Sublime Audacity

Thoughts on accessibility and other things

About

My name is Stephani. I spent my earliest years living in a commune with my brothers and my mother, not the kind you’re probably imagining though. For the most part it, was a wholesome, feel good, Christian commune that was nestled in the Berkshires and overflowing with life. Growing up surrounded by nature, I’ve found that many of my early life experiences made a lasting impression and have profoundly influenced the way I see the world and the work that I do today.

Filmmaking and Accessibility

I pursued a degree in film and ate, drank, slept, dreamt, filmmaking for the first part of my life. And then I stumbled into accessibility while working as a web developer on an educational project for WGBH Interactive. The project was intended as an international teaching tool; however, it had loads of compelling video content but all of it was wrapped in a QuickTime container. At the time, this meant that the video was essentially hidden from anyone without the QuickTime plugin, and anyone on dialup or low bandwidth had very little chance of seeing any of it. Common sense made me question this approach, and I spoke up (loudly) and made my arguments. I only vaguely realized that this related to accessibility. I knew what it was but learned quickly that it wasn’t just about advocating for people with disabilities. It was about equal access for anyone, regardless of their abilities, machine, browser, connection, language, and more. After creating solid solution for the widest audience possible, I was hooked. I’ve been working in accessibility ever since. Of all the career paths, I’ve sampled over the years — and trust me there have been plenty! — it is by far the most meaningful.

 
I should also mention that the aforementioned site, Commanding Heights, won the coveted BAFTA award for Television and Film. I love it when everybody wins.

 

Photography and Documentaries

I’m inspired by certain qualities of light that can only be captured on film and found in nature. But also people with a unique or unusual story to tell; if can imagine waiting with someone at the Department of Motor Vehicles and feeling sort of happy that my number hasn’t been called, I know they’re interesting. Deep down I believe people are amazing, and everyday unsung heroes will always have my heart.

The range of differences between family structures and how these differences impact individual development, life choices, and future success fascinates me. I’ve spent the last 6 years focusing on several projects that explore the nature of family and where people find their internal drive and motivation: is it a seed that’s planted as a child; is it a reaction to adversity or lack of faith from parents; or is gifted to them from their parents through actions?

Anything of substance that falls slightly off the beaten path is usually of interest to me. Life is one long mystery and a continuous adventure. I’m here to learn, explore, and share what I can.

 

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