Before the Pandemic Disable people asked "Can we have a virtual option?" so many times, it's made many advocates burn out from hearing "sorry that accommodation is not possible." Everyone from Doctors, Governments, Not-for-profits and yes Guilds have all said it's not possible.
The moment the pandemic hit approximately March 10 2019 less than one month the whole world not only made the accommodation but also successfully adapted to it.
In Canada the Human Rights laws are written that disabled people ask for an accommodation and as long as it doesn't bankrupt the company you have to provide that accommodation. Once you make that accommodation you can't take it back. Thus disable folks always got the the typical lacking creativity response of "sorry its not possible." But we adapted and now we have to ask can we take it away?
Many quilt teachers lecturers and trunk show presenters are now use too and really enjoy not having to travel, bring all our quilts and for me that's not possible because most of my quilts sell. it's very tiring doing all that work when everyone could be comfortable at home.
I get that not all people want zoom meetings but many do! can we really just stop zooming? it doesn't just accommodate Disabled people but also parents and people who live far from the guild meeting.
It's not expensive for a guild to have a projector and a laptop and bluetooth speakers and a mic that can mean all the difference for some new mom who's feeling disconnected and needing to be present with other quilters.
it can mean all the difference for and instructor who had travel plans upended or just needs to be home to keep creating after the meeting.
Now we have made the accommodation what does it look like going forward? Can we really just stop zooming?
I’m in the UK. Our quilt guild didn’t Zoom. Not sure why not, maybe just didn’t have the knowledge or computer access for it. Ive recently joined the committee. We’re struggling to find local speakers who are fresh that we haven’t heard before who don’t have to travel too far (ie, cost us too much in expenses!). But it would be wonderful to Zoom a speaker from further away, maybe even a different country. As a single mum the guild I joined was the only suitable one time-wise (it’s day-time). But Zoom would make groups more accessible and not just for those with disabilities.
It’s a sad reflection that society can’t compromise or be inventive to accommodate others, until their own needs aren’t being met at which point they will go out of their way to change /upgrade / improve accessibility