Accessibility Project Update: Mapping Narratives of Access

Sierra Mendez

Accessibility, Locative Media, News

In the DWRL’s ongoing Accessibility project, we’ve kicked off the semester by asking: What makes a story visible or invisible? How does visibility affect accessibility? We considered whether or not popularity, or “trending,” obfuscate access to less normative narrative, and if “fake news” and “alternative facts” operate to distract from, obscure, and ultimately hide “true stories” and “real information.” This led to a broad discussion of search engines and search terms through Google Analytics to gather insight into about things

Ethical Design and Time Well Spent

Matt Breece

Accessibility, Devices

Diagonal matrix with rows and columns of mobile phones with different social media icons like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

The amount of time we spend engaged with our digital devices, especially our smart phones, doesn’t necessarily make us feel more empowered. The organization Time Well Spent argues that the reason for this isn’t some moral failing on the part of users but rather a question of intentional design: “Many people think our devices are neutral and it’s up to us to choose how to use them. But that’s not all true. Attention companies (like Snapchat, Facebook or Netflix) spend

Invisible Knowledge

Amy Tuttle

Accessibility, Data, Devices, Digital Archiving, Locative Media, News, Pedagogy, Social Media

Screenshots show that "trump meme" is the top result.

Since you’re reading this online publication, I imagine that you, like me, leave hundreds of digital traces every day. A lot of these traces are things we can see–things like emails, texts, blog posts, twitter posts, photographs, Youtube comments, or Facebook likes. But today I’m particularly interested in the invisible, unintentional digital traces we leave–things like records of our internet searches and website visits, or the location data that logs our movements and phone calls. There’s knowledge in the invisible

Universal Design for Learning: What is it and why should you care?

Beck Wise

Accessibility, Pedagogy

Clip art showing people with different access needs in sillhouette. Left to right: a person on crutches, a person in a wheelchair, a person with a cane, a person pushing a pram

At the end of this past summer, I was invited to address instructors in the University of Texas‘ Department of Rhetoric & Writing (DRW) on the theme of ‘Accessibility’. The invitation arose from some work I’d done for the DRW to make their syllabus boilerplate more accessible — reformatting the existing Word doc with styles to increase navigability, and providing descriptive hyperlinks to web-based references — and reflected a need to better acquaint new instructors with accessibility resources on campus,

Visualizing Data with Google Maps

DWRL Staff

Accessibility, Data, Data Visualisation Week, Digital Archiving, Locative Media

A picture of a map of an unidentified space with a large red pin marker stuck in the center of the map's area.

Visualization: Sierra Mendez. Text: Amy Tuttle. It’s hard to believe that at one time, map ownership was a privilege reserved for the wealthiest members of a society. But thanks to modern surveying techniques and satellite systems, highly precise maps are widely available on the internet. As a result of this ubiquity, maps have become absolutely critical in many fields of human endeavor. With a few clicks of a mouse, Google Maps will allow you to explore the earth, the moon,

Questing for Choice(s)

Lily Zhu

Accessibility, Games, Multimodal Writing

aisle intro screen

There is a fundamental issue with how we (as academics, players, and creators) view game narratives. This particular art form leaves room for player intervention, for changes and transformations, however, such interactivity has done little to push the boundaries of storytelling beyond alternate endings and perpetual quests. Is this as far as stories can go? Linear progressions momentarily disrupted by the novelty of easter eggs and yet-to-be unlocked zones? Mark Danielewski’s The Familiar book series – delivered through a traditional

To Catch ’em All, Campus Needs to be Accessible

Jake Cowan

Accessibility

One afternoon sometime in the middle of our summer, in need of a little sun—the glow of a monitor only goes so far—I picked up my laptop and headed out to the UT turtle pond to work underneath one of the shadier trees. While this spot is usually among the less crowded on our 50,000+ person campus, on that day it was bustling with more bodies than just those with shells. “Catch anything good out here?” a youngish voice asked

Accessible Data for Austin

Amy Tuttle

Accessibility, Data, Digital Archiving, Locative Media

Star Trek's Data standing in front of the Austin skyline.

The various features of built environments can allow us to access the spaces in which we conduct our everyday lives. But for some individuals, the very same features that are meant to provide access to spaces render these spaces out of reach. Barriers in public environments often prevent mobility-impaired people from being able to move and participate freely within a space. In the space of a college campus, for example, many individuals face the challenges of navigating barriers like a

Augmented Reality Has Arrived and It’s Ready to Be Analyzed! Well, Almost.

Sarah A. Riddick

Accessibility, Devices, Locative Media

Lately, augmented reality has been making a lot of headlines in the tech world. This week, for instance, Microsoft revealed its HoloLens, a visual headset that allows people to interact with and manipulate complex, projected visuals. In a promo for the HoloLens, a woman wearing the headset customizes a Volvo car before buying it, building it up from the nuts and bolts with gestures as simple as pressing her thumb and forefinger together. It isn’t quite the tech we see Robert