The eAccessibility Action Plan: making accessibility and inclusivity a reality
Last Tuesday I sat quietly, filled with excitement and eager anticipation as Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture, Media and Sport, launched the eAccessibility Action Plan at the eAccessibility Forum meeting.
The room was filled with so many great people working towards achieving eAccessibility and Social Inclusion and I felt proud to be amongst them. Although I was not presenting on the day, I sat with an ear-to-ear grin across my face, content in the knowledge that the hard work I have been doing with the incredibly dedicated, talented and innovative team at BIS was coming to fruition. Through my advocacy work, I had been given the opportunity to articulate the importance of the principles and values that I hold dear and for these to inform and influence what the new government will be doing in this area during its tenure. Pretty awesome and incredibly humbling at the same time. Weird and wonderful.
Over the past few months, as the document has passed through its many iterations, I have been meeting with all and sundry across government departments to ensure that I understood the intricacies and vagaries of how things need to be structured in order to deliver a realistic actionable plan. I have never felt so invigorated, filled with purpose and hope.
But my nature also made it a difficult journey too, as the knowledge that getting this right could potentially improve the lives of so many people weighed heavily on me: I poured my heart, my soul and every minute of free time I had into it. I have consistently asserted that I want to change the world and here was my silver platter.
And throughout the process, I have been conservative in my expectations of how many of my ideas, principles, ideals, concepts and the like would make it into the actual launch plan. I am a sensitive sod and am rubbish at handling disappointment, so when I read through the final document the night before, I was overwhelmed. Sure, a lot of my marketing fluff was gone and had been "governmentised", but the core elements that mattered remained intact - every single one of them.
And so I sat last Tuesday, with the two men who have helped and guided me along the way sitting either side of me - Chris Mills and David Aldwinckle - feeling pretty certain that the good guys are gonna win.
The eAccessibility Action Plan is a live document, which will be updated quarterly and can be found at: