Who are we?
Meet the team...
Our current team consists of Stephanie Wilson and Alex Wilson (no relation!)
Bringing together their combined lived experiences of their own disabilities, work experiences and expertise to work on improving access and support for all those in society who experience barriers.
As our organisation grows we hope to employ and collaborate with other individuals who can bring the expertise from their experiences forward.
Via was recently selected as one of the 8 new Connected Innovators.
"As part of the wider Creative Informatics programme, the Connected Innovators programme supports emerging leaders who seek to incorporate social impact into their creative practice.
Awarded up to £10,000 to work on research and development or professional development around data and data-driven innovation.
In addition to receiving funding, the Innovators will receive support, skills and expertise from the Creative Edinburgh and Creative Informatics network which will enable them to develop and grow their practice and ideas."
This funding will be used to carry out research which, once gathered, will help to inform and shape the creation of Via and it's mission to improve accessibility.
Where it all started...
Via began after I (Steph) personally experienced repeated difficulty finding the information or resources I needed to be able to organise an event with accessibility n mind or visit a venue or attend an event. This added barrier left me exhausted and overwhelmed when trying to make plans.
(My experiences as a visitor:)
After opening up multiple internet browser tabs and search engine results, I would become so overwhelmed and exhausted that I would then not visit or attend the event.
Recent research indicated I wasn’t alone in these feelings of frustration. When planning a trip, 81% of respondents said they’d check a company’s website or search the internet for information. 73% reported having found information on a venue’s website to be misleading, confusing or inaccurate.
This can leave those already experiencing barriers to be disadvantaged and burdened with trying to find the information they require. It can also lead to the loss of potential audiences.
I realised how much this lack of information or, the difficulty I experienced with attaining it, had impacted upon my visiting events and places.
After living in a city for over 10 years, I realised how little I had seen of it despite there being many places I wanted to visit. I didn’t want this to hold me back any more. I wanted to do something about it!
(My experiences as an organiser:)
On the flip side as an artist and exhibition assistant, I have personal experience in putting on and organising events. And even with the best intentions, I would often encounter barriers. Struggling with capacity, budget, resources and finding specialist support to enable me to implement reasonable adjustments. I saw lots of opportunities to harness shared learning and bridge these procedural gaps.
All of these experiences, along with lots of support, shared insights, opinions, experiences, help and encouragement from friends, colleagues, peers, etc. lead to the beginning formation of the Via concept.