Why blog about accessibility?
Posted on 02.06.2016
Guest blogger Hanna on what motivates her to blog about access to live music.
I’ve written various blogs for about 8 years now. I enjoy the independence it gives me to be creative and explore different ideas. Blog culture is growing more and more popular and I can’t let the opportunity slip to get my voice heard on issues that matter to me.
I’ve always enjoyed writing, even from a young age I was filling up diaries and writing pads with ideas. So the rise of the blog culture and the chance to write on my own medium whenever I wanted was really exciting for me. I was inspired by other blogs that I read and it was the highlight of my day to check if there were any new blogs going up from the people that I followed – some of them I knew personally but most were complete strangers that educated me on important issues and captivated me with their insights. These blogs provoked my own ideas and inspired me to explore my own writing voice.
I was first prompted to blog about live music and accessibility after some bad experiences. It was at first a very self-pitying, angry piece of work, but as with all blogs it’s important to do your research to make each post the best it can be. I sought the help of friends asking about their experience with accessibility at live music events. It turned out that I wasn’t just unlucky in my experiences and that there was much to be said about accessibility in the live music industry. The more people I spoke to the more inspired I was with ideas both good and bad. There were positive initiatives going on in the music industry that I’d never even thought of – live signers, relaxed performances and free personal assistant tickets for instance. Blogging about these issues is not all about slamming bad practice for shock factor. It’s about being honest and this includes highlighting the good work that has been done to show that it can be done.
The more I became involved in researching and writing about accessibility at live music the more I realised how much it mattered to me. I knew I was affected by accessibility but I was also so ignorant of it. I assumed that when I no longer needed to use my wheelchair I no longer had access requirements. I found out the hard way how many barriers there were to doing my favourite thing and that a wide range of disabilities were currently not considered at many venues. I can’t change this single handed but I can use blogging as my platform to get my voice heard and raise awareness of important accessibility matters.
Blogging is personal, there is no right or wrong way to do it, and it’s a great way to become involved in the issues that matter to you. There remains much controversy around a lack of representation of disabled people right now – in television, music and general employment – but it’s both refreshing and empowering to find that disabled people are a very active part of the blogging community. It’s a platform they have created themselves by putting their individual voices together and inspiring each other. Bloggers in the accessible community are putting themselves at the forefront of issues that matter to them in areas where they previously felt under-represented and under-acknowledged – such as music. Just watch this space: with the growth of blog culture, I hope that accessibility bloggers will continue to expose the issues that affect their experiences until accessibility at live music events means #MusicWithoutBarriers for everyone.