Accessibility: What was lost and gained as we moved online

Accessibility is a core priority as we pursue our objective of bringing under-heard voices to the center of public dialogue and decision-making. Our conversation model emphasizes creating space where people feel welcomed and supported to bring their full identities “into the room” – whether gathered around our digital hearth or occupying their square in a virtual conversation.

It’s said that necessity is the mother of invention, and the COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to adapt our human-centered conversation model to a virtual context. Following are three articles published on Medium, in which we sought to document the lessons learned about community, inclusion and access since moving conversations online.

Expanding the Boundaries of Small Conversations by Director of Capacity Building Colleen Butler outlines what was lost and what was gained in making the transition from IRL to virtual conversations.

How to Build Community Through Virtual Conversations offers Colleen’s insights into how to apply our time-tested strategies for fostering genuine sharing and constructive conversation. Lead with values. Share your story. Engage discomfort. Connect across communities. Take care of yourself and your community.

What LVN Learned About Accessibility for Digital Community Conversations by Max Resnik provides some helpful tips and strategies for using built-in accessibility features on Zoom including Closed Captioning and assigning participants to participate via audio from participating language translators.

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Cortico is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization led by a multidisciplinary team of experts in community engagement, technology and non-profit management. We strive to meld two elements not typically found in one space: technological innovation and community-centered advocacy. We'd love to keep you up to date on what we're doing!