Archive for May, 2008

Easy YouTube Player

May 21, 2008

And then….. Christian Heilmann contacted me about his work on the YouTube API to create an Easy YouTube Player. It’s a great interface making things much more accessible for people with learning disabilities.

(I’m looking forward to testing it with people. The feedback so far is ‘it’s cool’). It’s just brilliant that Christian has done this. We presented at the Accessibility 2.0 conference recently and lots of good things have come out of that day.

But this is truly brilliant. It just shows what a difference people can make when they have open minds and skill. And the power of collaboration.

More on all of this later… Great stuff.


Inclusive New Media Design project

May 21, 2008

On Monday, I went to The Rix Centre at the University of East London to join four other people to appear on a panel as part of the Inclusive New Media Design project. The project has been working with web designers and developers to explore the best ways to encourage them to make websites which are accessible to people with intellectual disabilities.

Each person on the panel was asked to present on one practical thing the developers and designers could take away and do. My 5 mins was on Big is Beautiful, encouraging people to, well, make things big and maybe bigger than their comfort zone might want. This to help improve the user experience for people with learning disabilities and to prevent people from being locked out of information or indeed websites.

The other speakers were Jonathan Hassell, Head of Audience Experience and Usability at the BBC, freelance web accessibility consultant Ann McMeekin, Nick Weldin from Padington Arts and Simon Detheridge from Widgit Software.

It was a really good opportunity and a joy to present to the group.


May 21, 2008

I intended on having crafted a shiny new good-looking accessible blog before I posted again but too many good things have been happened before I’ve had time to organise anything.


A couple of weeks ago I went to Futuresonic 08 in Manchester. There were some really interesting things going on and some inspirational people.

Highlights for me included The Drake Music project who I have admired for a while. They performed at the weekend. They use technology to work with disabled and non-disabled people so they can make music together. It’s really powerful and great music.

Drake Music Project

I also really enjoyed a presentation by Future of Sound. Some very awe-inspiring innovation and talent there . A demonstration of 4-D sound was just one highlight and the approach to technology and art/ music really got my mind racing.

Martyn Ware talked about his Illustrious Company which produces really ground-breaking work. All things sensory can really benefit some people with learning disabilities or mental health needs and one thing that caught my attention was a sensory theatre they are working on to benefit children with learning disabilities in Bath.