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“Consistent practice yields progress, yet perfection remains elusive.” As imperfect humans we can always strive to do better. As humans, we are inherently imperfect, and our journey towards improvement is ongoing. At Bold Blind Beauty, we take immense pride in our role as an open and inclusive platform for individuals of all abilities. Our core mission is to “improve humanity by changing the way we perceive one another,” while crafting content that champions A.I.R. (Access, Inclusion, and Representation). As a self-sustaining LLC, we rely on the support and contributions of our followers to further our mission.
Living with a disability often entails confronting both intentional and unintentional biases on a daily basis. Many of these situations involve individuals who may be unaware of, or not fully comprehend, the essence of inclusivity. Even with the best of intentions, the aftermath can sometimes stem from a belief system that inadvertently excludes people with disabilities.
In this regard, we would like to share a personal account written by former intern Jadon Lau, shedding light on a recent encounter with a company we hoped could help sustain Bold Blind Beauty. Regrettably, it didn’t work out as we had hoped. Nonetheless, we remain optimistic that platforms like “Buy Me A Coffee” will evolve into universally accessible resources in the future.
Similarly, we’ve made the difficult decision to discontinue the use of an “accessible” overlay on Bold Blind Beauty. While this tool provided users with various ways to engage with our content, it was developed after the fact. We believe that when we create anything with accessibility and inclusion at its core, right from the beginning (Universal Design), it substantially reduces the risk of excluding anyone. You can look forward to more insights on this topic in an upcoming article. ~Steph
Discovering Buy Me a Coffee
For the past two years, we’ve used the crowdfunding platform Buy Me a Coffee to collect funds from subscribers who believe in our cause. Founder Stephanae McCoy saw the potential of Buy Me a Coffee as a viable funding source to sustain Bold Blind Beauty’s website and company plugins. However, this summer, we were confronted with a significant issue: Buy Me a Coffee was inaccessible to people with blindness and vision disabilities.
Stephanae remained in close contact with our contributing subscribers, who faced difficulties when trying to support our mission through Buy Me a Coffee. Throughout the summer semester, Stephanae, our Chief Communications Manager, Nasreen Bhutta, and I, as the summer intern, worked diligently to communicate with the Buy Me a Coffee team via email. We meticulously documented and concisely reported our challenges with the website and crowdfunding resource, preserving these email exchanges.
Buy Me a Coffee: Behind the Scenes
Buy Me a Coffee is a crowdfunding platform developed by a small team. Our research uncovered that the responses we received from a representative named Tina at Buy Me a Coffee were automated messages generated by a bot. Unfortunately, these automated responses offered minimal assistance and failed to address the issues we had brought to their attention. Despite Nasreen’s clear, patient messages, Tina did not respond to our request for a meeting with the software developers to address accessibility concerns.
From August to September, Bold Blind Beauty made the difficult decision to terminate our use of Buy Me a Coffee due to its inaccessibility, which inherently made it uninclusive. Buy Me a Coffee did not meet the accessibility requirements necessary to support our mission. Our experience with the Buy Me a Coffee automated response bot and the team left us with the regrettable conclusion that the platform was unreliable.
In our continuous commitment to inclusivity, we felt it was essential to share our experience with Buy Me a Coffee. Our aim is to shed light on the challenges we encountered, not to criticize the platform, but to encourage positive changes that ensure accessibility for all. Bold Blind Beauty remains devoted to providing an open and inclusive environment for people of all abilities, and we will continue our mission of promoting accessibility and inclusion.
Jadon is going into his junior year of college. He has a passion for creative writing and helping others. Jadon is pursuing a career in life coaching and he uses his experience in creative writing to spread positivity and love.
Connecting With Jadon
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- The image symbolizes Diversity, Inclusion, and Equality with paper cut-out figures representing a diverse group, including individuals with disabilities. The word “Inclusion” is placed beneath these cut-outs.
- The image illustrates workplace inclusivity with a collection of paper cut-out figures in the foreground, while in the background, a pair of hands gently cups and supports them.