Excluded from Confoo speaker dinner – what happened and how it made me feel.

I was an invited speaker at the Confoo YVR conference in December 2017. I gave two talks, both on accessibility. I was the only speaker presenting accessibility-related topics. There was a dinner organized for all the speakers. I was precluded from attending that dinner because the organizers selected a venue on the second floor, with no elevators. There was no way for a wheelchair user to access the venue. I felt embarrassed, and angry.

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Audio transcripts are important

Many people are unable to access your audio or video content if you don’t provide a transcript or captions. The obvious target group being excluded is people who are Deaf, or people with hearing impairments. Some people with cognitive impairments also process the written word better than they process spoken words. By not providing transcripts or captions, you are discriminating against people with disabilities. It isn’t good from a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) perspective. And it often carries risk from a legal perspective.

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