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Viewing entries tagged with 'accessibility'

The employment paradox

Posted by Philip on 7 August 2015, 4:37 pm in , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I attended a workshop on accessible employment recently and was reminded, as I've written about before, what a fraught topic employment is these days — for anyone, let alone those with access needs.

As welfare states come crashing down around the (western) world, the demand for employment and requirement to be employed increase. New Zealand's welfare lexicon has changed from "beneficiary" to the default "jobseeker".

Meanwhile industry and technology improves, meaning more machines, computers and robots do more and more jobs for us. I mean, that has been the whole idea of industrial and technological revolutions, hasn't it? To decrease the need for humans to do stuff.

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Gender neutral education recommendations a huge step forward

Posted by Philip on 1 June 2015, 11:13 am in , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Ministry of Education's new curriculum guidelines released last week, aimed at improving sex education and diversity for students, seem almost too good to be true. Actually they are, because they are not mandatory.

Recommendations for non-gendered uniforms, same-sex partners at school balls, reviewing toilet spaces and making sport less gender-specific are no-brainers in our day and age — actually they've been no-brainers for decades.

These guidelines show surprisingly courageous change leadership from the Ministry. But there's always some right-wing plonker, who purports to represent the moral majority, ready to go into bat for the status quo (as I posted about recently).

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Fringe leadership – what are the alternatives?

Posted by Philip on 1 April 2015, 2:43 pm in , , , , , ,

When it comes to leading change and creating social movements, particularly when it involves people on the margins of society, it’s easy to fall into the trap of assuming success means “widening” the mainstream to accept a new group of previously excluded citizens.

Reverence may be paid to new rituals and customs. Changes may be made to environments to make them more accessible or representative. Language may be scrutinised and modified to create a more welcoming lexicon. Laws may change to increase rights and entitlements.

In themselves these acknowledgements are important and meaningful. They achieve their intent – to decrease exclusion and increase participation.

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What loos need to lose

Posted by Philip on 6 March 2015, 5:21 pm in , , , , , , , , , , , ,

My friend Jeannie over at Bikes for Fish posted an article from Huffpost Gay Voices about "bills [that] have been filed in three [US] states to prevent transgender people from using bathrooms consistent with their gender identity." Described as "last gasp attempts to hurt LGBT people", legal acts like this illuminate a more deeply entrenched assumption about dunnies:

That they need to be gender-specific at all.

I'm not your average bloke, but I've always wondered why public toilets are separated by gender. And what's with urinals? We don't have either in private dwellings.

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I had restricted access to voting booth then was treated like a second-class citizen by election officials because I use a wheelchair

Posted by Philip on 5 September 2014, 3:29 pm in , , , , , ,

orange elections mascotUPDATE 09 September 2014: I'm pleased to say I have been contacted by the Electoral Commission and the Grey Lynn Returning Officer since writing this email/post.

Email to the Electoral Commission

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

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Hesitantly weighing in on cyber-security

Posted by Philip on 23 May 2014, 1:08 pm in , , , , , , , , , , , ,

black keyboard spelling paswordI'm no cyber-security expert but I'm geeky enough to know that the recent eBay security breach and, before that, Heartbleed, are showing that passwords are fast becoming obsolete. Many real cyber-experts are advocating biometrics as the way forward — finger, eye or even face scanning.

But I like this solution posed by Justin Balthrop on Medium:

Passwordless Authentication

Here’s how passwordless authentication works:

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Thinking about the box, rather than outside it

Posted by Philip on 13 April 2014, 2:01 pm in , , , , , , , , , , ,

box with question marksWe often hear people utter the mantra, “Think outside the box.” It’s become the hold-all for creative thinking, problem solving and even good leadership.

But how often do we often think about the box itself? How often do we consider that, by thinking outside it, we stray away from the box — even ignore it completely — and miss the truth of the matter:

The box is the problem. It’s too big, too small, the wrong shape, the wrong colour.

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Polarity in accessibility

Posted by Philip on 8 February 2014, 11:22 am in , , , , ,

An article in this morning's local rag gives me a perfect opportunity to begin to share with you some of the insights I gained at the retreat I attended last week on polarity, run by the superb Sue Davidoff and Allan Kaplan of the Proteus Initiative in South Africa (I've mentioned Allan and Sue, and the amazing insights I've had through their teaching, in other posts).

The retreat looked at the impact of polarity in its many forms. More common examples of polarity are light and dark/shadow, finite and infinite, growth and decay. Some of the less obvious aspects we worked with were detail and form, extensiveness and intensiveness, and our impact on the world and others' impact on our world.

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Be. part of a new, exciting movement

Posted by Philip on 12 June 2011, 8:49 pm in , ,

Be. part of the movement

The Be. accessible team will be travelling to 12 cities around New Zealand and would like to invite you to join them in co-creating a 100% accessible society. Visit their website for more information, dates and locations.

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