If you would like to see this article with photos (as I can't seem to get the photos to show on blog posts here, please head over to the publication on Medium.
On November 4, 2016, I went to the YouTube Space Los Angeles Accessibility Summit, an event dedicated to being accessible on the Internet.
This day was a big deal as this was, from my knowledge, the first time YouTube Space and YouTube/Google in general have dedicated a day and event to accessibility and people with disabilities.
I was invited by YouTube to not only be at the event, but to also be a featured guest. I was asked to be on a panel alongside Tommy Edison, Sitting Pretty Lolo, and Molly Burke.
During the day, we saw presentations from companies such as Google and AMI (Accessible Media Inc.) and from people like Molly Burke and Haben Girma. The companies talked about what accessibility meant and how they were working on making technology accessible. Molly and Haben talked about their own personal stories, their lives while being disabled. The last piece of the event was the YouTube panel.
So, how was the event? How did they plan out the agenda? How accessible were they, really? I have to say for their first time doing something for accessibility and disability, YouTube and Google were pretty good. Perfect? No, but almost spot on (at least in terms of accessibility for deaf people - I cannot speak for those in wheelchairs, those who are blind, etc.).
Five interpreters were hired. Five. Plus one live captioner. Wheelchair ramps and elevators were available. The only thing that I can think of that was a bit of an “oops” was the braille sign they had near the room entrance. The braille said “YouTube”, but blind people would not have known since the braille itself was simply printed on the sign and not raised up.
The agenda consisted mostly of talks about technology which ended up feeling a little excessive and I wasn’t the only one with those feelings. Some information ended up being repeated. Since this was at YouTube Space, it would have been great if they had added on more personal talks by the YouTubers there.
Overall, I was very pleased with the event. I would like to see the other YouTube Spaces, especially New York and Toronto, hold this event as well. I was a part of YouTube NextUp in New York, so if you’re reading this, please hold an event and have me over! I’d love to be a part of it again.