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Can Awards Encourage Excellence in the Field of Accessibility?
Can excellence in the field of accessibility be encouraged and sustained with industry awards and recognition? G3ict invited accessibility professionals to share their views.
“I believe health issues and educational issues are both systemic. In our efforts to be efficient we lose connection with the systemic issues underlying the symptoms we deal with. I don't think that the answer is as simple as providing awards and recognition because what is meaningful to one person may not be meaningful to another. Inclusion at the expense of individualized meaning will be costlier in the long run and awards will merit/measure the wrong data only adding to the systemic burden creating further disparity. The key is coordinated care, coordinated education.”
Ward 6 Councillor and representative of the Burlington Accessibility Advisory Committee, Ontario, Canada.
“The Burlington Accessibility Advisory Committee has opened nominations for Burlington’s first accessibility awards. The introduction of the awards is especially significant at this time as the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act came into effect for the private sector in January (2012). The program has become a valuable way to promote accessibility in our city.”
“It may be that awards are a method for encouraging the uninitiated while industry recognition will be of a benefit not only to itself, but those whom it serves. There is an advantage to be gained by meeting the needs of the widest possible audience, be they in the digital space or beyond.”
“As our industry continues to mature, accessibility had to become more than a compliance vehicle or a risk preventative measure. Our field has to encourage solid, replicable, sustainable, measurable, professional and creative designs. I believe the next logical step would be to create ‘Awards of Excellence’. Why? The bottom line is that people and organizations like being recognized for their efforts. Plus, awards help inspire others to do their best and can help set standards that others strive to match and exceed. Awards allow us to recognize the professionals and organizations that are striving for excellence. This not only encourages companies, organizations and individuals to replicate successes stories, but also allows them to share their best practices and enjoy the limelight for their efforts.”
Compiled by Nilofar Ansher.