SXSW 2023: Vote for S2’s Panel

Any marketer, advertiser, content creator, or storyteller knows the importance of reaching and resonating with the full spectrum of their target audience.

Yet, too often, brands make common, easily-avoidable mistakes that can exclude or other a substantial segment of their potential customer base: People with disabilities. 

With 1 in 7 global consumers being people with disabilities, representing $8 trillion of global disposable income, prioritizing inclusivity and accessibility is more than just the right thing for your brand to do — it is also good for business. 

This is the topic we hope to explore in our proposed panel at 2023’s SXSW (South By Southwest) Conference: Diversity Includes Disability.

But to make our proposal a reality, we need your help with a quick and easy vote.

Community voting is now open through August 21, 2022, on PanelPicker, the official SXSW user-generated session proposal platform. Voting takes just moments, and we deeply appreciate your support.

This is your chance to help shape the 2023 conference by adding your input to help determine the content lineup. After all, who knows what you want to discover at SXSW better than you? 

In this article, we’ll explain how to vote for our proposal using PanelPicker, offer more information about the proposed panel, and provide an overview of SXSW. Continue reading for more!

SXSW 2023: Vote for S2’s Panel

How to Vote for SXSW Sessions Using PanelPicker

Adding your perspective to shape the SXSW 2023 lineup is quick and easy through PanelPicker. All you have to do is log in or create an account and give the S2 proposal, Diversity Includes Disability, a thumbs-up. Please also add a comment! 

Voting is free and takes less than a minute. It is a very important part of the selection process and key to our success — in fact, community votes make up 30% of whether or not a session a chosen! 

The Community Voting period only lasts from August 9th through August 21st, 2022. Don’t wait — if you can take a moment right now to cast your vote, we would sincerely appreciate it. 

Click here to vote: 

The PanelPicker platform allows the SXSW community to have a significant role in determining what creative and thought-provoking programming is selected for the conference. You can be a part of leading the conversation along with thousands of other creatives at SXSW 2023 when you cast your vote for Sociality Squared. You can learn more about our proposed panel below.

The S2 Panel: “Diversity Includes Disability”

Most brands aspire to be inclusive, of course. However, they often miss the mark. Well-intentioned brands often make common mistakes, such as: 

  • Inspiration porn, or co-opting the life experiences of people with disabilities as motivation for people who are not disabled.
  • Captionless content, including images and video content without captions, as well as images on websites and social media that lack image descriptions.
  • Inaccessible design,  including poor color contrast and readability, as well as alt-text which can be easily read aloud by screen readers. 

You can learn more about these and other common web accessibility mistakes by checking out our recent blog post

So, how can we bridge the gap between good intentions and execution to make a positive impact, expand the definition of diversity to include disability, help brands understand and avoid ableism, and create more inclusive, accessible content right away?

Those are the questions we will seek to answer with our proposed panel. 

Our exciting panel of speakers will include: 

  • Accessibility educator Erin Perkins (she/her, deafblind)
  • Assistive technology specialist Charles Hiser (he/him, blind)
  • Social media accessibility advocate, S2’s own Helen Todd (she/her, nondisabled)
  • DEI facilitator and accessibility advocate Ryan Letts (they/them, nondisabled)

With these diverse perspectives, we will explore how marketers, brands, or anyone else who wants online spaces to be more inclusive can take part in understanding and avoiding ableism while expanding the definition of diversity to include disability. 

As a core value of our approach at Sociality Squared, we believe accessibility should be standard, not an afterthought. While we are certainly not immune to gaps in our own understanding, and we do make mistakes, we are always committed to building diversity and accessibility into the fabric of S2 by seeking and hearing voices such as those we hope to feature in our proposed panel.

What is SXSW?

South By Southwest (a.k.a. SXSW or South By) is a large-scale annual conglomeration of conferences and festivals celebrating the convergence of the tech, film, and music industries. Located deep in the heart of Austin, Texas, and online, SXSW is the premier destination for discovery. 

Next year’s event will take place from March 10th through 19th, 2023, and will offer more opportunities for networking, learning, brainstorming, and career-enhancing connections than ever before. 

Each year, Sociality Squared looks forward to SXSW. In fact, Helen has been participating since 2009 (before S2 was even born!) through attending, speaking, and/or serving on the advisory board. 

If you’ll be in attendance, be sure to drop Helen a line and let her know. We look forward to seeing you in Austin in 2023! 

Click here to vote for S2’s panel: Diversity Includes Disability before August 21st.

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Written By:

Edward Gibbons-Brown