here. It is a husky stuffed dog and I will demonstrate on the back what pro-tactile is. I'm going to draw a line straight across the back. That means somebody walked in the room. If I draw a line straight up? On the back, it means somebody on the right side has a question. If I do it on the left side, it means somebody on the left side has a question. If I do this motion, bum, bum, bum, tapping on the back like this? It means people are laughing. If I drew a circle? It means all beam are laughing. If people are smiling, I feel the the smile symbol. All people, all people are smiling. If somebody is on the phone? You feel in motion because it's the way they text. I can always say there is somebody on the right side on their phone, and I can always tell them during my lecture, please get off your phone! It's really scary when they hear that. You are blind, how did you know that? I have eyes everywhere!
The other thing I'm going to show you is called a braille display. A braille display is an electronic keyboard display that has electronic braille. So I do know braille. And here we go. At the bottom are these -- right here at the bottom are different cells that will pop up. I will be able to feel braille symbols as people are typing what they are saying or if I am reading an email. It is connected to a screen reader.
Another way for me as a person who is DeafBlind to connect to what people are doing? Now, I mentioned the Zoom subtitles. But sometimes it is too difficult for me to see the Zoom subtitles even at the largest setting possible. I also like to use color inversion. With color inversion, it means I like to have a dark background with a white color font. I'm following captions on the StreamText line. I'm showing in my video box the StreamText line that I am following with the black background and light-colored font
And Ann already mentioned a little about my work and I have done work as an executive director for Silent Rhythms teaching more than 5,000 people with disabilities. One of the grants we received from NEFA was for a project called Movements to Move the Marginalized from the Margins. I have taught dance to a variety of people with different disabilities but always wanted to focus on my own disability type. I always saw dance as truly a powerful way to connect people with and without disability to come together. A lot of times people without disabilities don't seem to care about disability issues or they feel it is not relevant to them.
So the one way I got people to care about me and about my challenges was to dance with them. And that is how many of the dancers that I have worked with over the years, whether we work together as collaborators or on the dance floor, just dancing, we have gotten to know each other on a personal level. That has helped them to start thinking about how disability is important in their work. The people I danced with over the years include medical doctors, professors, social worker. It is truly amazing how arts can connect us in a greater sense of community.
Now, the pandemic means a new challenge for me, for all of us. But the way I communicate as a DeafBlind person, through touch. Touching my back, touching sign language through the hands. And right now, touch is sort of verboten. It is forbidden, banned. People can no longer touch each other safely. So the way I communicate, I can no longer communicate. The way I teach people who are DeafBlind how to dance, I can no longer do. I can no longer teach them one-on-one using my hands and having them touch my body. And that means I have had to think truly about how I can continue to provide access to dance for people with disabilities.
I have started a new project that has people with disabilities being able to take online dance classes using captions and also using sign language. But for people who are DeafBlind, online access is something that we still struggle with. And I'm testing something different that is using a contact-less, no-contact method of providing tactile information without touch. It is a work in progress and I'm designing a couple of equipment to see how I can provide dance lessons in person to people who are DeafBlind while maintaining 6 feet. It is definitely interesting. I have gotten a couple of bruises, but don't make sure, I'm going to make sure the method is perfect before I actually put it to practice. Next slide, please.
I want to give you an overview of what we''re going to talk about today. The first couple of things that I want to demonstrate is, one, I want to explain the challenges that people with disabilities face so you can understand what they are. Two, I'm going to teach you about using creative, accessible social media. I will also plan to teach you about how to use accessible virtual meetings for people with disabilities, because these two platforms, social media and virtual meetings, are going to be the method that most of us, as artists, are going to use to continue to share our art and creativity. I also will remind everyone that if you have questions, to put them in the Q&A or chat. If that doesn't work I have a timer set to go off at 10:45 and I'll leave some time for people to ask questions in the Q&A and be happy to address them.
In the description of my video background, I mentioned the -- oh, before I talk about that, I also want to say the last point is I'm going to give you some tips on how to make online dance classes accessible.
And now, I want to say that how I describe the video background of the three of my favorite musicals, Wicked, Rent and Kinky Boots. I was fortunate to have been able to see all of these productions in person either with an ASL interpreter, or open caption. I have also seen them in a movie format and had the option of having captions for that as well. All of these three musicals relate to me on some level because all three of them have members of society who are viewed as outcasts, rejected, faced stigma or discrimination. And sometimes the lyrics really speak to me. A lot of times people can assume how can someone who is deaf or even blind, especially both of them, access music and dance.
Now, here is a few lyrics from "Defying Gravity" in Wicked. Here is how the lyric goes:
I'm through accepting limits
'cause someone says they're so.
Some things I cannot change,
but till I try, I'll never know.
And Rent. One of the most powerful songs is one where it repeats the same three lines over and over:
Will I lose my dignity?
Will someone care
Will I wake tomorrow from this nightmare
That is another thing that really connects me. I was born deaf and found out at ten years old I was going blind. For anyone who has a progressive disability that gets worse over the years you are always trying to adapt and always trying to address new challenges every day is a new day, a new challenge.
The thing about Kinky Boots that really spoke to me is, one, a person who really loves dancing and as a little boy is trying to learn and just experience the joy of dancing, but the world around him ostracizes him and tells him he cannot do that, he cannot be that, that is not acceptable but the bigger message of Kinky Boots is also about how a company that was struggling, a shoe factory, the way they survived during an economic crisis, was to serve a population of transgender and drag queens; by serving this population, it ensured their survival. That is something that is not a really big message in Kinky Boots, but it is one I'm bringing up here because the pandemic means we are changing the way we do our work. The arts, for many of us, a lot of the dance studios have started to close. Artists are having a hard time continuing to do their work or find a place where they can showcase their work. And that means that they are losing revenues and income. I like to bring up that perhaps one way to help broaden their revenue and outreach is also to serve the population that very people consider. People with disabilities. Next slide, please.
I figured it would be good to share a few things about inclusion and understand simple concepts of inclusion. It may seem simple to me but might be something new to you.
What does inclusion mean? Inclusion means creating an environment where all people and ideas are valued. Inclusion in the arts for people with disability means people get to enjoy the theater, Museums, and dance as audience members or as artists with disabilities. This means they are represented on the stage, behind the stage, in the scripts, on the dance floor, off the dance floor. They can be dancers, play writers, they can be directors, performers, painters, sculptors or even behind-the-scenes stage crew members. They should have a role at making decision-making processes and be involved as board members, staff members, and advisors to the arts and culture sector. There are a lot of surveys I have seen lately going out related to COVID-19 and many of them do not address disability or even seek people with disabilities' opinion. So that is something I would like for all of you to consider, if you send out a survey, ask yourself: Is this inclusive of people with disabilities?
The second concept is about the social model versus the medical model. Social model is the philosophy that disability is not a diagnosis. But rather, the result of social, physical, and digital barriers that is caused by society. In short, it is not me, it's you. You remember I said I''m from Louisiana, so there is a little bit of sass in everything I say and do! Now the medical model, the medical model is the belief that disability is internal, within the person. And is caused by their condition. Now, met me explain this concept a little bit more. Perhaps I go into a room where no one knows sign language My disability has become pronounced in that situation. Now, if I go into a different room where everyone knows sign language? My disability has disappeared. So you see, environment does have an impact on disability.
The third concept, inclusion and accessibility, is important that you understand inclusion and accessibility are not the same thing. Accessibility can be a step towards inclusion. But accessibility does not mean inclusion. For example, once again I'm -- I go to a room. I have a sign language interpreter. I sat down and on either side of me, my left and right, the seats are empty. It is a crowded room but nobody wants to sit next to me. No one wants to talk to me. That is not inclusion. I've gone to tables to sit down at lunch time with a sign language interpreter and looking forward to networking. People have gotten up from the table to go sit somewhere else. That is not inclusion.
The third concept -- actually the fourth concept. The fourth concept is intersectionality. A person with a disability can be a woman, a person of color, a Black person, and indigenous person, a person from the LGBTQI community. For this reason it is important that minority groups reach out to different other minorities because a person can have many different identities. And a lot of artist with disabilities who are of color or Black are really struggling in this sector.
The fifth concept. Using the participatory approach. People hear this term and think it is about enabling a specific population to be part of their event. But it is so much more than about being seen. It is truly about making sure that the very population you aim to serve are the ones that are included in the decision-making process. I've received information in the past that my work, teaching people with disabilities how to dance, has been used for other projects. I was not consulted. And when I d about the grant -- learned about the project later, how I was expected to be involved, but I was never consulted, nobody asked me my opinion. After the fact I learned this is really not a good project. It is not empowering, it using very old-school medical model languages.
Now the last concept I want to talk about for inclusion 101 is to make sure you understand access to the arts and access to information is both a disability right and a human right. The Americans with Disabilities Act does cover arts. And, even though it predates the Internet, the ADA talks about access to public space. The Internet is public space. Next slide, please. And I realize it might be boring to hear me saying constantly, "next slide." So the next time I want the slide changed? I'm going to say the new code, which is: "The dinosaurs are coming!" Isn't that creative?
Challenges, there are five key challenges: Attitudinal. That is usually the one where people make assumptions about what someone with a disability can or cannot do. Physical, this means that often people face challenges trying to assess a public space, because of physical barrier such as lack of elevator or the lack of public transportation that is accessible. Or the lack of a ramp. Or lack of accessible bathroom. The third challenge is communication. And communication means for people who are deaf or DeafBlind, hard of hearing, those with visually impaired, intellectual disability, are they able to access your event, whether it's public, online, or physical? Transportation has been another challenge for many people with disabilities. Not everyone has a car. And not every place by public transportation goes to the site of the event where you are going. The last one is not an exhaustive list, but another challenge is financial and poverty. Often that disability means that usually it is two ways. Disability can cause poverty. Or, poverty can cause disability.
A lot of people with disabilities do not have access to the arts because they are not able to afford it. Or perhaps in the general education curriculum this was not included for them.
So now I want to talk about how can we move these barriers. How to make social media more accessible. Okay, The dinosaurs are coming! I love that! Hopefully people who joined later will understand why I keep saying "the dinosaurs are coming." So now we are going to talk about creating accessible social media. I'm seeing the arts sector turning to social media to continue to share their creativity. Museums are offering virtual art tours, some leaders on Broadway are showing their Broadway productions on live streaming or showing the previous productions. Hamilton just came on Disney Plus.It has closed captions and we are seeing some places with ASL, so they have a virtual but with an American Sign Language user, usually a person who is deaf.
I reach out to some people, I want to take dance classes with. They are using it through Zoom. I ask can you please put your video recording in YouTube? Because then you are able to auto generate captions there so that I can watch the class and watch the captions in the same video.
We're going to look at the three top platforms for social media. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. One of the key challenges we all face is budgeting. Ann has mentioned I have two different roles. At Silent Rhythms my budget is in the thousands. For the Disability Rights Fund, the budget is in the millions, but both of us have the same challenge. Both organizations have the same challenge of we want to -- same challenge of we want to be accessible and we cannot afford to not be accessible. But now, how can you be accessible if you don''t have a lot of funding for it? And one thing I always try to appeal to grantmakers is you should make sure that everyone that is submitting a grant application, that 5% of their project budget is allocated toward accessibility costs, sign language interpreters, for braille production, for audio describers. But let me say why does social media matter. Why should accessible social media matter. For the same reason that social media in general matters to society. It is the way to engage, to connect, to share our thoughts, it's a vehicle for free speech. And to highlight injustice. To share critical information and to provide us with entertainment and amusement. Who does not love videos of puppies? Your role, you play a role in creating accessible social media. It should not just be part of your job. It should be part of your life. You can post for your work, but you should do the same in your personal life. Don't you count people with disabilities among your friends and family? The dinosaurs are coming!
The next slide here is about writing image description. And on the right side is a picture of me standing with Governor Baker. We are standing in front of the grand staircase at the Massachusetts State House. Governor Baker is wearing a suit and I'm wearing a blue dress with flowers on it and also holding a white cane in front of me. So now let's talk about image description. This applies for websites, for social media. Image description can be broken into two different categories. There is Alt-Text, and there is description. They have the same purpose of providing visual information for people who are visually impaired but use different methods. So now Alt-Text is a description language tool but only a screen reader can access it. If you are a website editor, you go to your website to up load a photo or any image or logo, there are three options, usually, in the portal.
One is for Alt-Text. You add in the Alt-Text, describing what is in the image. What you put in the Alt-Text, no one else will be able to see or hear the Alt-Text unless it is a screen reader.
The second method is caption. The caption just means the language that will be seen under the picture. Everyone can see the caption. A screen reader does not read the caption.
The third item usually is called description. Description means that you can go much further in depth about what is in the image.
Alt-Text, most screen readers don't read more than 125 characters. And therefore, you want to try to limit how much you put in the Alt-Text. Now, description. Video description and image description can mean something different in social media. An image description, video description is usually within the post. So you post on Facebook and say something like: Hi, everyone, welcome to this new webinar. Then underneath the post I put also in the post, within the post: Image description, a picture of Kerry, a woman with long brown hair, standing next to Governor Baker. The image description is visible for everyone to see. Not everyone who is blind or low-vision uses a screen reader. So you want to try to provide information to them.
All of these social media platforms have the ability to add Alt-Text. That would only be read by a screen reader. But image description is something that can be read by a screen reader. So if you don't take the extra step to do an Alt-Text in social media? You should always add an image description in your post. On the website, you should always do Alt-Text.
So three tips for writing a good Alt-Text:
What should you be describing? Where is the photo being taken. Two, who? Who is in the photo? Three, what are they doing?
Now again, image description: Kerry, a white woman with long brown hair, wearing a blue dress and holding a white cane, stands next to Governor Baker a tall man wearing a suit. This is actually 118 character It is not necessary to know my hair is long or brown. You can always take out that part.
What is important is to know maybe the color of my skin, the fact I'm holding a white cane and who I am standing next to. The dinosaurs are coming.
Now I'm going to talk about social media best practice. These best practices typically work for all social media. When you include a hyperlink, indicate whether it leads to an audio, a picture, or a video. Because sometimes a video or audio can lead to something that is not suitable for work! Two, a second tip is to save the hashtags for end of a post. Three, capitalize the first letter of each word in a hashtag. This is called camelbacking. So, camel, like the different humps, so for New England Foundation for the Arts hashtag, you would capitalize #NewEnglandFoundationArts. You get the idea. The dinosaurs are coming.
In this slide there is more suggestions. Tagging, I do recommend tagging. You don''t want to waste your precious character limits on who is in the picture. Tagging means that the Alt-Text will automatically read who is tagging. So if you tag people in your photo ? The screen reader will read that. So please consider using tag with tagging with the person's permission. Then the other best practice is use image and video permission and Alt-Text.
And please, please save the emojis until the very end. Emojis do have Alt-Text. Here is an example of a text message that one woman who is blind received. "Wishing you a prosperous new year, excited face with money symbol for eyes and stuck out tongue, excited face with money symbol for eye and stuck out tongue, excited face with money symbol for eyes and stuck out tongue, excited mace and stuck out tongue. You guys free tonight? Give me a call."Yeah. Really, that was an awful lot of information that had -- that was not any information at all. So always save emojis to the very end. People who are visually impaired using screen reader use social media and text message, we do like emojis, we just like them at the very end. Happy face, happy face! The dinosaurs are coming.
Now we''ll talk about Twitter accessibility. Twitter has the option to add Alt-Text to your picture. But to do that you have to go into your settings to turn the feature on. To do that you go to "more," settings, accessibility. Then you click a check box by: Compose image description. The dinosaurs are coming. So now here is a screenshot of after I uploaded a photo to Twitter. I can now type in the description. You remember, you have to make sure that the feature is enabled beforehand. The description I'm typing here is not viewable to the public, only a screen reader can read this. Remember, try to keep it at about 100 characters. Next slide, please.
So now I'll tell you about adding human-generated Alt-Text to Facebook and Instagram. Unlike Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have auto-generated Alt-Text. Unlike Twitter you do not have to enable Alt-Text in settings. Now I don't like Alt-Text auto generated Alt-Text. Why? Because this is just looking for objects in the picture. So the picture of me with Governor Baker would be: Woman, man, steps. That's the auto generated Alt-Text. Now, I'm not sharing the picture because I want you to know a woman and man and steps are in the picture, I'm trying to blag I'm standing next to -- trying to brag that I'm standing next to Governor Baker.
So I can add Alt-Text to Facebook and Instagram. To do this you go and upload the photo. This is a screenshot of me uploading a photo to Facebook. If I hover over the photo that I just uploaded in the post you see the pencil on the side. And then for Instagram and LinkedIn, doing the same thing. You upload the photo in the post. Instead of at the bottom right, it is at the top right. Next slide, please.
So after you click the pencil it will go to this screen here that shows you how to add Alt-Text. Next slide.
So now I'm going to talk about accessible virtual meetings. In fact, I think I''m going to run through quickly because I now see a time check, it's 10:45. What I want to talk about briefly for accessible virtual meeting are platforms you can use. Next slide, please.
This is a list of several different platforms you can use. There are many. But I mention these specifically because they are -- also include auto generated captions. Auto generated Alt-Text is not very good. Auto generated captions are not that bad actually. So on this list, we have Skype. Which does include for the video call an option to add Alt-Text -- I mean, auto generated caption, pardon me. Facebook. You can upload your photos -- I mean you can up load your video to Facebook and add captions. YouTube, you can add captions. Google Meet, as long as one person has a G-Suite account you can have a meeting with auto generated captions. Microsoft Teams, the same thing. And Zoom.
Next slide, please.
This is a flow chart that I did so people who are using Zoom understand how captions work. So with Zoom webinar you can live stream to Facebook and YouTube. And, yes, they will show the captions during the live event. Later, after your event is over, Facebook no longer shows the captions. But you can go back to the Facebook live recording and edit captions if you have an SRT file you can upload it to the Facebook video. You can also go to any of your old Facebook videos and add captions. Or you can enable the auto generated captions and also edit the auto generated captions. That is usually what I ask a lot of people who are uploading video, to try to turn on auto generated captions. It
doesn't cost a thing. Next slide, please.
So here I'll telling you a few things for Facebook. Is that for -- if you live streaming directly from Facebook, you do not have the option to turn on the auto generated captions during your live stream. I know. But after your live event you can go back to add captions. You can add captions to the recording, upload your own document, or type it. Facebook Live you can work with a third-party captioner such as Ai-Media or 3PlayMedia. The dinosaurs are coming.
YouTube, unlike Facebook, in YouTube you can enable auto generated captions, that's awesome. And just like Facebook you can upload captions, edit captions, you have a lot of options. The other thing I want to say with Facebook and YouTube. There is not an option to add audio description for your video. So it would be really good to describe what is happening in your video. Next slide, please.
So now I want to talk quickly about having an accessible online dance class.So this is a logo from the dance ASL project I have been doing for Silent Rhythms where I am now providing dance teachers with an opportunity to teach a 30- minute dance class. I wanted to support the dance community who have lost their income by providing them with a small stipend. At the same time, it was an incentive for the dance teachers to learn how to be accessible and inclusive. Next slide, please.
So in this video is the live streaming version of a dance class. This has on the left side a sign language interpreter who is wearing a black tee shirt. She has a gray curtain behind her. On the right side is the dance teacher, who is wearing all back. He has a solid background. So the first couple of things to do to make an accessible online dance class is, one, you should always be wearing solid color clothing. The clothes should contrast with your skin color. When you teach a dance class the wall should be completely blank. A blank canvas for your body. You want to do a test. The test should test your limitation in the video to how far you can go off screen and on screen, up, and above. Sometimes it helps to take pink tape and put it on the floor when you decide where your perimeter is before you go off the camera. And I always tell people to do a test. It is so important to do a test for anything for your online meeting, for your online classes, and this is my little jingle that is inspired by Beauty and the Beast, be our guest. I call it, do a test! I'm not a singer, I'll apologize for singing to you right now! And this is how it goes for do a test:
♫ Do a Test, ♫
♫ do a Test, ♫
♫ put your service ♫
♫ to the test ♫
♫ try the gray button. ♫
♫ It’s important ♫
♫ don’t believe me, ♫
♫ ask the technician. ♫
♫ Good heavens, ♫
♫ is that a spot? ♫
♫ Clean it up, ♫
♫ we want the donor ♫
♫ to be impressed! ♫
♫ Cause by Cause! ♫
♫ One by One! ♫♫
Okay, thank you!
Okay, more tips for an accessible dance class. Explain first and then demonstrate. So it is difficult if you are demonstrating the dance and speaking at the same time. The person who is looking at the sign language interpreter is like trying to look back and forth and can''t watch both at the same time. It is very helpful to do one thing at a time. This screenshot doesn't show the captions but the live streaming did have captions. I was using -- you can do this through Zoom. But I like to use Streamyard because I have more control over how I can make videos. I can add and change videos, make it smaller, larger, and give a lot more options than you can with Zoom.
What else. Share terms ahead of time. So in dancing there are a lot of terms that maybe not many people are familiar with ahead of time. Susie Q, grapevine. And then set the right background, that is the other tip which I already mentioned. You want to have solid clothes and solid background for the wall. You don't want to have black clothes with a black wall, because then you just bleed out touch. So now the last slide, the dinosaurs are finally coming!
Oh, I put my tips here, pardon me. Here with the tips. Once again, the dinosaurs are coming. Okay, so now I want to give you a call to action, to be change makers.I would like for grantmakers to be accessible and thinking about their website and your grant application, is it accessible. Make sure that your grant application really asks how will you include people with disabilities in this project.
A lot of times there is usually a statement that people have to check that they promise not to exclude people with disabilities. But that is not the same as saying including people with disabilities.
The other thing I want is for artists, always consider people with disabilities as being in your audience. It's a sad fact the pandemic may mean the number of disabilities will go up. Disability is the one minority that can be joined at any time, of in your life, by anyone, regardless of age, race or gender. For teachers, always consider an inclusive space for people with disabilities. And for everyone, understand you all play a role in being inclusive in your creativity. I truly believe that the art is something that can help us to practice mental and physical well-being as we go through the COVID-19 crisis. Long after we get past the pandemic I hope that a lot of the creativity strategies we tried to use online will be continued in the future. The last slide. One more slide, thank you, yeah.
Questions. Now I''ll give you a chance to ask your questions. And I want to say that my email is email@example.com. And also, I really skipped through a lot of different information. I want to bring up that I have done a couple of Inclusion 101 webinars. If you visit SilentRhythms.org/Inclusion 101, you can find more information about specifically on inclusive and social media, and robots, captions, and another on why it is important to include people with disabilities in the arts. Another is on how to provide accessible communications for people who are DeafBlind. So there is so much more I was not able to cover today, that you can find in some of my previous webinars. And now I'll turn it back to Ann.
ANN: Thank you so much, Kerry. I know that's a lot of information. And to all attendees, please know we will post the video probably next week so you will have a chance to review some of the tips and links and ideas that Kerry shared.
Kerry, there are just a few questions that I will share with you. One of them is: If you know if Vimeo offers free auto captioning?
KERRY: Oh, so I did forget to mention Vimeo. Vimeo is another option that does offer captions. But usually you have to pay for that access. So I believe Vimeo is $80 per year which isn''t really that bad.
ANN: Thank you, I had no idea. Another question came in wondering -- perhaps it's something to follow up with. If you have any other online resources to make social media and virtual spaces accessible?
KERRY: Yes, so if you go to Silent Rhythms.org/Inclusion 101, there is a link for the different webinars. But I also include a lot of links to blogs I have taught. Some of the blogs include -- one is on Inclusion 101 for a guide for well meaning, well doing and the, well, clue also. Another is inclusive distancing, a blog I wrote a few months ago about the pandemic and talking about right now when we are social distancing how we can do so inclusively. So there is another place. I will continue to keep adding this information to this page. I just started it yesterday, because I realized people were going to ask me more about other webinars. So give me a little bit of time to keep updating and make that page look good.
ANN: Another question. Could you share the Silent Rhythms website where we can find more information again?
KERRY: Yes Is it on the ...
ANN: It is on the page. I will type it in the chat.
KERRY: Okay, thank you.
ANN: I hope I didn't mistype, let's see. Let's see, two more questions, if we have a moment. One is: Can you refer us to an online resource that can help us assess how accessible our website is? Ideally, if it's an automated tool.
KERRY: Let's see. Trying to think. Daisy. DAISY. An organization that works on trying to provide accessible and inclusive websites. You can also look up W3 ICT which will have more information about the Website Content Accessibility Guidelines, by the acronym, WC AG. You can also ask me about accessible websites because I'm also the website editor for both Disability Rights Fund and Disability Rights Advocacy Fund. And Silent Rhythms.
ANN: One last question. For professional, live, closed captioning can you recommend some organizations or businesses that offer this service for Zoom events, for hire?
KERRY: Yes. Well, one of the good things about being deaf is that over the years I have had the wonderful opportunity to work with a number of captioners. And I continue to work with the same ones over and over. And but there are companies that do provide captions. There is 3PlayMedia. There is also Ai-Media, artificial intelligence media. Then if you have -- are in Massachusetts, you can reach out to the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing through their interpreter referral program. You can request a professional captioner through that. If you are not based in Massachusetts you can also look -- if your state has a Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Typically, a commission for most other 50 states in the United States.
ANN: Excellent. I don''t see any other questions. Let me just double check. Sorry, there is a late-breaking question. Are there resources for creating accessible spaces for visual arts?
KERRY: For visual arts? Not that I''m aware of. But I think one of the good ways to educate yourself on creating accessible visual art is to make sure that whether you are being descriptive you should always be descriptive in person. Virtually, consider also that not many videos can be accessible for people who are visually impaired. Sometimes it is helpful to add video description in the comments. If you have YouTube and have comment enabled to put in a description in the comments. And I wanted to say there is also a late-breaking news that just happened yesterday that YouTube announced they are no longer going to offer community captioning. That was supposed to be a tool that anybody uploading photos -- I mean video, could be open to the community to type in captions for you. But it was being misused. A lot of people were spamming. And putting inappropriate language there. So YouTube took down that. I will have to think more carefully about other tools .
Open Door Arts is an organization I know is trying to work to provide access to visual arts for after school programs.
I''ll keep thinking about that and I will get to Ann if I have more resources I can think of.
ANN: That is great.
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