I am passionate about making cinema accessible and inclusive for both audiences and filmmakers with disabilities. Significant efforts in which I am involved include All Senses Go, Access Reframed, and Cultural Access Collaborative.
All Senses Go – I lead an initiative whose mission is to create barrier-free media that engages a wider audience in the rich cultural content that is being shared every day.
The name All Senses Go is a nod to the idiom “all systems go” which indicates that everything is ready, so now the task at hand can proceed. We believe that no film or piece of media is ready to share without taking the necessary steps to ensure that all audiences can perceive the story being told. This means putting energy, care and creativity into the design of equitable experiences for people with disabilities.
All Senses Go is committed to ensuring that disabled, blind, d/Deaf, and Neurodiverse audiences and filmmakers are considered, prioritized, and seen as both crucial and vital for inclusion in audio-visual culture. We strive to develop and test pathways to access, using any and all tools available including subtitles and captions, image descriptions, sign language interpretation, universal design, web accessibility, plain language, clear way-finding, and sensory friendly considerations.
Access Reframed – I am involved in a joint effort by Full Spectrum Features, Backbones, All Senses Go, and LaGrish, called Access Reframed. This project aims to educate, advocate and enact change towards greater access for creators and audiences in the film community nationwide. We approach this challenge from a place of collaboration, reframing accessibility as a societal value that’s good for business.
Cultural Access Collaborative – I work with the Cultural Access Collaborative as their Programming and Communications Coordinator. The Collaborative facilitates a dynamic community of cultural administrators and people with disabilities to remove barriers in Illinois’ cultural organizations. We are primarily run by passionate volunteers, who share a mission to empower cultural spaces to become more accessible to visitors with disabilities. Central to our work, we provide the following free opportunities to cultural organizations and visitors with disabilities:
- Professional Development – ongoing professional development workshops open to all cultural administrators.
- Equipment Loan – lending the required equipment and technology to Chicago-area cultural organizations to produce accessible events.
- Access Calendar – promotes accessible events and allows visitors to identify accessible events throughout Illinois.