Intent and design

Journalist John Hockenberry starts by discussing how he discovered the importance of intent after installing sparkly wheels on his wheelchair. It transformed his wheelie persona from victim to commander, at least in his own mind. He continues to discuss how a user or designer’s intent makes the difference between good and bad design.

More from TED

Journalist John Hockenberry tells a personal story inspired by a pair of flashy wheels in a wheelchair-parts catalogue — and how they showed him the value of designing a life of intent. (From The Design Studio session at TED2012, guest-curated by Chee Pearlman and David Rockwell.)

Journalist and commentator John Hockenberry has reported from all over the world in virtually every medium. He’s the author of “Moving Violations: War Zones, Wheelchairs and Declarations of Independence.”
John Hockenberry: We are all designers – TED

Au Revoir Paris – Hello India

Charles De Gaulle airport ceiling
I’m in the airport, waiting for the flight to Bangalore. Luckily, I get to use the new terminal at Charles De Gaulle. It’s bright, airy, and has a great wi-fi.

Yesterday, I woke up and could see the sun shining. I walked out to get a croissant and it was downright pleasant. Well, I didn’t need anything more to choose shorts and sandals for the day’s outfit. Needless to say, the bizarre mixture of weather made this an unfortunate decision. The temperature fluctuated by about 20 degrees from warm to chilly. It rained, it hailed, it left me looking like a circus clown in my sunny California attire. But what the heck, not everyone can be glamorous.

Ted at Felix Cafe
I’ve walked so many miles in the past few days that I’m afraid the ASPCA is going to arrest me for abusing my size 14 dogs. They’re barking up a storm and could use a day of rest. I’ve also been swallowing horse pills to avoid malaria and Ghandi’s revenge in India. Ah, the life of a jet setter.

Garcon! Garcon! bring me another cafe! Pronto!

I’ll be in Bangalore for a few days to discuss Yahoo! technology and web site accessibility to engineers. I’m looking forward to hearing some of the other talks, meeting various people, and seeing the city and country. I’ve got a shopping list started: elephant for Jim, outfit for Hannah…

Yahoo! Accessibility

Next week is going to be a big week for me and accessibility on Yahoo! There’s a lot going on, I don’t know how it will all go down.

Avatar for Ted Drake

1. I am going to Bangalore, India to discuss accessibility at the annual Front End Engineers conference. I’ve wanted to visit India for a long time and I’m looking forward to the chance. I’m also going to Paris and Munich for other Yahoo! business.

2. The Yahoo! Accessibility Stakeholders Group, of which I am a member, is hosting a global campaign to fix alt attributes across the network. Alt attributes are the snippets of text that appear when an image is not displayed. They are critical for those using a screen reader. Using alt attributes correctly seems to be the most basic element of making a site accessible, unfortunately they are also easily forgotten.

3. Yahoo! Avatars has added the Accessibility Stakeholders Group icon to the clothing options for your avatar ( This nifty logo replaces the normal Y in the logo with a braille version.

I’ll post more as the trip and campaign progress.

Micropatronage for accessibility

Patronage: It ain�t just for the Medicis anymore

Joe Clark has an ambitious project on the docket. The Open & Closed Project hopes to create a new standard for video captioning. It also includes plans to develop better training and certification for those creating captioning. Joe even has plans for developing and implementing new fonts that would make it easier to view the online and over-the-air captions.

However, Joe needs some help.

This project won’t run itself and needs funding. He’s asking us to help him raise the funding. Joe needs $7,777 to support 4 months of intensive fund-raising and project co-ordination. Can you help him raise this sum? If you have a friend, family member, or acquaintance that is deaf, this project will significantly help their lives.

If you go to the gym and watch the telly while sweating on a treadmill, desperately trying to figure out what the talking head is saying…. this project may or may not significantly help your life. Sometimes, you just don’t want to know what the idiot on Fox News is saying when some jerk on another treadmill is controlling the remote control… but I digress.

Visit Joe’s site and donate a few bucks. That’s all it takes. You don’t have to be a superstar to make captioning real.