*Dusts this old thing off* [ALSO: PODCAST NEWS!]

Hello! Are you still out there?

Okay, so a few updates!

First up: Patreon! I set up a patron page a couple of months ago to showcase a behind-the-scenes narrative that I thought would interest some of my audience. I know a lot of people arrive at my work from music Tech background, so it seemed appropriate to offer a “in” for those people. So that now patron exclusive behind-the-scenes documentary series, which really gets under the hood of a lot of the Technology processes. And of course, people subscribing to this patron Page are supporting the future of my work.

But that’s not all! I had always intended Dyskinetic to be multiple creative outputs, not just songs and music. One of the things I’m very aware of is a conversation happening around my work that takes in stories from music, disability AND technology. Loads of really interesting people contribute to that conversation, but mostly that conversation happens in private after a gig or other conference -it’s just me and another person chatting. It never becomes public.

So, being a fan of podcasts, I decided that a podcast would be an ideal way to share some of these conversations. Pretty soon after that I realised the podcast would also be a great way to blog, given my struggles with typing.

I was concerned about creating blog content that excluded my deaf friends and followers through an access barrier. But, of course, writing lengthy blog posts is an access barrier for me, due to typing. I also know people who find reading lengthy blog posts and transcripts to be an access barrier.

Having recently contributed to the Drake music podcast, I decided to take advice from them. I was reminded of the above scenarios; all of your content isn’t necessarily accessible to all audiences. It makes sense; I didn’t worry about my paintings in art college being inaccessible to blind people. Given that I am somewhat in the public eye and and identify as disabled, I hope I can be forgiven for overthinking get a bit. Perhaps most frustrating of all was the amount of time that I spent this persevering with typing blog posts despite the pain in my hands. I was creating content to be accessible despite the fact that the process itself was not accessible to me, the creator. That’s all wrong. But I’m still hopeful that I can continue blogging without all that old-fashioned typing business. It’s 2018 after all; we live in the future!

So I’m proceeding with the podcast and also making I renewed commitment to try and battle with voice to text to keep my blog up-to-date. I’ve had to explain this a lot as occasionally people don’t seem to grasp this problem: it’s not that I struggle with writing or language, only the dexterity necessary to type. By the way, this is the first decent sized podcast that I have “typed” almost entirely with my voice. It’s never 100% and still requires some tweaking, and occasionally speaking weirdly slowly but it’s definitely easier van typing. That’s than typing, not van typing… see!? It doesn’t always work…

So hopefully between the podcast and the dictated blog, most of what I do and talk about will be covered. I don’t have to budget for professional transcriptions of the podcast episode yet, but I will try to make as much of the content available as possible.

Patreons get a few weeks headstart on the podcast too, so that’s another good reason to sign up: HERE!

So as always, thanks for checking in. There’s lots happening, I promise it’s going to get super interesting and exciting very soon..!

(My) Access Barriers To Blogging.

I hadn’t originally intended to do it but throughout January I blogged every day. That was really just to set up the scene of what’s going on with this project. There was no big ambition to blog every day, however it seems to be proving to be quite interesting to people and it is certainly a healthy thing to do for me. That is, in theory. In practice, I hit an access barrier that wasn’t there the last time I blogged day (which is a good few years ago at least).

Typing. It fucking kills nowadays.

Cerebral palsy keeps me guessing. The hard medical line is that CP is a non-progressive condition. I think that’s a little bit misleading. I understand that the neurological damage doesn’t get worse, but the wear and tear that that imposes on the human body through the course of a lifetime simply has to. I can’t move my limbs accurately and comfortably. My joints are my muscles get yanked in around in ways that they were never “designed” to do.

One of many results; my hands are shakier and less reliable nowadays. That is of course old news in some contexts; the impact on my guitar playing and glove use is well documented. Struggling with fairly menial tasks such as typing is the new thing for me. That makes daily blogging painful and less accessible. Boo hiss indeed.

But, as is often the way, technology brings hope. Apple’s own Siri voice recognition technology is laughably inept in my opinion, so I didn’t hold out much hope of being able to do speech to text blogging. A recommendation via a colleague at Drake music led me to software called Dragon Dictate. It’s not perfect, but my distrust in voice recognition technology was unfair it seems. Dragon is actually working really well for me, so hopefully that brings me some relief in effect.

My work at Drake music often means lengthy evaluation processes, which involve a lot of typing. When it comes to medical forms but I have to fill in by hand with a pen… Well, forget about it. Having the freedom to not only work hands-free not only spares me discomfort, but it seems to be quicker too.

So, I’m hoping to get back on track with regular blogging this week. And in case you’re wondering, yes; this is indeed the first blog post I have written entirely hands-free with this new technology. Living in the future FTW.