Accessibility May 12, 2021
Disability podcast series Eyeway Conversations highlights importance of creating accessibility in physical & digital spaces
Everyone wins when the environment and infrastructure around us is accessible and inclusive. Yet the conversation around disability in India is slow-moving when it comes to physical and digital spaces. Eyeway Conversations, a disability podcast series started by Score Foundation and BarrierBreak, is working to build awareness about this through conversations with disabled and non-disabled people from around the world.
From shopping for groceries to clothes, Covid-19 has forced the world to turn online in a major way, emphasising the advantages of digital accessibility for disabled and non-disabled people. The coronavirus pandemic is proving that websites and apps coded for users with disabilities in fact help a far wider segment of the population. Yet, disabled people, especially in India, continue to face huge gaps when it comes to physical and digital accessibility.
This needs to change and there is no better way to do this than to hear about the experiences and learnings of people working in the space of inclusion. Score Foundation and BarrierBreak have jointly launched a disability podcast series that highlight personal experiences of disabled people as well as international practices in digital accessibility.
Called Eyeway Conversations, there are three podcasts released every month where Score Foundation Founder George Abraham and BarrierBreak Founder-CEO Shilpi Kapoor talk to people from India and across the world.
Score is a non-profit trust working to change the mindset of people towards visual impairment. BarrierBreak is a social enterprise, an offshore leader in in digital accessibility with a global footprint.
Disability podcast with an international perspective
The aim of this disability podcast series is to inspire disabled people on the possibilities of leading dignified and independent lives, create sensitisation about the challenges faced by persons with disabilities, awareness about the issues that hamper their inclusion into the mainstream and to influence private and government entities to make physical and digital spaces accessible for all.
We felt the need to create content that adds to awareness, motivation and gives clear cut information that could guide and give ideas in terms of how people have addressed issues and stretched the boundaries of their own imagination of where they could be. The format is interactive and the idea to create content that is not limited to India alone. The aim to speak to people internationally so it becomes an arena that is relevant everywhere. – George Abraham, CEO, Score Foundation
The lineup of people featured on this disability podcast series include disabled people who have overcome great odds to reach their potential. Like Chevening scholar Ekinath Khedekar, who battled vision impairment and poverty to become a successful corporate professional and pursue adventure sports. The podcasts are inclusive and will profile non-disabled people whose work and life impacts people with disability. Like Anuj Dayal, a senior official with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, who has been recognised for his efforts to promote disability inclusion.
Podcasts feature disabled & non-disabled people
It was also time to bring the global perspective and that’s where another prominent voice featured on the disability podcast series was Sheri Byrne-Haber, a global Accessibility Leader and a prominent voice in the field of disability and accessibility programmes.
“What we are trying to do with Eyeway Conversations is bring in an international perspective on accessibility”, says Shilpi Kapoor, who feels the conversation in India is lagging when it comes to corporates in digital accessibility. “BarrierBreak decided that as a part of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) the need to build awareness was critical and Eyeway Conversations will do just that. It will bring awareness in that aspect and practitioners can help us to become more aware of what is happening in that space, globally”.
The diversity of these conversations, hopes Kapoor, will create a wider impact.
“I am hoping it will reach product owners and technologists who are creating new technologies that will be used in India or globally and Diversity and Inclusion professionals who want to implement digital accessibility in their organisations. The aim is to reach that audience so we can change attitudes towards disability which is why we are doing this. This also aligns with what Newz Hook and BarrierBreak are both doing is doing since my focus has been on enabling people with disabilities using technology”, adds Kapoor. “People like Sheri, Ekinath and all bring about the real world understanding of disability and accessibility. We need to take away learnings from conversations with them and go back and implement them in our worlds.”
In 2006 Sir Tim Berners-Lee, father of the World Wide Web had said, “The power of WWW is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.” Eyeway Conversations will hopefully create awareness of how physical and digital accessibility benefit all of us, disabled and non-disabled.
The audio interviews on Eyeway Conversations are hosted on various podcasting sites such as Anchor, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Breaker, PocketCasts and RadioPublic. You can tune in on these inspiring and informative disability podcasts by clicking on the following links:
Watch in Sign Language
- ‘Accessibility is about making a solution work for people on the entire spectrum’ – Webinar learnings from Shilpi Kapoor, BarrierBreak CEO