Cultural Sector Data Generator

Have you ever wondered how many people work in your sector? How that breaks down by region, gender, age or ethnicity? Well you can now with this useful Data Generator website created by Creative Choices. The stats tells us more about who’s working in the creative and cultural sectors and can be useful for adding into your presentations, reports and funding bids. It’s free for the time being so make sure you sign up!

Fancy working after 65? Think again…

SidPrior1A little bit of live news coverage today from the AL’s fictitious Newsroom (!) The High Court has ruled that British employers are allowed to force employees over the age of 65 to retire, even if the employee doesn’t want to leave. According to the BBC article covering the issue, ‘The majority of people retire before 65, but 1.3 million people work beyond state pension age. It has been suggested that many more would if their employer permitted it.’ Looking at a 2006 Guardian article adressing the fact that ‘2.6 million people aged between 50 and 65 who are unemployed or economically inactive would prefer to be working’, does today’s ruling seem sensible or unfair? And what effect could this have on older people’s engagement with the arts?dial-a-ride-3543

On local news, the BBC has also published an article  today showing that elderly Londoners are finding it harder to book journeys using the Dial-a-Ride service due to the introduction of a new computerised system in 2008.

The art of with

Following Emma’s post about the art of with, I also saw Charlie in person, in Manchester last week , at an event focusing on his essay for Cornerhouse.  V interesting,  also  featuring Tom Flemming and someone contributing via live web link from Univeristy of Maine in the States amongst others.

The essay is great – really worth a read, relevant to any arts organisation that wants to remain relevant to peoples’  lives.

I was particularly interested in section VII ‘Is open always better ‘ – which discusses what kinds of openness really count.

True to the spirit of ‘with’ you can respond to the essay here

2012 and disability arts

Shape logoShape, the UK’s leading disability arts organisation, have developed a free resource pack aimed at encouraging new ways of engaging with the London Olympics, particularly for disabled audiences and artists.

In conjunction, they’re also running the My Games Competition. Tell Shape what the Olympics mean to you and you could win a games console…

Visit the website for full details of both the resource and the competition.

Facebook makes a pledge to become accessible

fbaccess1This has been a hot topic at a number of web accessibility seminars I’ve been to of late, and now it’s great to hear that Facebook is taking steps to make its site accessible to visually impared users as reported here by Tech Crunch.

Other social network sites have already been adapted by users to increase the accessibility of their content, such as Easy YouTube, developed by Chris Heilmann – an accessible web developer off the back of Antonia Hyde’s presentation at the Accessibility2.0 conference in 2008 (full details and a host of presentations here).

Plus, with just a bit of quick digging around I’ve found this article from last year from Bigmouthmedia about The benefits of accessible YouTube videos.

Please do comment or email me at if you know of any more.

Access All Areas

Christmas is a time for all men to come together as equals, so what great timing for the The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to announce version 2.0 of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

These guidelines will serve as a useful tool for web designers and developers to ensure their work is accessible, not just for people with registered disabilities, but for everyone.

We’re all getting so excited about social media, blogging, video content etc that it can be easy to lose sight of whether this content is accessible or relevant to people with everyone. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that you’re building a community on Facebook, but did you know what a nightmare the site is to visit if you need a screen reader? Accessibility isn’t just about ticket prices and venues anymore.

Want to find out what you can do to improve the accessibility of your online presence? Ask the very lovely and helpful experts at AbilityNet.

Merry Christmas, everybody! See you in the New Year, I’m off to Australia for two weeks!