At Word Wizards we are all about accessibility. Our 508 compliant transcripts meet federal standards for multimedia on Federal websites that are accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing, as well as to the blind and low vision individuals. That is why we want to shout out about the screening of the video CinemAbility which asks if the media has a hand in transforming the social inclusion of the disabled and the powerful impact that it can have on society. Some of the heavy weights in the documentary include Jamie Foxx, Garry Marshall, Ben Affleck, Helen Hunt, William H. Macy, Gary Sinise and many others. The film will be premiering in Washington DC on Wednesday, March 19th at 7 pm at Regal Cinemas Gallery Place 14, get tickets here.
A Triple Threat:
Just as impressive as impressive as the roster of talent appearing in the film is the directing force behind it. Jenni Gold is well known and respected editor, screenwriter and producer who has 17 production credits to her name and is behind the development/production entity Gold Pictures, Inc. Additionally she is a Director member of the Directors Guild of America which is more impressive when you discover she has Muscular Dystrophy and has used a wheelchair since the age of seven. Besides directing Jenni is co-writing and currently developing a romantic comedy titled “Mr. December”, a family film called “Lucky” and suspense thriller “Adrenaline.” She initially explored her passion for filmmaking at University of Central Florida where she graduated with two BA degrees, one in Motion Picture Production and the other in Radio and Television Broadcasting.
The Power of Film:
CinemAbility, which had been playing in select cities, has gotten glowing reviews from places such as the Los Angeles Times and Cinema Sentries. Narrated by screen legend Jane Seymour, the documentary takes a thorough look at just how the disabled have been depicted on television and movie screens. Its primary goal is to help dispel age old and often incorrect notions that many able bodied people still have about the disabled and user in a new level of respect. The film’s in depth investigation goes behind the lens of Hollywood to talk to studio executives, well known celebrities, film historians and filmmakers. Some of the important questions asked include Do disability portrayals in the media impact society? Or do the media simply reflect the public’s ever changing attitudes. Jenni Gold’s powerful film looks at the answers to these questions and highlights how having an enlightened understanding of disability can have a powerful impact on all.
Accessibility vs. Compliance: Whats The Difference?
The demand for section 508 accessibility compliance services has never been greater. With a huge volume of companies, organizations, and independent consultants now claiming to offer 508 compliance solutions, it is increasingly difficult to know who is who in the industry. From our experience there are two different types of player in the world of 508 compliance services.
The first is are firms looking to marginally increase their revenues by accessing the emerging market for 508 compliance services. These companies claim that they are 508 compliance experts, who then turn around and outsource to firms that are very good at meeting the legal requirements of compliance without a concern for the accessibility of the final product. In this case, the client meets its legal requirement, yet fails to provide true accessibility. Unfortunately, the end result is a low cost solution to a potentially expensive problem and people are willing to ignore the obvious short comings for minimal cost savings.
The second type of player are the firms that are honestly dedicated to providing accessible content solutions for their clients. Companies of this nature (like us here at Word Wizards) actually know how this process is done because they do it in house. These companies make it a priority to go beyond the legal requirements of the section 508 accessibility law, ensuring that the services they provide for their customers result in media content that is accessible and of significant value to those with visual or auditory disabilities.
The difference is all about context, its about creating something that takes the limitations of those individuals with disabilities into account. Something could be considered “compliant” with no real advantage to the end user, aka someone with sensory disabilities; and, in our minds, that is worse than doing nothing in the first place. It is our continuing mission here at Word Wizards to work towards a more accessible internet experience for the U.S. Government and beyond.
Some Good IDEAS
So, we invite you to join us this year at the IDEAS conference and decide for yourself, just remember, when your age finally catches up and your senses no longer work like they used to, are you going to expect the bare minimum when it comes time to interacting effectively with the government, or would you rather someone had gotten the job done right before it was to late for you.