Let's Talk Accessibility! Photo of Mason Chapello for Nel Shelby Productions at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival by Jamie Kraus Photography

Mason Chapello for Nel Shelby Productions at Jacob’s Pillow; photo by Jamie Kraus Photography

Let’s Talk Accessibility!

by | Nov 18, 2021 | Warm Note

We have always believed video can help promote your work, book touring engagements, land commissions, and grants, and raise money during fundraising efforts…

In the past year, we’ve also realized more and more that video can provide greater access:

  • Access to new audiences around the world, and
  • Access for audience members with disabilities

NSP has incorporated closed captioning for clients for years now, but the captioning process used to be so expensive that clients with smaller budgets couldn’t include it in their planning.

As technology has evolved, closed captioning has become easier and more affordable to implement. (We now use Rev.com to create closed captioning files for our videos. It’s just one of many services that can accomplish this!)

When we worked on Jacob’s Pillow’s virtual gala, Global Pillow, it was the first show we streamed that had options to watch with not only closed captions but with audio description as well.

My wonderful colleague Loren Robertson turned us on to Gravity Access for help with audio description, and they consulted with us on how we can plan and prepare for providing even more accessible options to our audiences in the future.

I get very excited when talking about accessibility with my team and with our clients. I think it’s beautiful that during such a challenging time (this pandemic) the desire to provide more accessible video has really grown.

Being thoughtful and inclusive is how we look out for each other.

Are you working on making your video more accessible?

We suggest you ask yourself:

  • Who is my audience? What are their needs?
  • What is our budget for expanding the accessibility of our video?
  • What can we offer now, at the time of the event, and after the event?
  • How will we communicate options to our audiences?
  • How will we measure the success of our efforts?

What’s most important is that you communicate with your audience. Maybe you aren’t able to make your video accessible the minute it becomes available. That can happen!

Just communicate with your audience to tell them when more accessible video will be available! For example: “Closed captioning will be available on XX date.”

We look forward to continuing to brainstorm and design for accessibility with our clients now and through the new year.

Please always feel free to ask me any questions you have!

We’re all navigating new technology and new opportunities to be more inclusive, and I’m happy to share our knowledge from recent projects!

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Nel Shelby is Owner & Filmmaker for Nel Shelby Productions, her New York City-based company dedicated to dance videography and editing. Nel shares her mission to preserve and promote the art of dance with her husband, Christopher Duggan, a dance and wedding photographer. They collaborate on projects with dance companies of worldwide renown, up-and-coming choreographers, dance educators, dance schools and more. Nel is Video Producer at Jacob’s Pillow and Vail Dance Festival and is also the proud Director and Producer of PS DANCE! — a New York Emmy-nominated documentary about dance education in NYC’s public schools.