[OSList] Issues of access and privilege

Chris Corrigan chris at chriscorrigan.com
Mon Jan 11 08:05:59 PST 2021

Judith, these are excellent observations and need to be built into the
design of every online open space event.

To these I would add issues of visual accessibility, for example if
participants are colour blind, they often have a hard time using online
whiteboard tools unless we have deliberately chosen colour blind friendly

Issues of accessibility and privilege should be a key part of design for
anyParticipatory meeting. If working in the online space has begun to
surface these issues, that is a good thing! Even in face-to-face meetings
it is important to constantly wrestle with accessibility in all it’s forms.


On Mon, Jan 11, 2021 at 5:42 AM Judith Stemerdink-Herret via OSList <
oslist at lists.openspacetech.org> wrote:

> Hi everybody,
> I would like to reply on James’ comment about access and privilege in an
> online world. I experience and observe that there are still enough problems
> and inequalities to participate for many people:
>    - First of all access to a device (computer, smart phone). Many have
>    smart phones but not all have a computer to use all possibilities of
>    interacting like working in break-out sessions together on Google doc or
>    virtual collaboration tools.
>    - Second a strong and stable bandwidth. This depends on the
>    region/country you live in but also on your personal budget.
>    - Third to be able to fully connect with others you need also a camera
>    that everybody can see you too, which definitely adds on to the personal
>    connection.
>    - Forth is connected with the 3rd point because a camera allows to
>    sneak into “your home” and shows a lot about your personal living standard
>    and enables/hinders you to concentrate on the participation (e.g. if family
>    members are in the same room, noise from the neighbourhood/street etc.).
>    Even offices can be difficult surroundings if you share the same room with
>    several colleagues.
>    - Fifth, to participate from home is for many people a challenge
>    because they have children or other family members to care for and get
>    interrupted.
> Some of the above mentioned points might be mitigated easily. For instance
> we don’t have to show where we are and can choose in some video tools the
> background. Some limitations like local bandwidth is less in your control.
> Regarding the background of our personal video, I prefer to see the
> “reality” people are seated and understand a bit better the challenges
> around them. I smile if a toddler wants to be on the lap of the daddy, or a
> colleague appears unknowingly on the screen, or a cat hijacks the keyboard.
> It gives me a feeling that we are all humans and not only nice and neat
> little computer screen windows.
> How is your experience regarding access and privilege?
> Kind regards from sunny Vienna,
> Judith
> *JuSt-Her e.U.Judith Stemerdink-Herret*
> Consultant in organisational development, Facilitator for multistakeholder
> participation, Trainer
> FN 482990 f
> UID ATU72945968
> Phone: +43 699 8171 2134
> Email: welcome at just-her.eu <welcome at just-her.eu>
> Webpage: www.just-her.eu
> Partner @ www.wendekraft.com
> "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go
> together." African Proverb
> *From: *James Sheldon <queerpedagogue at gmail.com>
> *Subject: **Re: [OSList] feedback on virtual meetings using open space
> technology*
> *Date: *10. January 2021 at 04:25:14 CET
> *To: *World wide Open Space Technology email list <
> oslist at lists.openspacetech.org>
> I know we say whoever comes are the right people... but that has always
> come down to issues of access and privilege, which can be somewhat
> mitigated by technology, even if there's still issues of bandwidth or
> Internet access.  It will be interesting to see how OS unfolds in this
> brave new world we live in...
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