Sina and Corey will lead the campfire talk with a 10-minute discussion on the inclusive design ecosystem, its ethos and methodology, and a quick elaboration of its facets. Then, having pre-selected 5 participants equipped with unique topics from the MCN Inclusive Design and Accessibility Slack Channel, will facilitate a group discussion across the disparate 5 topics, demonstrating how and why being inclusive is a methodology to be applied, not a project or budget line item. Link to topic submission form: https://t.co/GikoqZSwDl Track:Ethical Responsibility
Unknown Speaker 15:07
Good morning, afternoon, evening to everyone, my name is Sina Bahram I use He has him. I'm a light skinned male of Persian descent with a very shortly crops beard and dark wavy hair, I'm coming to you from Cary, North Carolina, Where I live, I'm joined by Corey Timpson I'll let him do his, his description in one second, but just to say that this is a session on really thinking through the concepts of inclusive design and accessibility and considering them as a methodology, which is something that Cory and I have, you know, have had a lot of just privilege and an experience with in terms of working throughout the sector on to promote these concepts of welcoming everyone the widest possible audience to our spaces, be they digital or physical. So we're gonna have a campfire discussion we have some questions and comments already gathered, and we're going to be talking through those, we really want this to be a conversation so we invite you to use the chat to you, to go off mute and ask your question. And before I turn it over to Corey to do a brief description please feel free to be comfortable if you don't want to have your camera on. Don't have your camera on if you need to leave the session take care of yourself. Take care of yourself. This is, we really want to make sure that we're making this an inclusive and welcoming space so please participate as you are able and as you desire. But with that, let me turn it over to Corey to give a short description of himself and then we'll dive
Unknown Speaker 17:06
in. Yeah, so thank you for that. My name is Corey Timpson coming to you from Ottawa, Canada. I am a light skinned man wearing, you know, mid 40s wearing black framed glasses with the decreasing volume of hair, what seems like by the minute. and I'm wearing one of the 24 different black, long sleeve T shirts that I Oh, awesome clear back to you.
Unknown Speaker 17:30
Alright, amazing. Do we have a thumbs up. We do now. Awesome. So, you know, Cory and I start from this ethos and for those of you who have spoken with us before, I think this might be somewhat familiar that rather than designing something and then figuring out how to make it accessible, how to make it equitable, how to make it inclusive, which is what happens all the time, right, we want to start by considering the entire vector of human difference from the outset, we want to start with the understanding that we can achieve an operation operational efficiencies and sustainability, interoperability, all of these benefits that we look for all of these things we use as performance indicators, whether it's on the nonprofit side, or whether it's on the for profit side by considering inclusivity in the entire vector of difference from the outset, and then by continuing that consideration throughout the entire project that is it in a nutshell, so the work is a journey, it's never done, but we need to start shifting left to these considerations, otherwise we're going to be in this constant remediation mode that is the ethos of a nutshell, Korea video.
Unknown Speaker 18:37
Yeah, and maybe I'll just add on to that to say that we consider this ethos and everything we do. So one of the benefits of our work is we get to work on an entire range of projects that could be policy and protocol development on the administration side say of museums and cultural venues, it could be in program development so educational public programming and events, exhibitions, it could be in terms of capacity building and training. It can be in terms of digital system Digital Media Design and Development and production, etc. But this ethos just carries through absolutely everything we do, and taking this ethos. We start with a premise and that premise is that you know we have intentions, it could be the curatorial intent and interpretive intent, it could be a strategic intent. As a designer, I have design intent. And then, you know our audience has their own set of intentions, and we want to make sure that these intentions line up, as well as possible so we really want to consider what our intentions and why we're doing something, again, you know, writing a policy, creating an exhibition, what our intentions, and then what are the expected intentions of our audience or the people are going to use whatever it is that we're doing, and we want to ensure that those line up when they don't line up we have barriers. And like when that mismatch happens and we just want to preemptively mitigate and remove as MANY of those barriers as possible so we really take this as this premise as being our responsibility. So you want to know how you know our design intent affects response to facilitate the expectations and intentions of the people that we're working with. So we have our ethos, you know, this is the premise, in which we, you know start from. And then, we really have this like primary consideration, which is we want to consider the ecosystem in which experiences happen, and that means all the ways in which you know someone interfaces and interacts within the ecosystem and exists as well as that underlying infrastructure, infrastructure that supports and enables the ecosystem to take place. So, the first sort of thing that we think about today is that, you know, users today, our audience today, concurrently exists in physical and digital space. So, even if we're developing say a museum exhibition or museum experience that is non digital. And if we think back to, if anyone was in the why do we digital session that Bruce Robin I had, you know, we really kind of focus a lot on that experience design. Well, it doesn't mean we don't consider the fact that the people within that ecosystem are digitally enabled already so you know this is a very deliberate point of departure when we think about the ecosystem. We want to think about the fact that people are coexisting in digital and physical environments. At the same time and this is just a baseline that we begin with, because then what we do is take our ecosystem and break it down into a number of facets and we strategically and deliberately consider each one of those facets, that's, you know, information systems and how those information systems get presented the environmental and built design and maybe I'll just step back and give an example if you can imagine walking through a museum space, not only you're getting content information you're getting building code and life safety information you're getting service information you're getting wayfinding information, all of these different information systems are coexisting within a space, and there's an opportunity for us to think deliberately about those different systems and how they can support and enable one another instead of compete with one another, and like contribute to a more inclusive and accessible experiential outcome for our audience, environmental built design I don't think we need to, you know, provide a number of examples, that's everything from exhibit tree to furniture, so on and so forth, interface design is another facet now we think interface design, particularly at MC and we're probably thinking of graphical user interfaces, but we're thinking about tangible interfaces human interfaces human interactivity, there's a number of different interfaces that we have in the built environment, and within the digital environment content design and development, how we're creating content, what are the reading levels, what is the hierarchy of information, how are these things structured. This is an important facet within the ecosystem software design and development that semantic structures that enable software to be usable by a screen reader for example, those are really important, they're the same tactics that allow systems to be interoperable and scalable Media Design and Production for thinking about time based or linear media, what are the affordances of American Sign Language. Captioning, Audio Description, transcription, you know, volume control, so on and so forth, are we developing those affordances within Media Design and Development fabrication and installation, something may be fully like thought of and baked within the design development process, but Is that how it gets fabricated and installed on site. I mean we've all worked on a number of projects projects get siloed for very good reasons at the live, you know launch event, things get pulled together. And so when we want to think about like what is the as built scenario versus like what our intentions were, and ensuring that you know we mitigate any gaps, they're soft tactics, you know, we're going to make poor decisions at times, how do we fill in those gaps with soft tactics, things like large print binders at visitor services, so on and so forth. You know the spaces and the museum projects and practices we put in place, all involve people, people are those who work for museums that are volunteers, they're our patrons, so on and so forth. So we really want to think about people as an important part of the ecosystem and how people are equipped for success and services and accommodations visitor services, so on and so forth but why we like listing all of these things is because we really need to take this holistic view of the ecosystem. If we truly want something to be inclusive and through our methodology thereby accessible. Imagine a media piece of documentary film that has captioning and American Sign Language and audio description built into a digital kiosk that has an inaccessible interface, sitting in the physical constraints of the kiosk and gallery that is not wheelchair accessible or has no meat clearance. So, a chair user has to let come up and use it sideways like this is why the ecosystem matters because we could have the best of intentions in, you know one silo one sphere within that ecosystem and then really miss out on what it is we're trying to accomplish. So, we tried to sort of solicit some comments and questions but for the session, trying to think about like different facets of these ecosystems that we can have the ecosystem that we can touch on, and so maybe we can just jump right into the first topic, unless Sina, is there anything, no, no.
Unknown Speaker 25:38
I read it away. Okay, cool.
Unknown Speaker 25:41
So, first topic was, and this is you know paraphrase some of the topics were pretty long, I'm being inclusive and equitable is not a methodology but axiology acting in service of equity to realize, shift in value so this was someone who kind of challenged the idea of the inclusive design methodology.
Unknown Speaker 26:02
And I think there's a, there's a salient point here right that we are talking about a methodology because it's something that we have a lot of experience with across a variety of sectors organization types and sizes, etc, but I want to take a step back, because I think the person who asked this is absolutely correct. Um, it there are a few things to consider. We live in a deeply ablest world right we live in environments that are incredibly disabling, and that is through a lack of consideration at the design and build and operational phases, there's, there's a myriad of reasons for why that is true. And it's not just, you know, a plus right there, we, we see throughout MC N and other conferences and just by using our observational skills around the world that we live in a world that is truly not equitable for a variety of people. So then it brings up this this consideration of what are the ways in which we can work to change that state of affairs. Now, on the tactical side, this methodology of inclusive design is one that not only Korea and I believe in, but we have evidence based reasons for believing that because we've enacted it at various scales and seeing the positive outcomes that it comes, that that comes out of that. So from that perspective at the tactical scale, it's highly effective. It's highly implementable at different you know, operational sizes, and it's something that is constantly growing because we're iterating on it it's not perfect, we, we only claim that it is always better the next time we do it right. However, let's talk about the, the other side of this comment and question which is, you know, we are in organizations where folks sometimes, well, not sometimes always everybody is in a different place in their journey. Some folks come to this work of inclusion because it's the right thing to do. Others come to it because they were told by legal that they must do it right, there's a legal burden. Others come to it because they see their colleagues and peers doing this work and start understanding the reasoning for it. Yet others come to it because it's just a factor of best practice right there's all of these different reasons and people exist in different parts of that journey. So, we're not implement, we're not, we don't want to imply that this methodology is all you need. End of talk let's all go home great MC N session, we're done, right, that is, nothing could be further from the truth. This methodology is a tool that allows us to then facilitate those intentions that we were talking about earlier, be a moral, be they emotional, be they intellectual whatever your reasoning is. And we also need to realize that this is not the only part of the work, the work consists of changing hearts and minds through powers of example, through unders, you know, bringing people along for the journey and not beating them up for having made mistakes in the past, but also about being firm that this is not option right I reject this notion that this work comes out of charity, or that this work comes out of a desire to do something for those people. All right, it's 2021, and we need to move on past this antiquated mindset. This work is necessary if we are going to actually exist as a species, where we consider that every single person brings value as a creative being, And as someone who should have a role in society. And if that is true, then we need to start implementing the principle of inclusion at whatever scale makes sense, and then be in kind with ourselves and understanding that it's not going to be perfect the first time, which is why we believe so much in iteration in rapid prototyping and then failing forward right so there's that aspect of the work as well. And that's why this comment about it being an axiology and and a lens through which to consider the world is absolutely correct. And it's something that every single person on this call can contribute to whether you are a technical person a content person, a management person, because there are things in your life, whether they are personal or professional that you can contribute to, to helping to build that more inclusive world.
Unknown Speaker 30:29
And, and Tina you're getting like applause on the chat. Oh, me, who submitted the question is saying like that. Thank you, that's where he thought the session was going, and, and, just like we had a really good talk about your question, Jeremy, comment, because, like we always have to find the sort of point of relevance in which we speak to, you know, people that we're working with on various projects and when we're working with like a really large organization, and it's like, this is where the budget line, like just really starts to grate us like oh there's no budget line for accessibility in your project, it's like deep, okay. Who are we speaking with and how do we make them sort of see the relevance that we see when we're going through these things so for talking to the CFO of a really large museum we may talk about the fact that one in four people in the world has a disability that one in two people over the age of 35 will encounter a disability in their lifetime. Well let's talk about intersectionality and all of the things that this means where accessibility is often like not thought about being an intersectional, you know, concept and and just, that's the sort of discussion with with the CFO with the return on performance indicators might be when you consider you know a much larger audience and breadth, as well as that, but we might have a very different conversation when we talk about like a digital developer or designer, because there is a real opportunity for interoperability scalability, and innovation within the inclusive design methodology in the sector so relevance is really important and, and, like, and also we're sort of preoccupied. The second kind of comment I wanted to add with preoccupied with this idea of the role of museums, museums, being the most trusted sources of knowledge, how they evolve over time, understanding that museums come from a colonial past and history and how do we kind of get rid of all of the crap and like innovate within the idea of what a museum is and if museums want to you know be stewards of the public's history and knowledge then recognizing who that public is and how the museum best serves that public, in which it's supposed to be serving is critical and that's why like when we kind of truncated your comment, acting in service, you know, was like just the phrase that really kind of stood out to us because this is the role of museums and if museums want to continue having an important role then considering, you know who they're acting for is of critical importance and it just seems like, you know, now's the time to really press to hit that inflection point, and really break things open,
Unknown Speaker 33:16
Jeremy, I want to invite and no pressure by the way, so if you're cool, no worries at all, but if you want to go off mute or on camera, we're on the chat if you have anything to add or want to ask a follow up and since this was your question and comment just want to honor. Honor that so if you have anything to contribute please please chime in, but no pressure.
Unknown Speaker 33:42
Okay, hearing, I think. Awesome. And so any from anybody else, let's open it up. Any questions, comments, assertions anything at all to what we just talked about before moving on to the next topic and it's not final, if you think of something 20 minutes in and want to revisit a point by all means that we're happy to do it but just want to make make space for that, and I think everybody has the ability to go off mute or chime in. Any questions or comments on this before we move to the next thing, or follow up questions.
Unknown Speaker 34:15
And I'll leave a moment in time for that. Okay, hearing none. Oh, can't talk right now Jeremy says, Thanks You're quite welcome. Thank you for the question. It was fantastic. A query next one.
Unknown Speaker 34:37
Yep. So this one is balancing institutional transformation with day to day tactics that will make a difference, so yeah this was much, much longer sort of scenario based question or comment that was really about the challenge of trying to sort of be an agent of change within an organization, and develop this transformation within the organization, while also trying to develop tactics on like a project, sort of your you know, day in the life like work day basis, that make a difference. So how do you sort of balance these two, you know, aspects to creating a more inclusive environment.
Unknown Speaker 35:22
Um, so, I think I've got, I've got half of this one that you've got half of this story so internally in an organization. There are MANY competing deadlines and factors and forces and desires that are that are at play, much like is true frankly within all of us as individuals in different roles and identities we bring to spaces, and in the different aspirations we try to achieve in our lives. And I think it's really important to first take a moment and recognize that, but then also to understand that,
Unknown Speaker 35:59
you know, I think actually a perfect example of this is, I don't know if folks are familiar with the disability pride flag, but one of the things on it, the the lines on it are jacket lightning bolts, and if you're not familiar with why that is. It's to represent the path of progress, and the path of progress especially for persons with disabilities is so often, you know, two steps forward, one step back, you know, sometimes it's actually two steps forward and 1.8 steps back, right, but it's, it is heading in a positive direction. And so that's really important because I think we get hung up a lot on using the wrong Zoom level if you will, when measuring progress at an organization, and then we also don't put in practices in place in court, he's going to talk on this point, to, to ensure that those steps back happened less than less those regressions happen less and less. That's why we believe so strongly in this methodology. So what's an example of that. An example of that is, we've gone on for a few decades without having audio description in our videos, fine, that's a reality, let's, let's say it. Let's name it, let's make sure we understand why that is bad. And then what can we do to fix it. The solution is not move Hell or High Water and fix everything overnight. It's not possible it's not feasible. It only is going to disrupt everything else, it's going to actually cause a lot of friction and phrase accessibility and inclusion in a negative light, etc. The solution however is also not to honor the fact that everyone is doing their best, and we should just be patient, because that strategy is one that I think the disability community and MANY other marginalized groups tried for a few decades. And with all due respect, that doesn't work. So, what's the thing in the middle, the thing in the middle, is to put in steps that are measurable and reproducible in a data based in an evidence based way so that we can move the organization forward that speaks Korean mentioned policy right tools, tactics, all of these things are, you know, possible to be put into place to slowly move things forward but to prevent them from slipping back, let's put in a media accessibility policy. Let's look at our procurement practices and to build accessibility right in. Right, let's understand that compliance, has nothing to do with inclusion part of this question Cory I believe referred to the ADA, in part of this question or the previous one, referred to the ADA, let's be very clear the Americans with Disabilities Act, is one of the most noted and lauded pieces of civil rights legislation that humanity has ever created. Right, this is this is an this is an objective fact. It also is the bare minimum that you can do in 2021, so as to simply exist as an organization. It has been federal law for 31 years, the ABA doesn't nothing about inclusion, it barely does anything about accessibility, right, so we need to be really clear on this point, there's a common question in fact this was referenced in one of the comments we received, where it I'm paraphrasing but it went something like this 25% of my colleagues say but we're ADA compliant so aren't we totally accessible. And the answer is very simple. No you're not. You're not accessible, you're not inclusive at all but you're also not accessible. Because if you have a building in which there is a ramp, congratulations and somebody in a wheelchair can come in, but the exhibit tree has touchscreens outside of a reachable zone, right, or doesn't have affordances for those who are deaf and use American Sign Language as their primary language, then you're not accessible. We haven't even, we haven't even begun talking about inclusion yet, you're simply not accessible. And so we need to understand that compliance and conformance and this is true in the digital space for those who are familiar with the web content accessibility guidelines and similar you know Apple's accessibility guidelines and so on and so forth. Same exact thing I'm saying applies there as it applies to building code, which says that this is the bare minimum, right, this is what a group of people were able to agree on as the lowest common denominator, through a series of compromises 31 years ago, that is what the ADA is, it is incredibly helpful. It is the reason that my friends who use wheelchairs can have a drink with me on a bar, but it has absolutely nothing to do with inclusion. And so we need to understand that and then move the conversation forward from legal compliance into actually doing the work of equity and making these environments truly inclusive and what does that mean, it brings us back to this methodology of including and considering the entire vector of human difference from the beginning so that's the point on on like sort of EDM so forth, I'll make one other point before turning it over to Corey, which is how do you do that, how do you enact cultural and actionable change within organizations where every single person is a different a different place in their journey where projects have been defined with milestones and goals far before maybe some of these conversations were going on and are continuing to be defined afterwards. And that is why we have tactics that we work with with a variety of partners and collaborators on internal working groups around inclusion and accessibility right, and I want to make a point on this D Ay ay ay ay is where accessibility goes to die and and and I just want to be really, like, you know, particular about them and I hope to be precise about this point. That's not to say that the EIA is not incredible work, but in all of the, in the last 20 client conversations Cory and I have had, there has been a recurring theme, that the following happens without naming names, our organization because of the events of 2020 and 2021 with respect to racial diversity in this country has renewed its effort on dei a work, actually we're lucky if we get to a, usually it's dei work. And therefore, these topics are super important, awesome, wonderful this is a great opener, I mean this is this is like Yes, excellent. And then what happens, there's, there's a concentration on those things where the board and executive leadership, see there being pressure from society. So to say that we don't need to make sure that our environments are not inclusive and accessible for our black and brown colleagues and and gender equity and all of these other topics that are important. Right, there's no hierarchy of oppression, let's be very clear, but what I am trying to say is, each of those topics, not just accessibility, each of those topics deserves its own working group. In addition to the broad level of consideration that may be happening at a dei a working group New Museum, or to use more corporate terminology at an ER G, an employee resource group at a large corporation, so make sure that when you're organizing these structures in your organization when you're creating these collaborative environments in your organization that you are able to not only have broad conversations but then to have those tactical conversations that are not just strategic in the individual areas and then for these conversations to inform and build off of one another. And then lastly, it can't only be done inside the work needs to include the audience's we're trying to serve better, and who have previously been excluded from these spaces, and that means working with communities and engaging with persons with disabilities and all of the other groups that we're talking about externally, so that these solutions are not only prototyped and informed by visitor experience and by real world considerations, but also so that the act of having those conversations, informs and helps elevate the discourse around this work so that folks understand why it matters, and who they're doing good with and for and persons with disabilities especially are so often excluded from the solutions that are built for them and this is why we need to make sure that we're designing by foreign with the groups that we are trying to serve better. So those are the notes on the organizational side, Korea maybe overdue for a little bit of like that methodology introduction. Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 44:28
I mean, I kind of don't even know where to begin, because that was awesome. I think like there's just a few things for us to consider, there's we mentioned a few times now, in various order but let's say policy protocols and procedures, standards, and then tools and tactics. And if we think about those as in an organizational hierarchy. They all mean different things that they all work together in order to create an institutional backbone and a support that can be applied across any of the activities that an organization is running. So those own sort of need to be crafted and put in place, and most importantly, iterated upon Sina mentioned failing forward, earlier I think in the previous question. This is something that we just take to heart. So how do we work on transformation and day to day activities at the same time. Well, as an example of one thing that we do is we develop a roadmaps. So roadmaps aren't about being a project schedule. There's no dates on things, it's all about like a sequencing of activities because we want to make deliberate decisions. We want to use the finite resources that in any organization already has, and resources being budget people's time, and you know schedules that exist. So we want to be deliberate in those spends and use them as efficiently and wisely as possible to help move the organization forward in a strategically sound manner to increase inclusivity and accessibility as we move along, not overburdening anybody, but being really wise on how we consume our resources in a sequence, seek in a sequenced in a sequenced order that makes sense. So, like, that's, that's kind of like how we develop the backbone. And that may mean that on a daily basis you're doing some of these tactics putting some of these tactics in place that are in very, very narrow scopes, but overall, you're learning what the outcome of those scopes may be what we can learn from it and evolve and move forward. And you're chipping away at a larger picture, when we talk about our ethos and the premise and consideration of the ecosystem. That's what we do every time we come into a project, but Siena, and I may get brought into the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, like we were a few years ago, where they're getting 4000 People today it's like 600,000 square feet it's exhibitions that have been designed, developed over 100 years, and like how do you make that accessible. Well, they're not going to shut down for four years while we just design and develop a whole New Museum, that doesn't make sense, we're gonna have to be really deliberate in how we sequence the activities, chip away at things day by day and know that we're going to create a larger and we're going to build inertia, we're going to build momentum and develop a greater impact as we move forward.
Unknown Speaker 47:14
So, oh I'm sorry. I thought you were done, finished finish that thought and then Oh, yeah.
Unknown Speaker 47:18
So I mean, I think, like, there's, there's very practical sort of example, like roadmapping things so that we're sequencing activities and being deliberate in our resource then, and then there's also seen I wanted to build off of the, you know, engaging communities. This is something that we've done at a number of institutions now. And just really quickly, we develop a working group that works inside the museum, the working group must be represented by all departments, you know finance department like at the Human Rights Museum was like okay, you know, we don't need to be involved in this. Luckily I had the authority in my position there to be able to say well no, you're going to be involved in this, and I like picking on finance because they became super involved in the working group and it was a great participation,
Unknown Speaker 48:02
long term, they actually ended up sending multiple people to that meeting
Unknown Speaker 48:05
after there was two people from the finance team on the inclusive design working group. Now, that group gets paired with an external advisory committee. This is really important to define terms of reference because you know we don't want to say like the museums compromising its curatorial authority or anything like that by engaging an external group, but we want to develop those terms and then work together in partnership, you know, this is a really great tactic for making these informed decisions to building an awareness and a sensitivity and starting to develop the corporate culture that goes along the diverse, the sharing of ownership and responsibility with external groups as well as interdepartmental II and through multi disciplinary Working Group team. It means you're setting yourself up for scalability, you're setting yourself up to make more informed decisions because you have a number of various perspectives sitting around the table and well it's great to have a champion and champions are critically important that load must be shared, like we went through that ecosystem facets and all of those areas, all of those different process may represent, you know, different departments within the museum, they all need to be brought together, and I mean we could probably continue talking but let's see there's
Unknown Speaker 49:21
Jeremy had a if you want to read that out just just for good accessibility practice and I have a comment for it. But Jeremy had a follow up in the chat.
Unknown Speaker 49:28
Yeah So, part of the question of institutional transformation makes me ask, Is it easier at this point in 2021 to replace leadership who need all of this explained from the beginning, or to continue to educate those that are willing to interrogate their practice.
Unknown Speaker 49:44
So, I have a couple of comments on this. If we take the approach of simply replacing because we want to bring in other folks who are doing the work, or who may have a need a lesson, a lesser need to have it explained to them. We have not implemented, reproducibility into our practice, so I'm going to I'm going to slightly at a tangent, approach the topic that you're getting that, I believe, personally, what is necessary is that we need to weave, inclusion and accessibility into the metrics that we use to evaluate performance, and I've, you know with Cory and I do this all time on procurement policy, and all these other things we need to do that with hiring practices, and we need to do that with evaluations, whether it's CEOs and C suite executives, and in, in, for profit companies, or for senior leadership at museums. And by the way, boards, that don't take this seriously, especially in the for profit space are doing so at their own peril. One of the personal investment strategies actually that I use is that women owned businesses and those who employ more persons with disabilities and females at higher rates at higher levels in the organization actually outperformed the s&p right this is the thing, there's data on this, this is no longer inspirational things that we're talking about, I don't care about inspiration because it's things inspiration feeds after the emotion, you know lessons, actions, have the ability to be sustainable. That's why we keep harping on that, this, you know, Cory has said the word informed and deliberate decision making. Oh my god, is it more and more times than I could count, right, because that's why it's so vital. So, what I think we should do is, we should recognize that at a certain point, for example in 2021, certain concepts should be considered baseline. And if folks are not willing to play ball, similar to how vaccine mandates are being handled in this country, then we need to get rid of them. However, we need to do so in a way that is not capricious or arbitrary, but that enforces and allows the organization to grow towards the path of inclusion and that means enacting policies that are applicable to all and facilitating the ability for those who want to grow, and those who can learn to do better, to be able to do so, that's one aspect. The second aspect of it is that none of this matters if we're talking about a 99% white male driven, you know, cisgendered crowd, so we need to have representational diversity and inclusion, if we're going to succeed as a sector and as a people. And that means hiring practices, that means promotions that means recognizing how we evaluate internally and extrinsically as well. And lastly, we need to understand that this change does happen slowly, but we need to again and I said this earlier, not to use that as an excuse slowly doesn't mean zero, right, I just I want to delineate between that we can be reasonable in our expectations, but once that is done, there is no more further room for compromise because the compromise has occurred, and we're being fair on both sides, but we need to first remediate the the mistakes of the past, while moving forward in a sustainable way so no I don't believe we should complete you know arbitrarily, get rid of everyone but what I do believe we need to do is put in policies in place where those folks who are going to be obstacles towards progress will be phased out by virtue of not complying with those policies that are enacted through consensus, and by community building within the organizations because I don't want to also imply that, what is good for museum, a isn't necessarily good for museum B and we want to be very careful of that which is why these policies should grow from the inside, but we better make sure that they're not enacted by only the folks who are affected by the policies at the top these policies need to be arrived at through consensus building, and through an inclusive practice right if we're trying to be inclusive for everyone. Then, everyone needs to participate in that inclusion.
Unknown Speaker 54:17
And I think that we've just considered a part of our job no matter what project we're working on that, you know, educating and kind of kind of hate to phrase it like educating the partners we're working with is just going to be a necessary part of what we're doing, but you know we're, we're also we don't believe we have all the answers you know we're probably two people who work in this area, you know, way more think about it way more than a lot of people do but we're always learning every single day from the partners that sometimes we are quote educating, you know, you know we're we're working with Baltimore Museum. Well, Baltimore Museum of Art. And when we think about the eraser concepts that Tina was just talking about you know they just finished collecting new, new acquisitions by female artists only amazing like is that is there. You know what else can we do along those lines so that you know, museums are built upon a collection that the collection is starting to become more representative of what the public is, we're also working with Boise Art Museum, you know, 14 full time staff at at Boise Art Museum, and they're doing amazing work in inclusive design and accessibility and we're learning from them, as we're learning from one another. And so, you know, I really think that like education is a two way street. And it's it's just going to be part of this, I think if there's, you know, becoming an obstacle is one thing if no one has the will, because, along with deliberate decision making informed deliberate decision making. The other thing you'll hear Sina and I talk about all the time is, it really just takes the will. it doesn't take a budget line to be accessible. It takes the will to change how you're doing things and thinking about the things you're doing. And if we're starting a new exhibition design or a new software development project, and it's net new, it's not costing us anything additional to make it accessible is a deliberate consideration that we have to make on how to be inclusive and delineating between inclusive and accessible is important because we don't want segregation, I think we can all say segregation is bad, and you know, in this case, if we're thinking about the ADA and we're saying, Okay, well, you know that part of the counter way down there is, you know, three inches shorter for, you know, a wheelchair user, go use that why isn't the whole counter just three inches shorter, you know, is there a really good reason why it shouldn't be. And then maybe just everyone can use the counter together so it will be accessible and inclusive. And so there's a lot for us to do here but the will, I think is critical education is just going to have to be a thing that we do that, unfortunately, the bar is really low. The first exhibition that we developed that use tactile audio described photography. You know when we tested it with user groups, you know the the visitors who were blind and low vision were like blown away, there you know, comments were glowing and just incredible and no reason for me to go to an art gallery before camp. Now the second time we did this application, Sina had the idea of including guided tactile audio descriptions so that you know your move your hand up the left of the image and, you know, that kind of thing. Well when we tested it again with the same audience is further blown away now, they only gave us like incredibly positive reviews after the first exhibition but with the second one was like, Oh this is so much better. And so like this is where the iteration is really important, and learning from one another so education I think is just a critical piece and it's multi directional.
Unknown Speaker 57:48
There's also a concept of burden I want to talk about, like one minute, I think, let me see here. Oh, no, we haven't till 215 Oh 115 to two are am I, am I wrong about that.
Unknown Speaker 58:00
I think we should probably know the answer, keep going on. Okay,
Unknown Speaker 58:03
I'll keep up, somebody can inform us one minute check. Okay, well if that's the case then really quick on burden. Please do not rely on folks who might carry a certain identity as putting the burden on them for education. I'm very open about it I happen to be blind and I talk about this stuff all the time, I'll educate anybody about anything I'm qualified to do so that's something I have signed up for. But, just like it's not appropriate to ask your black colleagues to comment on a racial issue that's going on right now. Don't put that burden on persons with disabilities that haven't shown up for the work that's why Cory his comment about Terms of Reference was so important, because then when we have an advisory group, those are persons with disabilities and intersectional identities that are joining together and are showing up to play that role, But don't put that on someone just because they carry an identity, because that's not what they're showing up for they're showing up to be a banker, to be an executive to be a document or to be a programmer, not to be a blind person commenting on accessibility right, I happen to play that role and wear multiple hats because I've signed up for it, but I just wanted to make that point, since we only have a few seconds left, I just want to say thank you, thank you to all of you so much gratitude for spending your time with us and for thinking about these things and if Cory and I can do anything to help you in service of promoting inclusion and equity in anything that you do, please do not hesitate to reach out, I hope you have a beautiful rest of your conference.
Unknown Speaker 59:27
Thanks everyone. Thank you so much. Thank you.