At its very core film is about communication, so why wouldn’t we want to communicate with everyone? Did you know that the very first typewriter built, was made by inventor Pellgrino Turri to help his blind friend to write clearly? How far we have come since then in enabling inclusivity through technology, but there’s still some way to go! Stevie Wonders inspiring words really encourage us to strive for a more inclusive world when he says: “We need to make every single thing accessible to every single person with a disability.”
The figures themselves highlight the magnitude of the requirement for accessible products: RNIB states that there are around 2 million people in Britain living with sight loss which has a significant effect on their day to day life and there are approximately 13.9 million disabled people in the UK. It’s crazy to imagine excluding that amount of people but unfortunately it happens daily, and statistics show that when met with an accessibility barrier a whopping 70% of end users will abandon using the given product.
At Speakeasy we have a dedication to making film and events accessible for all of our clients. We offer subtitles for the spoken word, Closed captions/hard of hearing subtitles, audio description, BSL translations and transcripts. We’ve also worked with many of our clients to raise awareness for the importance of accessibility internally through instructional films, animations and even drama’s.
Events at Speakeasy are carefully designed with the attendee in mind from the get-go whether for a virtual or physical event. Registration sites and virtual sites can be made highly accessible. Physical events can be supplied with a BSL translator and online events can include live BSL translation and subtitles. It’s all about inclusion and making sure we offer our clients every option to reach every attendee.
For us accessibility is no afterthought, from the very outset of your production or event planning journey with us, we aim to make accessibility a key consideration. It’s not our main motivator but as Laura Kalbag rightly states in her book Accessibility for Everyone: “…building accessibility into your project and processes has a wealth of business benefits.” Planning accessibility in from the outset ensures that our products are In-keeping with the style and tone of the film/event at hand and in tune with our clients’ brand guidelines.
Steve Krug says: “The one argument for accessibility that doesn’t get made nearly often enough is how extraordinarily better it makes some people’s lives. How many opportunities do we have to dramatically improve people’s lives just by doing our job a little better?” As we adapt to the impact of the Coronavirus and the new physical restrictions we are under in lockdown, offering accessible alternatives for colleagues and clients is of even more importance for maintaining connection. On this Global Accessibility Awareness Day let’s make a collective push to make the world a more inclusive and accessible place.