We’ve made thousands of new friends since joining Clubhouse in December of 2020 and many have been extremely concerned about accessibility within the podcasting space.
Among these new friends are, Win Charles, “Curveball” Curtis, and Otis Wilson Jr. Curveball and Otis are both blind, while Win has Cerebral Palsy. Through many conversations with these three, we became, I guess you might say “activated” in our concerns for accessibility. Probably the best thing about Clubhouse is how it works to raise awareness through the meeting of so many new and diverse individuals.
When monetization was turned on for podcasters a week or two ago, we knew, immediately, that we wanted to do something to raise money for a cause and we very quickly set our sights on something related to accessibility. We started looking for non-profits within the online accessibility space but could find none with a satisfactory Charity Navigator score. Then we came across a for-profit organization called UserWay.
UserWay makes an accessibility widget that transforms your website, through the installation of a plugin or copy/pasting of a small code snippet, from a website with no special focus on accessibility, to a website with tools and features that those in need of such features can use to more easily navigate your website.
We installed it and were impressed with the features it offered (you can find it in the top right corner of this website).
UserWay makes a version of this tool free, and their organization, though a for-profit, is setup to take donations. They use these donations to help small businesses afford the process of becoming ADA compliant (an expensive, technically challenging, and arduous task that most small businesses cannot afford).
UserWay isn’t the same as a $10K consultation with an ADA expert, and $20K worth of custom, Accessibility-forward web development, but it is a quick and easy tool that can take your website from having no tools, to having some tools, and if the goal is to make the web more accessible in any way we can, then some tools are better than none. The UserWay widget is especially handy for temporarily disabled users, or newly disabled users who do not yet possess more advanced personal solutions, or who do not yet have a general comfort with those advanced solutions.
In a world full of less than accessible websites, anything we can do to make navigating the online landscape easier for those with disabilities which make that navigation more difficult, is a good thing to do.
It is in that spirit that Plosive Monster Media (the parent company of Real Talk Podcasting), in conjunction with members and fans of the Real Talk Podcasting Clubhouse club, have raised $1400 for donation to UserWay.org
The entire Real Talk Podcasting community has come together in a big way to make this happen, and it couldn’t have happened without all of you.
- You helped get the word out by pinging potential donors into our rooms.
- You installed the UserWay widget on your websites.
- You donated real money, money you earned during a pandemic, money you use to feed your families and money that wasn’t easy to come by!
- You trusted us to vet UserWay as a beneficiary and to deliver your donations to UserWay so that it could be used to make the web more accessible one website at a time.
Without you, this wouldn’t have happened. This is the power of the Real Talk Podcasting community, this is the power of Clubhouse and social audio, and this is the power of collaborative giving.
Screenshot from Stripe for earnings during the 1-day fundraiser:
Great job, friends. We did some good! ❤️