Everyone has a name

The 8 Asians blog has expressed the joys and challenges of being Asian American in the San Francisco Bay Area for 20 years. This post celebrates a recent commercial from Procter and Gamble about growing up with a non-western name in the United States.

“Everyone has a name — and from birth through a lifetime of introductions, it becomes the cornerstone of our identity. For many Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI), their given names carry an even deeper history and significance. But bias, indifference, and unintentional mistakes can lead to misidentification and mispronunciation. This film hopes to elevate the importance of a name, and how meaningful gestures — like pronunciation and understanding its meaning — can create a greater sense of belonging for us all. Join us in celebrating AAPI names, together, and opening the door to belonging.”
Asian American Commercial Watch: P&G’s ‘The Name’ (8 Asians)

Depression awareness

Mental Health Awareness Month: May is mental health awareness month. This video, What is depression? – Helen M. Farrell, explores depression and is from TedEd.

What is depression?

Depression is the leading cause of disability in the world; in the United States, close to ten percent of adults struggle with the disease. But because it’s a mental illness, it can be a lot harder to understand than, say, high cholesterol. Helen M. Farrell examines the symptoms and treatments of depression, and gives some tips for how you might help a friend who is suffering.

Generic caption files for videos with no audio

Not all videos have audio, but this isn’t obvious for people who use closed captions. These fall into two camps: decorative and instructive.

  • Decorative videos are often used in the background of pages. They are short, perhaps three seconds long, and may loop. These don’t require a caption file.
  • Instructive videos may include a short demonstration or a time-lapse video of a scene. They have no spoken words or environmental sounds. These should have a caption file, as there’s no indication that a person who uses closed captions is missing information.

With the guidance of Sarah Margolis-Greenbaum, I’ve created a sample caption file you can use with your videos: Generic No Audio Caption (Github). This caption file will display “[No audio]” at the 2 second mark and will appear for 3 seconds.

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Long COVID, Brain Fog, and Inclusive Design Resources

At this point, we’ve all become aware of COVID-19 and the impact it has on people when they are sick with the virus. But the initial infection is just the start of many people’s recovery journey. Approximately 30% will experience Long COVID, a diverse set of symptoms that can last for months. This includes those whose initial illness is relatively light.

Long COVID

Long COVID symptoms are diverse. They include fatigue, breathing and heart issues, neurological impact, mental health (anxiety), and brain fog. Not recognizing Long COVID affects those returning to the workplace and not able to meet previous expectations.

Brain Fog

Brain fog is not unique to COVID-19. It’s also common for people recovering from cancer treatment, menopause, and chronic illness. It includes short term memory loss, difficulty focusing on tasks, blurred vision, and mental acuity.

Working with Long COVID

As we bring our whole selves to work, this includes our temporary and permanent disabilities. There are tools and resources for succeeding while experiencing Long COVID and Brain Fog. This starts with recognition from leaders and managers, working together for accommodations plans, and realistic goals and expectations.

Inclusive Design

With an awareness of Long COVID and Brain Fog, we can make changes to our products and services to support our customers and colleagues. Designs should support readability, recognition instead of recall, and simple vs complex designs.

The following resources have been collected while researching Long COVID, Brain Fog, and inclusive design for an upcoming presentation at CSUN 22. There’s a lack of information about how we can use our roles as accessibility and inclusive design leaders to improve the usability of our products and services for people who have Long COVID and its associated disabilities. Now is the time for us to reevaluate our work to include short term memory loss, anxiety, loss of focus, readability, and alternative documentation formats.
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