Accessible to All Trainings

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“The 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act will make it easier for people who are deaf, blind or who live with an impairment to do what many of us take for granted…It sets new standards so that Americans with disabilities can take advantage of the technology our economy depends on.  And that’s especially important in today’s economy, when every worker needs the necessary skills to compete for the jobs of the future.”

President Barack Obama, October 8, 2011


Emerging Markets and Opportunity

The 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) is one of the most important updates to the Americans with Disabilities Act in 20 years.  This legal document prohibits disability-based discrimination by government entities and private businesses and updates accessibility standards to enhance our ability to share and access information.

In support of the CVAA and its new regulations, It’s Our Story (IOS) and The Victor Pineda Foundation have joined forces to produce a ground-breaking, standards-based, digital curriculum that promotes a pathway to employment for people with disabilities across the country.

Our staff recruited 50 college students from UCLA, San Diego State University, and Chapman University to build the IOS YouTube channel, and now we look forward to sharing our skills with you.

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Living Forward, Looking Back

The “Accessible to All” (A2A) seminar engages and trains your staff, young leaders, and volunteers in the process of making the voices of people with disabilities “accessible to all” via the IOS YouTube channel, or even through a customized channel of your own.

In enabling communities to share in the 1,300 voices available in our archive, you participate in the simultaneous advancement of three critical missions.

First, you prepare the next generation of leaders, staff, and volunteers to solve the challenges of making the Internet “accessible to all.”  Second, you enable these same trainees to acquire valuable employment skills.  Lastly, and perhaps even most important, by engaging with the IOS archive, your community can become digitally “mentored” by some of the disability movement’s greatest leaders, role models, and agents of change.

When provided with training in innovative digital workforce and social media skills, disability organizations can more effectively seek out and engage fresh revenue streams, new partnerships, and increased capacities.  Perhaps the greatest benefit of our programming, however, is its unique ability to attract young leaders to your organization by pointing them to a pathway to employment.

“It is essential that we equip our future leaders with the skills necessary to secure careers, not jobs.” By preparing a workforce to support the regulations of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, we effectively position people with disabilities to lead while creating employment opportunities.

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Preparing Your Voice

Currently stored on DVD work copies and in digital files, the first 548 IOS video histories are ready for transcription and encoding.  Those interested in securing video histories recorded after October 2008 will be required to make a deposit for the purchase of hard drives on which to digitally catalog and archive these stories.

To maximize the time and effectiveness of our skill training, transcription and encoding of data should be completed before commencement of instruction.  We encourage you to recruit students, volunteers and staff to aid in the production of videos—a process easily navigated through the It’s Our Story (IOS) College Engagement Program (cost estimate available upon request).

Our Young Leaders Need Your Support

Now is the time for leaders within the disability community to recognize the challenges that await us in the next decade.  Financial projections are dire: our partners anticipate ten years of cost cuts, reductions in funding and the slow deconstruction of the social system with which we’ve all become familiar. In the face of such powerful challenges, the most effective solution has always been innovation.

But our innovation must be sustainable, strategic, and scalable.  Whatever our funding challenges, IOS remains mission-driven and solution-focused, as we continue to create programming with the power to impact attitudes, employment, policy, and education.  As creators of media, we have the capability to change the world—we need only the will with which to execute this capability.

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Impacting the World

According to a survey conducted by the World Bank, 60,000 of the globe’s population of people with disabilities said that access to a voice was their primary longing.  Today’s Americans with disabilities not only have a voice, we now how the power of digital media by which to disseminate it.

For many people living outside of the United States, the rights enabled by the Americans with Disabilities Act are a dream—a dream as unattainable as a walk on the moon seemed 40 years ago.  Around the globe, people with disabilities are still living in unimaginable squalor, experiencing brutal discrimination, and suffering from social isolation.  As beneficiaries of American privileges, we share a responsibility to publicly define ourselves, and to inspire others to do the same.

“We find ourselves at a critical junction in the timeline of humanity. People with disabilities can choose to share their perspectives.”We believe that, for each of us with a diagnosed imperfection, for each of our friends and for each member of our families, now is the right time to acknowledge our true selves and free our voices.

It’s Our Story (IOS) offers the possibility to train each member of your community and organization to contribute his or her gift to the world.  Only by exploring and uniting our unique voices can we share stories of the successful, independent lives of people with disabilities.

A2A Provides Solutions

In recent history, the growth of the online social network has been a boon to the social power of the youth.  Today’s young people are leading the rest of the world in dissemination of information.  IOS empowers leaders of all ages with the skills necessary to become a star performer in a market that only recently came into existence.  The 21st Century is a new world—a world that demands better understanding and training of, and collaboration with, each other.

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A2A Training Summary

The “Accessible to All” (A2A) training seminar offered by It’s Our Story (IOS) guides each attendee through the process of freeing his or her voice and representing it via short-form, digital storytelling.  In three eight-hour sessions, attendees harness the skills needed to make video content accessible to all, including the art of captioning and the methodology for making data searchable by subjects and keywords.

“The “A2A” seminars further empower attendees by connecting them to successful role models, teaching them 21st Century workforce skills, and educating them about the sacrifices that continue to be made by tens of thousands of people with disabilities in the pursuit of social change.

After completion of basic training, students can choose to engage in additional training modules, as a further refinement of staff, volunteer, and supporter skills. A one-day training can be devoted to creation of a personalized or corporate YouTube channel, or a three-day seminar can introduce an organization to digital literacy skills that focus on a pathway to employment.

IOS and The Victor Pineda Foundation seek to bring this professional, customized training to your organization.  Our fast-track, digital storytelling curriculum is embedded with “Accessibility for All” components and adheres to 21st Century workforce readiness outcomes, presented in a standards-based, universal design learning atmosphere.

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