Today I finished typing out the responses Victoria Neumann and I collected during our workshops at the Chaos Communication Camp 2019.
The workshops were part of our SocialTech project. This one specifically was tailored for an open-air tech event: “Accessibility and Inclusion – Hacking everyday communication practices to change the world.”
Among other things, we were reflecting about our own access needs and potential responses to them. It was particularly interesting to do this at a week-long camping event since a lot of needs (and also opportunities) are heavily depending on the context they are happening in. Since conference-type events are usually held indoors, the contrast between the usual conference space and an open field in late August was striking. Together we identified and discussed both event-specific and more universal questions surrounding the topics of accessibility and inclusion.
I’m confident to say everyone went home with many new ideas to think about. A handful of participants even left the workshop together. In response to one of the most frequently mentioned access issues, they decided to try and write an app for the camp’s card10 badge. I’m really curious to see where that goes!
It’s real now! We held the first presentation about the the SocialTech project at the Digital Inclusion Policy and Research Conference at the University of Liverpool in London.
It was a great conference, and an amazing opportunity to connect with other researchers, professionals from both the third sector and industry, government officials and students working on the intersections of society and new communication and (emerging) internet technologies.
We got some interesting feedback after our presentation.
The slides and annotations can be found on the project website, but I also want to give a short summary of the current state of the project itself:
The main points we talked about
We explained the project itself, and the question-response format of the resource we are working on.
This wonky knot is supposed to show how adapting communication practices and having inbuilt feedback loops both internally and with your audience make it easier to react to one’s audience/users/visitors and their needs easily.
We are excited to start incorporating the feedback we got and continue working on this project!
When I was a full-time master’s student, I used to co-organize the Changing Worlds Conference, a transdisciplinary student-led conference. We spent 3 years exploring the possibilities to bring together artists, scientist, engineers, activists, students and teachers interested in science, technology and society within the framework of an academic conference.
For me personally, the most interesting aspect of the project was experimenting with the format of the conference itself. We were trying (and mostly succeeding) to create an accessible, inclusive environment in which people from different backgrounds feel welcome and can productively work together.
The experiment is growing up
After giving a few workshops on the topic, me and my colleague Victoria Neumann have decided to use the knowledge we were able to collect and make it available to others. We want to provide a starting point for learning to those who want to adopt more inclusive communication practices, both in their private and professional lives.
This new project is called SocialTech, and it aims to provide a resource to learn about access needs, and more inclusive communication- and organizing strategies. Updates as the project unfolds can also be found on this project website.
The idea behind the project:
Rather than giving a specific set of instructions, the resource is built in a question-and-response format. There are no “one size fits all” solutions to dealing with people’s needs, but in this list we tried to provide a range of questions you could use as a starting point to consider your audience and how to make your space as accomodating and comfortable as possible.
We have published the first version of the document we are working on. It is a work in progress. For this first version, we have focused on a few topics that come up often. At the moment it is only available in English, but we are planning to translate it into German soon.
I got to attend a wonderful conference in Vienna, and I have to say it was the perfect start into 2019.
“Das Kunstmuseum im Digitalen Zeitalter” (The Art Museum in the Digital Age) was organized by the Belvedere and held in the museum’s beautiful Blickle Cinema.
The two conference days were packed with interesting talks and discussions. While Art Education/Outreach doesn’t seem to fit in with my work, it was a great conference for me. My research is, at its core, exploring how people creatively use new technologies to communicate, build communities and structure their everyday lives – and this is exactly what this conference was about.
Topics like representation, accessibility and inclusion were also discussed throughout the whole conference. It was a joy to see how museums incorporate the internet and digital tools with the traditional visitor experience.
This second picture made me smile, it came from a presentation about visitors “hacking” the museum.
The overall message in the talks was clear: While it is important to implement stable long-term plans and tools for, it never hurts to get creative in order to engage with visitors and perhaps even a virtual audience.
Diese Animation zeigt die komplette Funktionalität des Modells
Im Sommer 2018 hatte ich die Gelegenheit, an einem besonders interessanten Projekt zu arbeiten. Im Rahmen eines Erasmussprojektes das sich mit der Erarbeitung 3D-gedruckter Lehrmaterialien für blinde Schüler*innen befasst, habe ich für das BBI eine Toilette entworfen, die dann in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Medienproduktionsteam von Sebus gedruckt wurde.
Und so sieht das CAD-Modell dazu aus.
Ich habe für dieses Projekt erstmals FreeCAD verwendet, nachdem ein Open Source Programm natürlich später weniger Barrieren darstellt als die industrieüblichen Standardprogramme
Die 3D-gedruckte Toilette soll besonders für jüngere Kinder den Alltagsgegenstand greifbar machen und so die Benutzung erleichtern. In den größeren Instituten gibt es eigens dafür ausgerüstete “echte“ Toiletten, die niemals tatsächlich als solche, sondern bloß als Lehrmittel verwendet werden.
Eine Toilette in voller Größe und aus Porzellan ist allerdings kaum transportabel, was für Unterricht außerhalb des BBI ein Problem darstellt. Mit dem Kunststoffmodell wurde nun eine Lösung gefunden, das Lehrmaterial einfach an den jeweiligen Einsatzort zu bringen.
Das Modell ist außerdem teilbar, um die gesamte Funktionsweise einer Toilette mit Wasserspülung im Unterricht darstellen zu können.
Das Modell ist sowohl für den 3D Druck, als auch für zum Ertastet-werden optimiert: Es kommt im Druck ohne Supportmaterial aus, so ist quasi keine Nachbearbeitung notwendig. Zum Zusammenbauen werden bloß 2 Splinten für das Gelenk benötigt, das Modell kommt ohne Klebearbeiten aus. So soll es möglichst einfach sein, mit dem eigenen 3D-Drucker ein Modell anzufertigen wenn es für den Unterricht benötigt wird.
Eine Maßstabgetreue Toilette in dieser Größe – geschlossen ist sie etwa 19cm hoch – ist nicht mehr gut tastbar, da einige Hohlräume selbst für Kinderfinger zu klein wären. Die Proportionen wurden dahingehend angepasst, um die Benutzer*innenfreundlichkeit zu erhöhen.