Inclusivity Through Language

Posted on

January 28, 2020

by

Kirk Hendrickson

Recently, PCMA Convene published an article about Educause, focusing on inclusivity at their annual conference in 2019. https://www.pcma.org/educause-annual-conference-inclusivity/

The article is an interview with Beth Croll, Director of Conferences and Events for EDUCAUSE, about several initiatives Educause used to improve inclusivity. One of the initiatives was introducing wordly.

From the article, “Croll used the new cloud-based translation application [wordly] at all of this year’s annual conference breakout sessions to great success.”

“Besides appealing to attendees whose first language may not be English, the application also appeals to those who are hearing impaired, as they can choose to read the original transcript instead of a translation. And having a transcript can assist attendees who just prefer a more visual style of learning.”

wordly began life developing applications for the very hard of hearing and deaf. We expanded our mission to include crossing language barriers, when we realized that being unable to speak a language when surrounded by those speaking that language excludes those individuals. 

The wordly team was recently in Barcelona at an event. The event language was English. This isn’t unusual, but we think it should be. What if instead the event language could be any and every participant could still understand each other? wordly is working on making that future a reality and we are glad that organizations like Educause are leading the way in bridging the language barriers.

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