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070: Accessible Communication with Kevin Shaw

Updated: Dec 15, 2023

Accessibility. Equity. Diversity. Inclusion.

In 2018 I was granted the opportunity to be a part of developing our schools first accessibility for graphic communications course. I jumped into the project with vigour, learning all that I can and tapping into resources and specialists from around my university and beyond. The opportunity was a really special one and something I did not take for granted. Accessibility and inclusion hold a very special place to me (for reasons I’ll explore in another episode) but I felt that this was my opportunity to help others understand the importance of this often-overlooked piece of the communication puzzle. As I have continued to develop other courses, lessons and assessments, accessibility has remained a common thread throughout.

While I have made a concerted effort to continuously learn about accessibility in our industry and I felt it was time to really brush up on my understanding of where we’re at in 2021. So I reached out to a few people that I have known for a while now, as well as some new friendly faces who I hadn’t met before sitting down to chat in the series. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to capture these conversations and share them with you here in this format because I think we can all learn from the incredible work being done by so many diverse individuals to make accessibility a priority and a proactive forethought in the design process. In this series you’ll hear from persons with disabilities, as well as allies and advocates for persons with disabilities, all of whom are working to make the world a more inclusive place through their creative leadership.

I first met today’s guest in 2018 when I reached out and asked if he could be a guest lecturer in the accessibility in graphic communications class. Kevin will introduce himself in just a minute, but I will share that he is kind and smart and an incredible resource for learning more about accessibility and inclusion. I am excited for you to hear from Kevin and learn from his lived experience.

Where to Find Kevin Shaw Online:

Personal Site:

Twitter: @KevinShawPro

Podcast episode art that contains the text Episode 70 Accessible Communication with Kevin Shaw placed on a background image of waves in the ocean, reinforcing this accessibility change maker series' guests 'making waves' in their industries.

About Our Guest:

A photograph of Kevin Shaw from the shoulders up wearing a suit and tie.

Kevin Shaw is an entrepreneur with the mission: Build. Lead. Inspire.

Despite losing his sight at 19, Kevin has earned-a reputation among colleagues and clients for being a visionary, inspirational disruptor and leader with a proven track record of process improvement and product development in accessibility, broadcasting, digital media and technology. Kevin’s unique circumstances and over two decades of experience have given him the unmatched ability to solve complex problems, chart unexplored territory into the future and inspire talented people to join him at the cutting edge to build “ahead of their time” experiences.

Upon completing a Master of Arts degree in media production, Kevin founded TellMe TV—a “Netflix for the blind” described video on-demand service featuring movies and TV shows with audio description. In 2017, the CNIB Foundation invited Kevin to join them in creating a new cross-Canada entrepreneurship program as part of CNIB’s strategic plan to boost participation in the world of work for Canadians with sight loss. This included launching The Venture Zone Game—an accessible business simulation game for iPhone. He also laid the groundwork for CNIB Market, a philanthropic shopping destination for donors to purchase high-quality handmade goods from talented entrepreneurs with sight loss. In 2018, Kevin founded MenuVox—a location-based app and service that pushes an accessible restaurant menu to a mobile phone.

Kevin has given many talks and has been featured in numerous media including AMI, the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, CTV News and CBC. In November 2014, Kevin delivered a TEDx Talk in which he demonstrated described video and challenged delegates to design inclusive experiences.

Music (public domain via Scott Holmes Music - Upbeat Party

Talk Paper Scissors Theme Music: Retro Quirky Upbeat Funk by Lewis Sound Production via Audio Jungle

Boat Origami Photo: Boat Origami Photo by Alex on Unsplash

Episode Artwork: Canva (remixed by Diana Varma)

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