Video: Antonia Hyde on Learning Disabilities (Scripting Enabled London)

In this video Antonia Hyde explains how learning disabilities affect the experience of users of online systems and shows several video examples available on her YouTube profile. It was very interesting to see Antonia get very excited about the opportunity of speaking at Scripting Enabled and the amount of research and interview work delivered in the short amount of time before the event was impressive. Again, thanks must go to BBC backstage for filming, Opera for transcribing and Yahoo Developer Network for hosting the video.

Transcripts courtesy of the Opera Developer Network and Antonia Hyde (video in video transcriptions)

Christian Heilmann: Now, those of you who know XFN, which is the XHTML Friends Network microformat thing, know there’s one thing called a muse that I can mark someone up as my muse and link to them. So, far it’s been Steve Faulkner but I must say that Antonia has obviously earned that respect with what we’ve done here and what she’s going to talk about.

So, Antonia was one of the people that talked at the Accessibility 2.0 she was on before me, and her presentation inspired me to do the Easy YouTube, which inspired me to go to the Mashed event and show it on stage which then inspired Channel 4 to give me money to do this. So, it was a lot of inspiration going on.

She’s not nervous at all. She’s been doing this for years. So, over to Antonia and I seriously, seriously hope you will enjoy this because she has a lot of good things to say. So, Antonia Hyde from United Response.

Antonia: OK. Brilliant. I’m going to talk to you about online content for people with learning disabilities. I’ve called it Opening Doors because this is something that we really need to do for this particular group.

So, here’s a piece of audio, just to tell you why Opening Doors for People with Learning Disabilities is important. It’s actually somebody saying that we really need to make everything accessible for all people with learning disabilities online. So, I just wanted to say thank you very much to Christian and for asking me to speak today. And I’m not representing all people with learning disabilities of course. But, I really hope that this will help you all to understand some of the issues. And hopefully, the people that I’ve worked with to create this presentation: it will seem like they’re in the room.

So, I work for United Response. It’s a national charity supporting 1500 people with a wide range of disabilities, but mostly people with learning disabilities. It was set up over 30 years ago. It currently operates across England and in Wales and it supports people to live in the community and delivers what we call “person-centred support.” So, it’s not one particular service. It’s basically looking at the individual and seeing what they need in order to live in the community.

A lot of people recently have been asking me at various conferences what a learning disability is. And um, I might be setting myself up for a fall in trying to explain this, but I’m going to try anyway. There’s around one million people with learning disabilities in England, but this isn’t an exact figure. There is no particular statistic. There are a lot of people with learning disabilities who function very well in society and people really won’t know that they have a learning disability. They could be extremely mild.

It’s a wide range of conditions. So, it could be something like Down’s Syndrome or people who are born brain damaged. So, some people are affected moderately and some people severely. So, “people are born with impairments that restrict or reduce the ability to learn as quickly or readily as others.”

Some people have a secondary impairment. So, that could be a physical disability or a sensory impairment. Or it could be a communication disability, like autism. Autism actually isn’t a learning disability. Health conditions also come along with a lot of learning disabilities, so things like heart conditions. There’s no typical person. There’s no quick fix. This is not a “fix the code that will work for everyone” issue.

So, learning disability versus learning difficulty. Here’s the thing: a lot of people with learning disabilities refer to themselves as having a learning difficulty. That’s something they like to own. But, the received sense of a learning difficulty would be something like dyslexia. So, sometimes, they’re used interchangeably and you might want to qualify, but at the same time we don’t want to be labelling people by their disability.

So, people with learning disabilities have different communication preferences to us perhaps, or to some of us. Some people might want things in pictures and in words, other people might want to communicate just with pictures. Someone with a mild to moderate learning disability may live independently in the community and hold down a job. Someone with a severe learning disability could do those things but they would need some support to do that. Someone with a profound learning disability might find it very challenging to do those things without high levels of support. And they wouldn’t necessarily use language to communicate. So, lots of people I work with don’t use language. They might use, you know, their facial expressions for example.

So, I wanted to show you a video, hopefully, of some people I’ve worked with recently, just to sort of give a bit of context.

[video starts]

Shirley: Ok Michael, what we having today?

Voiceover: Michael doesn’t speak. He uses a Dynavox machine with pictures and audio, which he presses to tell people what he wants.

Michael (Dynavox): Brush my teeth…Have a shave…Do my hair…

Voiceover: Or what he thinks of Manchester United..

Michael (Dynavox): What a load of rubbish!

Voiceover:…so he can enjoy life, and have control.

Voiceover: Lizzie lives in her own flat. She has support from people when she needs it. She sings in a band and spends lots of time online looking for music downloads and anything else to do with music. She’d really like to have her own computer.

Kevin: I do this all the time!

Stan: Come on… I’ve got to make my own coffee?

Voiceover: Kevin has a hearing impairment. He lives in supported living in an ordinary house in an ordinary street. Stan is his support worker. He gives Kevin support in his life whenever he needs it.

Stan: I hardly knew this kind of work existed.

Kevin: Stan! Look!

Stan: Yes mate…

Kevin: DDR2 chip!

Stan: I know.

Kevin: I’ve got it in my laptop!

Stan: Oh aye.

Kevin: Wow, fantastic!

Stan: Brilliant…

Kevin: And it’s meant to be two yeah?

Stan: Yep.

Kevin: Two or three?

Stan: Exactly the same.

Kevin: Wait, I’ll go in my room on the computer…

Stan: We’ll go in a minute.

Kevin: Wow!

Stan: Just, just wait a touch.

Kevin: Oh, whatever….

Voiceover: Kevin is brilliant with computers.

Kevin: My name is Kevin Guthrie. I have my own house keys. I have my own room. I buy my own food. I do things when I want.

[video ends]

Antonia: So, that’s to give you an idea of some of the people I work with. For those of you who can see this graphic, I just want to apologise. I did it very quickly this morning. So, I’m sorry it doesn’t look so good! It’s a no entry sign for those of you who can’t see it. So, barriers: that’s what we’re talking about today, some of the closed doors. And obviously, there’s so much that we’ve got in common with the presentations we’re giving. Logging in and out is such a big issue for a lot of people with learning disabilities. Where to go, remembering things, and actually where it is in the first place. Captcha: I don’t think I need to expand too much. Navigation and information architecture as Kath has just said is increasingly becoming a really big issue. And I will probably talk about this later on.

Antonia: Navigation/Information Architecture is a really big deal. If you’re not making things clear, people don’t know where to go, which means they’re not accessing whatever it is that you’ve made. Also, things are not consistent, things are not broken down into bite-size chunks. I’ll come on to all of this in a bit more detail later.

Content. Increasingly, people are forgetting to say what the website is about or perhaps what the API does and what you can do there. So, I mean, literally, how much more of a barrier can one have? Obviously, all the things we’ve been talking about this morning: You can’t get on to it.

Control. So, using things, really. That’s how I like to talk to people I work with about it. So, that could be anything from players, which we’ll talk about later, to search. And of course, generating content themselves and contributing and interaction. Again, it’s as we’ve said, some of the social networking sites are still extremely inaccessible for people with learning disabilities.

So, I just want to talk a bit about how people use the web. A lot of people with learning disabilities do go online with somebody else there. This could be their support worker, it could be their friend, it doesn’t matter. But, a lot of people still need support to actually go online. There are lots of reasons for this, I think. Since I’ve been really looking into this in detail, it goes right back to education. It goes back to hardware and all sorts of the things that we’ve talking about and I want to explore that at a later date - how we can perhaps change that. Often people do things hand on hand. So, the support worker would literally have their hand on the other person’s hand and help them to move the mouse or whatever they were using to access websites. So, it needs to be clear for everyone, the support workers too!

There’s some great innovation around Assistive Technology (AT) for people with learning disabilities. The Rix Centre are doing some really interesting work where people are using pictures to action what they go and see online. So, please, do go and have a look. I was going to show a Channel 4 news piece, but I didn’t get permission in time. So, please do go and find it.

So, more and more people are coming online. And people are getting control of their own budgets and they’re living independently. So, we need to make sure we get this right.

Another video. I thought I’d show you what people… what some people say about the barriers they’re facing. (Watch the video on YouTube)

[video starts]

Antonia: Hi Ann.

Ann: Hello.

Antonia: Ok, so you use websites, don’t you?

Ann: Yes.

Antonia: Ok, so what do you go on to websites to find out about?

Ann: Groups… TV stars… Anything.

Antonia: What do you like to find out about?

Ann: Trisha…Jerry Springer…Ready Steady Cook…Coronation Street…

Antonia: So you like your TV?

Ann: Yes.

Antonia: And you like music as well don’t you? Ok… You like going online don’t you? What do you find difficult about some of the websites that you go to Can you think of anything?

Ann: Some of them are too small. And some of them are big. That’s big… good. The small ones I don’t use.

Antonia: When you say small, do you mean small writing?

Ann: Yes.

Antonia: What makes websites easier to use?

Ann: To read.

Antonia: What things could people do on their websites that would make it easier for you?

Ann: Less pic… more pictures and less writing.

Antonia: Is there anything else people could do?

Ann: There’s all sorts of things you can do on the computer.

Antonia: Can you think of a website that you go on to that you really enjoy? That you really like and you find it easy to use?

Ann: Sometimes I use Google. Google, on the computer.

Antonia: How do you find it to use? Easy?

Ann: Little bit easy and a little bit hard.

Antonia: Is there anything difficult about some of the websites that you go on to? What do you find difficult?

Ann: Sometimes small…more writing less pictures.

Antonia: You want more writing and less pictures?

Ann: No like more pictures, less writing.

Antonia: That’s what you want? So you think that a lot of websites have writing that’s too small for you?

Ann: It’s got to be big and bold.

Antonia: And what is it about using pictures that helps you, that makes it easier?

Ann: To see.

Antonia: Ok. Does it help you to understand what the website is talking about?

Ann: Yes.

Antonia: So if we all had more pictures and made them bigger that would help you?

Ann: Mmm.

Antonia: So if we wanted to change how we made websites to make it easier for people with learning disabilities, what would you ask us to do?

Ann: Change.

Antonia: And what would you ask us to change?

Ann: Make it bigger. The pictures, no… the writing.

Antonia: Ok, thank you.

Lizzie: My name is Lizzie…and I like performing.

Antonia: What kind of performing do you do?

Lizzie: I sing.

Antonia: Do you sing in a band?

Lizzie: Yeah. I go to YouTube to see what’s happening with me…I go to Heart n Soul website so see what’s happening with them. I um go on to the music to see what downloads I can get for my pod and stuff like that.

Antonia: So do you find it difficult to use websites?

Lizzie: Yeah.

Antonia: Can you tell us why?

Lizzie: Because there’s no pictures or no there’s no pictures or the person… there’s no pictures or the computer doesn’t speak to you how to access this, like something that says ‘Oh welcome to Google, um put your name in this box here’… something like that.

Antonia: There’s a difference between websites that are made for people with learning disabilities and websites that are what we call mainstream…

Lizzie: Yeah, but the thing is mainstream should be… ok…The mainstream websites, yeah, should include people with learning disabilities. Should include it. Because, though we got disabilities, we still want to keep up with the times, we still want to know what’s going on. In the internet world. And if everyone could consider or think about when you’re doing a web page or a web site people with disabilities as well then… then we won’t feel like we’re singled out ’cause we are really. We feel like that, that we’re singled out from the normal people with… ok from the mainstream to the not mainstream.

[video ends]

Antonia: So, hopefully, that gives you a bit of an idea of what two people have to say about being online. So, some key points are: people feel excluded when it comes to accessing websites and applications. And they offered up two possible solutions: bigger pictures and less writing.

Now, from a designer’s perspective or from any sort of design, yeah, from a designer’s perspective, that’s not always very easy to do. But, there are ways that we can do things that make things seem like the pictures are bigger and the writing is less or bigger.

Many people with learning disabilities like to receive information as pictures or pictures and text. And they like to receive information broken down into smaller chunks. So, I really want you all to kind of try and bear that in mind.

Here’s an example. For those of you who can’t see the screen, in the top left, there is… It looks like a grid with different pictures where people can select different aspects of their life that they want to tell other people about. So, you would click on the one that said ‘people’. That would take you to another grid, which would then show you all the different people in your life. So, you can see how the information is ordered and laid out. And this is something that a lot of people are using, this kind of tool which is PowerPoint, incidentally, to express preferences, to express choice, and to tell people things about themselves.

What might happen is that when you drill down, having used the grid as your starting point, you might get to pages, which would normally contain a lot of text that have been broken down into easy read basically. It’s easy to read, we call it. So, basically, it’s pages with pictures, which is the yellow thing that those of you who can see the screen can see now. This is taken from our website. So, I’m trying to create every page from United Response’s website as pages with pictures. And the reason why I’m doing this is because people wanted me to.

So, if we move on to APIs, how can we take some of this into some of the things that all of you wonderful people are building? Here’s the YouTube player, as you can see. And there are some problems with players generally for people with learning disabilities I thought I would highlight. Quite often, there’s no clear separation between the controls and the screen, what you’re viewing and what you can do. The controls are often not big enough for people with learning disabilities, not clear enough, there are no labels, the graphics are too small and there’s no option to repeat. And a lot of people like to have information and then hear it again or see it again, so conceptually it helps people.

Many people need to take time. As I said before, a lot of people with learning disabilities have mobility issues and they don’t want to use Assistive Technology. It’s OK for them to take time to get to whatever it is that they want to do. All of these problems really means that access is denied if people don’t know that these things, such as controls, are actually there.

So, players: a possible solution. Easy YouTube. It’s magic! So, you can see here, obviously Kath has already talked about it and it’s fantastic that you know, it is benefiting a lot of people. And when Christian told me about this, I really… I’m not sure that I squealed, sorry! But, it was really amazing. I couldn’t quite believe that he had done this.

And so, I spoke about the problems of rich media and players in quite a lot of depth at Accessibility 2.0, that Abilitynet put on. And Christian took the YouTube API and created Easy YouTube. And you can find it, for those of you who haven’t seen it, at… These slides will go online later, but if you don’t know, it’s at http://icant.co.uk/easy-youtube. He’s also provided the documentation about how he did it, because there’s no way I’m going to try and explain that to you because I don’t know!

So, I will talk to you about what happened next. Here was the original, we think is the original, which we talked about and Christian put up on his blog and loads of people gave comments, both on and offline as to things that we might be able to do. And Christian and I worked quite closely together to think about some other things that we might want to put before we went to testing. So, there were things that were maybe based on my experience, I’ve worked with people with learning disabilities for eight years. So, there are quite a few things I’ve picked up along the way that I thought might help. But, I didn’t know whether they were technically, actually, you know, able to be done.

So, it was really about collaboration. And this is the one that we tested. Just very quickly, some of the really amazing things about Easy YouTube, will come out a bit later. But, I just want you to consider that what we did in terms of the design and the layout of the player was we have actually put things into component parts. It’s very clear. If colour is something to look at in this particular instance and I’m sorry for those of you who can’t see the colour. But, the YouTube address bar is green. The search box is blue. So, for people with learning disabilities, who can see, this is a massive thing. It’s really brilliant, you know, people can really differentiate that information from that information.

So, it was tested by a wide range of people, not just people with learning disabilities. You know, friends, colleagues, everybody went and tested it. We, as I say, we had great feedback. I tested it with a range of people with learning disabilities, from people who are really web savvy and player savvy to people who just aren’t, just to see, you know, what was the language doing, how easy was it for them to use?

And what I did was a mix of testing. I don’t do what Abilitynet does I don’t do straight user testing. A mix of testing and observational research, I suppose. So… and quite a lot of teaching, quite a few people just didn’t know anything about anything to do with players, so it was really enlightening and interesting. And it was very interesting to see how quickly some people learned because it was easy. And that’s the point I meant to make earlier, is that a lot of people with learning disabilities I work with, learn, they can learn. It’s just that we just that we need to do things differently.

“When is YouTube going to look like this?” was a comment from someone I tested with, which I just loved. Anyway, so I put it up there. Some of the things people liked: more control generally over what they were doing, when they were doing it. The volume controls, the volume indicator and the buttons to rewind, to play, to pause, to stop. The address bar option is very popular even if support was needed to do that.

People could change the video size easily. This is a big deal as well. People like to, you know, have control over how large or small something can be of course. The volume indicator and controls and then being able to just turn the volume off. I don’t know how many of you been on to players where you’ve sort of, it’s so loud and you’re fiddling around trying to work out how to turn the volume off. People thought that was a great feature.

The control buttons were the right size for people with mobility issues, that they weren’t sort of having to do trial and error to get themselves on to the button. They were easy to understand. The symbols were great. And for those people who could see the colour coding, it was excellent. The play button is green for go and the stop button is red for stop. And a lot of people understood that. And search function was easy to use.

So, things we were asked to change. We were asked to look into making it a bit… having more pictures really. So, the video sizes: at the moment, that’s the option to see the video small, medium and large. People asked for that to be explicit. So, I mean, this is just, this is work in progress. But, actually, just doing a small square, a medium square and a large square reinforces small, medium and large. And this is a key thing really. It’s actually graphics supported by text and text supported by graphics rather than expecting people to understand a word or a graphic. So, you know, these two in harmony is a really big issue.

The search results: people really wanted to see a thumbnail of the video they were going to select so that they knew that they were going to go to the right thing. Again, I think people have just been burnt by clicking links that take them off to something that they just didn’t want to go to or they don’t understand. So, Christian tells me all these things are easy to do, by the way. I don’t know. But, to have a picture of the videos is really good.

To be able to go to the next page if there is one, just a little arrow at the bottom of that page to say that there is one, there’s more, you can keep going. I’ve added that in and we’ll have to test that again. I’ve moved the YouTube address bar down to the bottom here in response to quite a lot of feedback. But, this is something I wanted to play with a little bit more because a URI or URL is associated with being at the top of the screen. And having, putting the address at the bottom of the screen I think will confuse a lot of people I work with, certainly. So, that’s something I’m going to try and bring out a little bit more in more testing.

So, I’m going to show you a video. Lizzie, who you met earlier and you would’ve met in the audio at the very beginning. She has something to say about it.

[video starts]

Antonia: Hi Lizzie.

Lizzie: Hi.

Antonia: Can you tell me what you see on the screen?

Lizzie: I see Google UK on the screen.

Antonia: OK. Can you search for YouTube?

Lizzie: Yeah. Sure.

Antonia audio describes: Lizzie is typing in YouTube into Google.

[video continues to play]

Antonia: Are you ok spelling it?

Lizzie: No How do you spell YouTube?

Antonia: YOUTUBE

Lizzie: How do you spell Mary J. Blige please?

Antonia audio describes: She’s in YouTube now.

[video continues to play]

Antonia: MARY…

Antonia audio describes: Lizzie is dyslexic. It takes her quite a long time to type things.

[video continues to play]

Lizzie: RY.. hold on. Yeah?

Antonia: Space.

Lizzie: Just put the J for J innit?

Antonia: Lizzie, can you have a look at the page? Is there anything that helps you there?

Antonia audio describes: YouTube is giving her a prompt for Mary J. Blige. Sorry about the audio description. I hope it’s helpful.

[video continues to play]

Lizzie: Wait there… Yeah, I think so. There, the top one.

Antonia: OK. Why don’t you go for that? Is that useful?

Antonia audio describes: So, she’s on the YouTube page with Mary J. Blige videos.

[video continues to play]

Lizzie: Yeah….. Yes! No! I don’t know

Antonia: Do you want to choose one?

Lizzie: Yeah.

Antonia audio describes: She’s trying to find out how to select the video at the moment. She’s found it.

[video continues to play]

Antonia: OK. So, can you make the size of the screen bigger?

Lizzie: I’ve forgotten how you do that.

Antonia: Is there anything on the website that shows you how to make the size of the screen bigger?

Lizzie: Not really…

Antonia: How easy do you find that to do?

Lizzie: Fairly easy. It’s not too hard but spellings and things….If I had it written down on a piece of paper or in pictures then I’d be able to do it.

Antonia: OK. So, what do you think of the actual page that you’re on? Obviously what you were looking at just now was the player wasn’t it, where the video is played. What do you think of the actual web page that you’re on?

Lizzie: It’s good because you can, when you’re on YouTube, you can get at information really quickly.

Antonia: And do you find all the stuff on that page easy to understand if you look at it?

Lizzie: Not really, no. Because it’s… with me, it will have to be in picture form with me.

Antonia: Can you go to the top of the screen where the website address is? Right at the top?

Lizzie: Yep.

Antonia: And click with the left hand…that’s it…can you right click? Where your cursor is, can you go down to the tab? That bit, press that.

Antonia audio describes: She’s just tabbed into the Easy YouTube player.

[video continues to play]

Antonia: Now…

Lizzie: Now!

Antonia: Do you like that?

Lizzie: Yeah!

Antonia: Can you go to the YouTube address box? Can you see where that is?

Lizzie: Yeah.

Antonia: It’s where you were just now, down a bit…

Lizzie: Here?

Antonia: No where you were just now.

Lizzie, Oh there.

Antonia: Down a bit…

Lizzie: Here?

Antonia: In the green box. There’s a big green box isn’t there?

Lizzie: Oh, in the middle?

Antonia: Yep. OK. If you left click there and then right click to paste. Right click the mouse. And then go to paste. That one. And then you click on “load”.

Lizzie: Hold on… Load. Ah! That’s good!

Antonia: Can you tell me how you’d play that video?

Lizzie: By the play button there.

Antonia: OK.

Lizzie: And you can… the screen is either small, medium or large. I like it large. So, I can see…what I’m doing.

Antonia: OK. Can you go and tell me how you’d control the volume?

Lizzie: Yeah.

Antonia: Can you show me?

[music plays]

Lizzie: That’s volume up.

Antonia audio describes: Lizzie really just knew where to go. She really did.

[video continues to play]

Lizzie: That’s no volume.

[music stops]

Antonia: OK. How do you know how much volume you’re…?

Lizzie: By the volume here.

Antonia: Is that helpful?

Lizzie: Yes.

Antonia: How would you turn the volume off completely?

Lizzie: Like that.

Antonia: What’s the button next to that, do you think?

Lizzie: That’s no volume at all.

Antonia: Brilliant. So, can you show me how you would pause the video?

Lizzie: Sure.

Antonia audio describes: So, it doesn’t take her too long to find the pause button.

[video continues to play]

Antonia: And how would you get the video back to the beginning?

Lizzie: Ok…Rewind!

Antonia audio describes: She goes straight to the rewind button.

[video continues to play]

Antonia: How would you search for a video actually from here rather than from YouTube.

Lizzie: Just type in the name! Really!

Antonia: And where would you type it on that page?

Lizzie: Up there! I can show you…watch!

Antonia audio describes: I have left this because I just want you to see what happens. So… go with it! So, she’s typing the name of what she’s looking for into the URL box, not the search box, confident that she’s doing the right thing. And it hasn’t worked.

[video continues to play]

Antonia: Is there anywhere else on the page that you think you could use to search?

Lizzie: Yep, here.

Antonia audio describes: And she goes straight to the search box.

[video continues to play]

Antonia: Are you putting yourself in?

Lizzie: Yep.

Antonia: Brilliant! How was that to do? To do the search?

Lizzie: Very easy.

Antonia audio describes: So, she’s pulled up a video of herself and her band.

[video continues to play]

[music starts]

Antonia: Is that your band?

Lizzie: Yep. We’re called Heart N Soul. This is a promo video of one of my songs. It’s called “I like the base”.

Antonia comments: Good marketing, eh?!

[video continues to play]

Antonia: How is it to look at that using that player?

Lizzie: Um.. very very good. ‘Cause I can use it. I have no trouble using this.

Antonia: OK. So, Lizzie, how do you find that page?

Lizzie: This will be very easy for me to access. Because it’s very accessible. Like this.

Antonia: Can you tell me which player you prefer: the first one or this one?

Lizzie: This one.

Antonia: Can you tell me why?

Lizzie: Because it’s much easier to use. Much easier to use.

[video ends]

Antonia: So, I hope that was interesting. So, key points really about the Easy YouTube player: feedback and collaboration. It’s not just about working with people with learning disabilities. Everyone who posted comments, everyone who talked to either of us or anyone else involved in it, you know, that it was a collaborative thing. And we’re still testing and changing it. The work is ongoing. I would like to do some more testing with people with mobility issues who have learning disabilities as well to see how they fare. And I’m also working on enhancing the design. I’m midway through something new, especially to address this search problem, you know, of knowing which one was the search box and which one was the URI box.

So, what could happen next? One thing that Lizzie said off camera, which I wish I caught was ‘the thing that would make me use that, is if YouTube had on their page, “go and look at that on the other player”‘. That of course, would be the most fantastic thing - to have that ability. You’re on a site, but you want to see something slightly differently, just go over there.

But really, how can we get this player out there? What I would really, really like is for this to inform a universal accessible player for everyone. I’ve been trying to find a player for maybe a year and a half now. I’ve been using my limited technical skills to try and change things. The thing that I talked about at Accessibility 2.0 was that, you know, I’m not putting up things on to our website using players that I know aren’t accessible to people.

So, Lizzie’s comment about being included. How can we take some of these things into the mainstream? What can we take from specialist APIs like that and some of the websites that I build for people with learning disabilities into the mainstream? There’s a tension between the two. You know, APIs often have adverts and lots of moving pictures. We’ve discussed this again this morning. Mashups can be real problems. But, how can we try and solve some of these issues? We don’t want to be creating disability specific ghettos where you can only see things specific to your ability or disability. I think that’s quite dangerous.

So, specialist versus mainstream. My day job is about balancing the two. So, what I would do is maybe build a website or pages for people specifically with learning disabilities so that I know they can access them. But, I also try and take the learning from that on to the corporate website so they can also hopefully access the corporate website. And it’s difficult. It’s tough. But, it’s most certainly not impossible!

And my strengths are: design solutions, content and multimedia (when the audio’s OK). But, I need to work with professionals with other skills. I can’t affect… I could never have done that Easy YouTube player, you know. That’s the reason why I’m really interested and I’m going to come tomorrow. I’m really interested in this kind of collaboration because I was just noodling around on my own, wondering if someone one day might do something.

We can make the mainstream a more accessible place for everyone by giving people more clues. I quite often think of websites and APIs as giving people clues to access things.

I think we should think differently and I’ve been thinking about online language. This is from the YouTube page. But, it occurred to me when I was writing this presentation. Here’s the option to maximise “favourites” and to minimise “similar”. OK, so they’ve got arrows which should tell you something. The arrow goes to the right for “favourites”, which should tell you that you can maximise that. And then, the arrow goes down for “similar”, which should tell you, if click on that, you should be able to minimise it. And the words, you know, they do tell you what it’s about roughly.

But you could just make it different by changing that to being “open your favourites” or “close similar videos.” I mean, obviously there would be a state change depending on what’s happening and where you are at with that. But, I don’t think by adding those words just to make those arrows a little bit more meaningful, I don’t think any of us is going to worry about that, are we? Is that going to be a problem for any of us, the difference between that? “Favourites” and “similar” to “open your favourites” and “close similar videos”?

So, there’s a desire at the moment to include people with learning disabilities in the accessibility debate, which is fantastic. And I’m getting involved in lots of things and I hope that other people working in the field will do, too. There’s a lot of work to be done. There are loads of great functions in the stuff that we’re building, but lack of clarity blocks access to those things. And without access, people aren’t included, empowered or enabled. And this is from circles of support on Facebook which people really use - to web content. So, how can we change it?

[audio starts]

Lizzie: The mainstream websites, yeah, should include people with learning disabilities, should include them, because… because though we got disabilities, we still want to keep up with the times.

[audio ends]

Antonia: So, I’m sure some amazing things will come out of these two days. It’s such a brilliant idea. Please try and consider people with learning disabilities. Thank you and if this interests you, get in touch. My details are on the screen. Antonia dot Hyde at unitedresponse dot org dot uk .

Christian: Splendid. Thank you very much.