Waking Accessibility Awareness…
Works by Ryan Seslow – 2021
This new body of digital illustration, animated GIFs and animated video is a series of reactions and expressions that address the continued lack of Accessibility and Inclusion in our 2021 reality. The series is a continuum to my ongoing exhibition: “Communicating my Deaf & Hard of Hearing Self” – you can view that here.
I know, the title itself might be making you feel uncomfortable. Thats good because it may activate some action and accountability, or at least a series of questions. Are you up for it? Are you someone who continues to make and publish video content online with out adding captions or adding a written description of some kind to support the audio in the video? Are you hosting video or audio only based meetings with out closed captions or a live transcriber? Are you one of those people who has a podcast and shares it as an “audio-only” piece of media? Hmm, do realize how many people are left out as a result of that lack of accessibility awareness? The sad part is, you or the company or organization that you work with may have an expanded audience and a following of 1K – 30K – 100,000K people (or more). You widely use, or are asked to use and support various digital tools with out ever questioning if those tools are inclusive and accessible for everyone to receive your content? Why is accessibility and inclusion an after-thought for you and what are you going to do about it? I know, you may say; “its not ill meaning, or maliciously intended”.. I do empathize and have a lot patience.. but Im still waiting, and waiting.. will you do something about this?
A part of me feels that this new body of work can and should be shared as its own exhibition. Even though it is an expansion of the body of works mentioned in the link above, this particular series has been created over the duration of the pandemic. It is another response to the continued fight for basic accessibility and inclusion for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people. Each individual piece is an expression to a range of narratives that have played out. I am using looping animations as a medium to share this conceptually as a cycle that seems to never end. The works also display the dichotomy of responses that I have experienced from people through various online platforms. This ranges from caption-less video chats & meetings, e-mail, text messages and social media platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn & Instagram. As I write this I am both happy and angry. Happy for the small changes that some people / institutions have made via our communication about the awareness of accessibility / inclusion and how to facilitate it. But I am really angry at those who have taken a more “salty” and “dismissing” attitude and approach after being called out on their lack of accessibility and awareness of inclusion. Feeling angry is a good thing, it allows me to channel and exercise the anger, I have done that through these pieces below.
“No Captions, No Transcripts, No Access”, 2021 Digital Illustration
“The Accountability of One’s Reflection”, 2021 Animated GIF
“The Caption-less Podcaster” 2021, Animated GIF
“The Continued Clubhouse Accessibility After-Thought”, 2021, Animated GIF
“The Overstimulated & the Excluded”, 2021, Animated GIF
“Even the Word Patience gets Anxiety”, 2021, Animated GIF
“The Oblivious & Caption-less Zoom Hosts”, 2021, Animated GIF
“The Endless Vibrational Run for Access”, 2020, Animated GIF
“But He Can Speak, Are You Sure He Can’t Hear?”, 2020, Digital Still Frame Illustration
“All of My Access is Chaos”, 2020 (revised from a 2017 iteration), Animated GIF
“Masked Garble on Repeat”, 2021, Animated GIF
“Accessibility & Inclusion? It’s Not Our Fault!” 2021, Looped Animated Video
Please contact for availability – ryan (at) ryanseslow.com