Episode 105 – Unstoppable Conscious Communicator Practitioner with Kim Clark
Kim Clark, our guest on this episode, focuses her work on the communicator and content creator’s role in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). We talk about what Kim means by being a “communicator”. She discusses the concepts of being an internal communicator and/or an external communicator.
Much of Kim’s commentaries talk about what corporations can and should do to be more inclusive. As our discussions proceed, we talk a great deal about the ideas around “inclusion” especially where disabilities are concerned.
While, as always, I asked Kim to provide me with questions and conversation topics she wanted to discuss we get to delve a lot into how the world treats, or not, persons with disabilities and other marginalized groups.
Kim is the coauthor of the #1 Amazon bestselling book, The Conscious Communicator: The fine art of not saying stupid sh*t, or as we say during the podcast, “The Conscious Communicator: The fine art of not saying stupid stuff”. You get the idea.
I believe this was one of the most fun and, at the same time, informative and pertinent podcast episodes I have experienced. I hope you enjoy it. Please let me know your thoughts.
About the Guest:
Kim Clark (she/her) focuses her work on the communicator and content creator’s role in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). She is the co-author of The Conscious Communicator: The fine art of not saying stupid sh*t, an Amazon #1 bestseller and is a leading voice on DEI communications and social justice messaging for brands.
Her career spans documentary filmmaking, agency partnerships with the Discovery Channel, teaching at San Jose State University, and leading global internal communication teams at KLA, PayPal, GoDaddy, and GitHub. She is known for her ability to facilitate sensitive yet urgent conversations to make meaningful progress in creating inclusive workplaces.
She speaks at conferences, designs custom workshops, writes inclusive communications guides, and consults with companies on all things related to diversity, equity, and inclusion communications.
About the Host:
Michael Hingson is a New York Times best-selling author, international lecturer, and Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe. Michael, blind since birth, survived the 9/11 attacks with the help of his guide dog Roselle. This story is the subject of his best-selling book, Thunder Dog.
Michael gives over 100 presentations around the world each year speaking to influential groups such as Exxon Mobile, AT&T, Federal Express, Scripps College, Rutgers University, Children’s Hospital, and the American Red Cross just to name a few. He is Ambassador for the National Braille Literacy Campaign for the National Federation of the Blind and also serves as Ambassador for the American Humane Association’s 2012 Hero Dog Awards.
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Michael Hingson 00:00
Access Cast and accessiBe Initiative presents Unstoppable Mindset. The podcast where inclusion, diversity and the unexpected meet. Hi, I’m Michael Hingson, Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe and the author of the number one New York Times bestselling book, Thunder dog, the story of a blind man, his guide dog and the triumph of trust. Thanks for joining me on my podcast as we explore our own blinding fears of inclusion unacceptance and our resistance to change. We will discover the idea that no matter the situation, or the people we encounter, our own fears, and prejudices often are our strongest barriers to moving forward. The unstoppable mindset podcast is sponsored by accessiBe, that’s a c c e s s i capital B e. Visit www.accessibe.com to learn how you can make your website accessible for persons with disabilities. And to help make the internet fully inclusive by the year 2025. Glad you dropped by we’re happy to meet you and to have you here with us.
Michael Hingson 01:21
Welcome once again to unstoppable mindset. Yeah, I get to say that every time we do an episode, it is kind of fun. We’ve now been doing these podcasts in September of last year, they’re very enjoyable. And today we get to talk with Kim Clark, who is a conscious communicator, a knowledgeable person dealing with diversity, equity and inclusion. She is a co author of a book called The conscious communicator and she’ll tell us more about that. And all sorts of other stuff, dealing with diversity and so on. We’re gonna have fun with this, because although most of the time when you deal with diversity, especially you don’t deal with disabilities, we’re going to have to talk about that a little bit and see what kind of fun we can have. But we’ll be nice about it. Right. Anyway, Kim, welcome to unstoppable mindset.
Kim Clark 02:06
It’s really a pleasure. Thank you for having me, Michael. And I’m an aspiring conscious communicator. I just want to clarify having a arrived. I’m not enlightened, but I’m a farther along than a lot of other people. Is this
Michael Hingson 02:19
sort of like, is this sort of like when you’re a lawyer, you’re in a law practice. You’re always practicing. And
Kim Clark 02:24
you’re always? I’m a DI communications practitioner. Yes.
Michael Hingson 02:29
So So you have a dei practice or something like that?
Kim Clark 02:33
Yes. Communication, specifically as my lane. Yes.
Michael Hingson 02:37
Well, that’s fair. That’s fair. We can we can live with that. Well, I really appreciate you coming on board. And looking forward to having a great chat. Let’s start like I usually like to do and again, it’s something I’ve been doing almost from the beginning. And it just seems to me that kind of fun way to lighten the load and start the process. Tell us a little bit about you growing up and sort of where you came from, and how you got into this and all that stuff. For a general question, I
Kim Clark 03:05
love it. I love it. Michael, thank you very much for helping set the context of how I got to be where I am today. I grew up in a conservative Christian kind of environment from a religious standpoint in Oregon, Washington, and then coming down to California. And I’ve been in California ever since I was 12 years old. But I’m still an Oregonian at heart. In Oregon, you’re either a beaver or duck doesn’t even matter if you went to those schools. And we are ducks in our family. So just to clarify that for any Oregonians that are listening. And I had a very interesting coming out in my late 20s. And from that experience, I I produced a documentary called God and gays bridging the gap. And that was basically putting a face and voice to people who were becoming political pawns at the time and still are. And to talk about the benefits and consequences of coming out. When you say coming out You mean as as LGBTQ plus okay, great, just making sure. And then bringing in, you know, pastors and people who are, you know, a part of Christian or Jewish traditions and bringing in that perspective. And so I spent a lot of time showing that movie around all over the place for a few years. And that really catapulted me into how do I tie in social justice issues. Equity. In my work, work, no matter where I am, shortly after the documentary, which was my happiest time and my poorest time. So I got into corporate communications, specifically internal or employee communications. And that’s where you spend your time working with leaders sending out emails doing intranet work. So you’re talking to the employees about what’s going on in the company, you’re setting up the company meetings, working with employee resource groups on setting up, you know, speakers and those kinds of things. And at that same time, I started to bring in a mentor who became my teacher and coach, and I’ve worked with her for almost 20 years now. And she has been a diversity trainer for 40 years. And so while I’m learning and coaching with this mentor over these years, she’s constantly talking about diversity, equity and inclusion in the, the corporate space. And so I start pulling when I’m learning into my communication strategies, I’m like, Okay, well, what is the role of a communicator and content creator in this diversity, equity and inclusion space. And so I started implementing that, and building the infrastructure of relationships externally, with grassroots community organizations, as well as employee resource groups, etc. And it was tested, when the pulse tragedy happened in 2016, in Charlottesville, where employees came to me and said, We can’t focus, we need support, can we do something for employees. And so I, in within a few hours, got together a virtual vigil. And I brought in my mentor, she’s on speed dial, everybody should have somebody on speed dial for these kinds of things. I’m on lots of clients is speed dial, but my mentor was my speed dial. And I brought her in, and we held a virtual vigil over resume in 2016. And I saw, without knowing anything like this, whatever occur at the time, I saw the importance and the urgency that communicators needed to be in a strong position to handle these kinds of social crisis situations, but also being proactive around diversity, equity and inclusion communications from a cultural moment, like Pride Month, proactively and consistent, strategic, meaningful, transformative versus performative. And I just started going out and talking about it. I did a lot of talks, conferences, you know, speaking opportunities, I did a lot of teaching while I was in house, and then in 2019, I went out on my own, and I’m, that’s what I do full time now is I help answer, what is the role of the communicator and content creator when it comes to diversity and equity and inclusion efforts. And so much, Michael, you’ve seen this of de ai efforts, including accessibility, especially accessibility is based in language and communications, channels, how accessible our channels are, that’s all the role of the communicator. And so I’m honored to be a part of this work. And since the summer of 2020, when so many companies were put were posting social media, statements of solidarity with the Black and African American community, I got really pissed off, because I knew coming from the position and the experience that I had had for over a decade in corporate communications, I knew what was happening. It was a Keeping Up with the Joneses, it was, you know, not wanting to be left out, but they did not understand the work that is behind those statements. And so I knew they were performative, for the most part, even with commitments of donations, etc, etc, I knew they didn’t truly understand and that we’re not equipped and resourced, whether it’s people or funding to live up to what those statements meant. And so I saw those statements as using communicators, my people, my community, as being performative. They were that we were being used, and we were participating in this performative system. And I’m, I just, it just fired me up to say, I want to write a book about this, which led to the co authoring of a book called The conscious communicator, the fine art, I’m not saying stupid stuff stuff.
Michael Hingson 09:44
Yeah, I thought you were gonna do it. Yeah.
Kim Clark 09:47
And my co author is Janet Stovall, who’s a TED speaker. And so she’s worked with CEOs of UPS. She’s an executive speech writer. So she knows that external part of communications, I know the internal part. of communication. So we partnered up to write this book, specifically for content creators and communicators, for them to understand their role and name, shall I say their responsibility in this work to become to EI, social change agents in their organizations?
Michael Hingson 10:15
Let me ask this, you said something that prompts the thought. We talked about diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility, that really misses the mark as What does accessibility mean, we still don’t deal with disabilities, as a society as a race. That is the human race in general. We don’t recognize yet that disability does not mean a lack of ability. And the fact of the matter is that when we say D, EI and EI, it doesn’t mean a lot. Because what does accessibility mean? Do we talk about, for example, websites, a website can conform, for example, even from from a disability standpoint and an accessibility standpoint, it can conform to the guidelines set by the World Wide Web Consortium, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, it doesn’t make the website usable, even though it conforms, there are things that that one can show where that doesn’t always happen. Accessibility really misses the mark, because we really got to get to the point. And this is something that someone said, a few years ago, a gentleman named Suman, conda, Dante who developed a product for blind people called IRA, that he looks forward to the day when accessibility is eliminated from and is not used in the in the English language or in human language anymore, when we don’t deal with that. And the reality is, it’s not accessibility, it truly should be inclusion, and, and disabilities, for that matter. And until we change, and we should change how we view disability because disability, as I said, doesn’t mean a lack of ability. It’s a characteristic pure and simple. And also it is the second largest minority if we consider women, a minority, although numbers wise, all y’all are on a larger group than men. But we’ll just go in with a standard typical definition. Persons who happen to have a disability are the second largest minority, and the minority that is absolutely totally 100% discussed the least, we didn’t discuss at all National Disability Awareness Day here in this country. Earlier this month, we didn’t discuss an October National Disability Employment Awareness Month, you don’t see it discussed on television, as a minority, although we have a lot of sub characteristics 100 we don’t discuss it, we don’t deal with disabilities at all. And I am not picking on you. I’m making an observation that somehow we have to change the conversation to make that truly happen, and that we truly get included. And that’s what I’m curious to see how we can really change that dynamic and get people to recognize that we’re being excluded no matter what anyone says.
Kim Clark 13:17
You are not Yeah, the world isn’t designed for people with disabilities, including communication channels. Right. And that’s something that I talk about in my trainings quite often is the whole idea of the curb cut effect, if you want to talk about and set context for the curb cut effect, and then I’m happy to pile on as far as like what the role of the communicator is. Sure, go ahead. So the curb cut effect is the idea of especially if you’re in the US, the curbs sidewalks out in public, were cut down very purposely, and then add you know, painted yellow in the middle and then dots. I don’t know what the actual name of the dots are. But there’s there’s dots,
Michael Hingson 14:01
truncated domes, but anyway, go ahead. Okay.
Kim Clark 14:04
Thank you. Thank you. And so they were specifically built for blind, low vision, wheelchair users, etc. People with disability then, but here’s the thing, the effect of Curb cuts while they are designed specifically for people, you know, with disabilities, the effect is we all benefits. Sure people who are not wheelchair users, people who are sighted. We all benefit people with you know, luggage, people who use canes who have had strokes. People who have baby carriages, people who are cyclists, you know, who will have bikes in all of its forms. People who use carts, you know, who are pulling a wagon, you know, out to the park, or whatever it is. So everybody is benefiting. Nobody has to step off a curb, you know? And, uh huh.
Michael Hingson 15:11
Take a person in a wheelchair who rolls down a ramp and goes over those truncated domes. My wife who I was married to until she passed away last month, almost 40 years. hated those as a number of people I know in wheelchairs did hate them because they get bounced all over the place. It’s like riding over cobblestones. Yeah, and, and the other problem is, although some blind people really pushed for them, how much do they benefit blind people, if you’re truly walking at a fast pace? Your cane, if you’re using a cane may hit the dots, or the strips aren’t that why do you might even go all the way over the dot the the plate of dots. And without hitting it, the reality is we still are missing the point, it’s more important that blind people detect the ramp. And the dots don’t necessarily do a lot to help that for a lot of us. And some people said, Well, what about a subway station to keep you from going off the edge. That’s what a cane is for. That’s what a dog is for. And the dots may or may not add value. And then the plates of dots at a subway platform are not very wide anyway. So I only bring that up to say they they were installed and they benefit wine people and so on. Yeah, sorta kinda. And then you can talk about the curb cut effect and the way where you have some curbs and there are some places like in Sacramento, and other places where it isn’t just a curb cut, the the sidewalk gradually goes down to the street so that it’s really a flat exit from the sidewalk onto the street. So you can’t even tell there’s a curb cut. Some people can make the case that the dots may help there. And I’m still not convinced of that having been around Sacramento, there are other mobility tools that we need. But I hear what you’re saying. And look, I can make that case in other ways. The phones today smartphones have the ability to verbalize what’s on the screen and so on. Although the companies don’t really require, especially Apple, whether it’s Apple police who supervised whatever goes into the App Store. The app developers are not required to do anything to make their apps accessible or usable by persons with a disability necessarily, but voiceover for example, on the iPhone is there. It’s on every iPhone that exists in the world ever since the iPhone 3g. But why is it that we don’t see more mainstreaming of using that voice? Why is it that in Tesla’s rather than using a touchscreen? People are given more audio inputs? Why is it that people in a vehicle aren’t encouraged to use the voice technology and Apple Push the voice technology more so that rather than looking to see who calls you, you turn on a voice that allows you to hear without ever discussing with the phone? Who is it but the reality is we’re still not being included in the conversations because people say oh, that was for blind people or for for people who can’t read the screen. It shouldn’t be that way. You know, the electric lights and other example that covers up your disability of being light dependent, but make no mistake, you have a disability. Because if the lights go out, you have a power failure or whatever. The first thing you do is go look for a flashlight. And we’ve made light technology, light emitting technology incredibly available to people who can see but it doesn’t change the fact that you still have to use it to cover up a disability. And still, we do that rather than changing the conversation.
Kim Clark 19:09
I love it. I love it. Your apps, of course you’re right. And I and I love learning from you continually. And the whole idea of that curb cut effect is is to your point is there is a difference between intent versus impact to your point. But the intent is like okay, if we can design the world more specifically for folks that have been left out of design. We’re actually going to get everybody else but just like the disability movements mantra from the late 60s, nothing about us without us, which is my one of my favorite mottos, which can also be applied to other communities situations. We have to work as communicators, with people not about or For people, it has to be in collaboration and co creative space. It’s like, so me, as an internal communicator, I can own the channels. But I have to work with folks who are looking for those channels to be more inclusive of their experience. Because the whole point, Michael of communications and communicators, our whole goal should be connection. It should be connection. So if I’m putting out an email or a meeting, or an event or a social post, and I’m cutting out, like, what’s the percentage, I mean, billions of people around the world I’m cutting out without getting trained and working in collaboration with people who have the answers. They know what needs to be done, we have to listen. And we have to do what they say.
Michael Hingson 20:54
We Yeah, the according to the CDC, for example, 25% of all persons have a disability of some sort. Now, the challenge is that a lot of the needs and issues that blind people face are different than the issues and needs of a person in a wheelchair, or a person who is dyslexic or a person who is deaf or hard of hearing. But yet, we all still have the same basic situation, the same basic characteristic in that we’re not included. And it’s difficult sometimes for different subgroups to get beyond individual needs to recognize that, but it is still where we have to go. We are we are dealing with so many different things. Just this year, the Department of Justice finally said that title two of the ADA, Americans with Disabilities Act applies to the internet. Why did it take 31 years from the time the Americans with Disabilities Act was enacted? For them to say that, in reality, the internet is a place of business as a place of reasonable accommodation. And websites need to be made accessible. Now, my belief is that as people, even today, especially today, start to look at that the reason for making your website inclusive shouldn’t be because you’re going to get sued, although it’s there. And we can’t ignore that. But we should do it because it’s the right thing to do. We we include as a result, up to 25% more people than we would otherwise have. But we don’t tend to look at the fact that the cost of doing business should be inclusive of persons with disabilities.
Kim Clark 22:50
And it’s it’s not it’s not acceptable, you know, and we need to really, you know, make sure that we understand that in all kinds of fields of communications, that is completely unacceptable. Our internal websites or external websites, you know, or, or social platforms, it’s completely unacceptable. I have a son and a daughter, and my son is autistic, and low verbal skills, and epilepsy. My daughter is dyslexic. And it wasn’t really figured out that she was dyslexic until about second grade. And I know some people don’t even know you know that they’re dyslexic to college, for example, or college age. And I’m seeing especially my daughter, because she is she has more communication abilities than my son, I can hear from her. I’ve just like her view of the world is like this, this world, this school system, you know, these books, etc, are not built for somebody like me, I have to figure out a way to create my experience, given what the world has left me out of in designing. And so between the two of them and watching them trying to navigate the world is part of my motivation of trying to create more inclusive work spaces and places to set them up for success because my son from an autistic experience, he’s just he sees the world differently. And he is experiencing the world different than what I can understand. And there is no to your point, lack of ability with either of them. They are still perfect, whole and complete. So what do I need to do as a dominant culture as a white person, as a woman, as educated, college educated, like lots of privileges, and I have this platform and this gift to teach, what can I do? What is my role? So I’ve turned this into my purpose. This is absolutely my purpose. have just like what is the inclusivity look like that we need to turn our, you know, turn our design paradigms, we have to flip the script, we have to flip the script and understand that we need to be designing from a completely different way than what has been done before, in order to achieve what we say that we want. And that turns communications channels as well as messaging from performative to transformative to where we can see the evidence of it. That’s something my teacher mentor talks about all the time. It’s like, okay, you talk about you want inclusion, you that you’re an inclusive culture. Well, what’s the evidence of that? So that’s where I’m coming from to is like, evidence action? What is, you know, show me, show me, you know, and that’s especially rare in the kind of communications world because we’re all like, let me tell you about it. Let’s talk about it. And I’m like, yeah, uh huh. Uh huh. And there’s the say do gap. So you say that you have di e IA. So diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility. So lots of, you know, companies are adopting that kind of acronym right to be inclusive of accessibility. But are you funding that across your organization? Not just an employee resource group, as an advisory board, or whatever it may be? But are you funding them? And are you for hiring folks in your sales department, in your marketing department, in your IT department, in your communications department, hiring them? It’s, you know, you have to have evidence behind what you say, to close that gap between what you say, and what you do. And then what you do, we get to say, so it’s this nice, you know, relationship, but we’ve gotten too comfortable with this wide gap. And that’s an acceptable,
Michael Hingson 27:00
well, and I go back to D EIA, my concern about a is it doesn’t really address the issue of disabilities necessarily at all. And it doesn’t need to be there, it should come under inclusion. Diversity should include disabilities, but it doesn’t everyone has thrown disabilities out of the concept of diversity. You don’t hear Hollywood talking about blind directors, we did see a film when the Best Picture award and some some good representation representation for deaf and hard of hearing this year at the Oscars, and that is great. But whether it really changes the dynamic, in the long run, is another story. And again, if we’re going to talk about inclusion, you either are or you’re not. This this is my my opinion and my definition of it. But you can’t say well, yeah, we include some people, yeah, we’re still working on others, and you’re not inclusive yet. It’s a quantum leap. As far as I am concerned, I probably am in a minority for saying that. But you know what, everyone else has screwed up diversity, so I can have my opinion. If we’re truly an inclusive society, then there’s no need to do anything else about disabilities. It’s automatic. But we haven’t grown to do that. And another example that I would give you is, and I’ve talked to deaf people about this, why is it that persons who are deaf or hard of hearing prefer deaf and or hard of hearing and not deaf or hearing impaired, there’s a great reason for it? The great reason is, because when you start to use hearing impaired, you’re still comparing yourself to a person who has what you might call perfect hearing. And the concept of impaired means you’re less, we haven’t changed that dynamic for blind people. I actually had a discussion with someone in a speech I gave in October, because I discussed the concept of blind and visually impaired and I said there are two problems with the word visually or the concept of visually impaired one. Visually, I’m not different simply because I’m blind. Now there might be something about my particular eyes or anyone’s particular eyes, but blindness doesn’t cause visual differences. And then you’ve got impaired, I’m not impaired, and we need to get the language changed. So blind and low vision is the equivalent I think, to blind to deaf and hard of hearing. And I respect deaf and hard of hearing. And when I had a discussion with someone and I use the word hearing impaired, they explained it and I said I absolutely appreciate it and you’re absolutely right. But I think it’s just as true for blind and low vision to be adopted. But again, diversity, equity inclusion and accessibility doesn’t deal with the issue. Not at all, what does accessibility mean? For whom. And so, really, it’s all about or ought to be all about inclusion, to truly make it, something that works. And we need to get society to recognize what inclusion really ought to mean. And then you know, and then deal with it accordingly. But you had mentioned that you are more of an internal communicator and your co author of the book, and I want to get to the book is more involved in external communications. Tell me more about that, if you would?
Kim Clark 30:48
Well, your your point is, so I really want people to hear what your point is around this. And a lot of it does come back to language, it comes back to narrative. What are communicators and content creators, creating around the term accessibility? How are they defining in their organizations, the term inclusion? And how are we doing follow up communications around the evidence of inclusion, that’s all communications. That’s why it’s so critical for communicators and content creators. To truly understand this work. It’s not something you just write and throw over the fence. Because we’re creating the perception, the stereotypes, what is being emphasized, and what is being de emphasized. So we’re emphasis emphasizing certain parts of inclusion, but we’re de emphasizing to your point, you know, people with disabilities in inclusion, and we also have to own the paradigm shift around inclusion is is less about how do we accommodate others and more about how it is the dominant power within our corporate spaces, recognize itself and make room? You know,
Michael Hingson 32:05
and you’re absolutely right. And again, that’s why I mentioned the problems and concerns I have with the term accessibility, it’s meaningless. It doesn’t at all necessarily mean, disabilities, we’re not putting any true emphasis on that. Someone created that. And they’ve come up with other terms like differently abled, which is balderdash. Because I’m not differently abled, I may use different techniques, or special needs, yeah, I may use different techniques, but so does a left handed person from a right handed person, so does a very short person as opposed to a very tall person. The reality is that none of that deals with the issue. And in to your point, I know that’s what communicators really need to do, which is to create that language. And then the real issue is you can communicate it all day long. But how do we get people to accept it.
Kim Clark 33:03
And that’s the beauty of communications, because we have a responsibility and a superpower an opportunity to drive accountability with our visibility, visibility drives accountability. So we can shine the light, right, we can focus on those areas where the work really needs to be done, and then demonstrate and share out the evidence of that work. So something that I do for clients is inclusive communications guides. And so this kind of shared language within an organization, every organization needs to have an inclusive communications guide. It sits between your employee handbook and your brand guidelines. And it makes it real it’s it’s it ladders into your diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. When it comes to language. So you’re delivering it’s, it’s part of your evidence of your dei work. And in in my version of this d of these inclusive communications guides, I have a specific section on people with disabilities, I know you’re going to be reviewing my section to ensure that it is accurate, but this whole idea of the language that we use when we are a part of the community, when we’re not part of the community. How do we handle those cultural moments and those opportunities? Were those external like internal International Day of disabilities that we were talking about in October? Like how do we do storytelling that is authentic and transformative and meaningful? So that’s part of the work, which it was part of that motivation of why I did the book is because we needed to clearly define the role of communications as communicators within nonprofits, corporate, any kind of institutions, whether communications is in your title officially or not. People managers are communicators. They’re communicating their, to their teams. And they’re the least equipped to handle social justice issues, for example. And so that’s the that was how I approached Janet Stovall and said, Would you write this book with me because we need to help communicators come up with a framework to be able to have a strategic conversation on how to be proactive and transformative instead of performative. When it comes to inclusion, when it comes to equity and diversity, what do we actually mean by that? And especially handling social justice crisis situations?
Michael Hingson 35:42
So what are some of the words or phrases that people communicators and others should stop using when it comes to dealing or addressing or referring to persons with disabilities? And what would more inclusive language be like?
Kim Clark 35:59
Well, there’s a lot of there are, there are some terms out there that are not like we were talking about special needs. You know, that was a that was a term that the community did not come up for itself. And we find this in a lot of historically marginalized communities is terms, phrases that have been created by people who are not part of the community that has been labeled on communities. And so the inclusive communications guide is created by the communities themselves in the language that they use to identify themselves. And I always go to people who are part of the community to gut check and vet the guides to ensure that it is representative of their experience. And it’s, it’s driven by terms and explanations that they say for themselves that, that they have the mic, it’s not something, you know, for the Black and African American community in the US, it’s not me for a white person to be saying, you know, this is what we call you in the census from the government state status, you know, and it’s like, well, are the Latino, you know, Latino community, that is, so the diaspora just like people with disabilities, it’s like the diaspora is, so why the range of experience is so wide so and yet we try to find these labels just to say, you know, as if they’re all one people, or, you know, like, you know, people, you know, from Asia, and it’s like, Do you know how many countries and languages and customs and traditions you’re trying to like, lob into like one category, it really, it really erases people. And I think that happens with, you know, people with disabilities community as well, it really erases the variety of, of experiences and talent and expertise and knowledge that the community comes for us. So now, the first kind of step that I’ve learned from, from the community is to ensure that we’re using language that doesn’t demean or reinforce that stereotype and that narrative that disability is a lack, you know, a lesser than in comparison to someone who can see, for example, but actually reframing and helping people understand everything that you said it supports everything that you that you said is that it’s just another experience of the world. And so but to put the value on sighted people and say, oh, and we’ve talked about this, Michael about, like, you know, accommodations and Manat people, managers being fearful of bringing somebody in and having to, you know, have accommodations and think that it’s gonna be harder to work with somebody with somebody who’s already created their, their way of getting through the world, and they know how to do it. And it’s like, just let me do it. You know, what, let me do it the way I know that I’m set up for success and support me in that.
Michael Hingson 39:00
Is there a difference between dei communications and inclusive communications?
Kim Clark 39:07
Well, you know, diversity is its own thing. Equity is its own thing. And inclusion is its own thing, but you can’t do one without the other. And there’s others like justice, you know, people like to, you know, add, some people like to throw in the J, which, you know, if you use that acronym in a smart way, you come up with Jedi, right? Yeah, there you go. That’s kind of cool. Yeah, so some people will put inclusion and diversity, you know, just so it’s basically this declaration or proclamation of where their focus is. And you need all of it, you know. And they’re all outcomes as well. So, in order for us to have a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace, it has to be a part of the process. It doesn’t magically happen by continuing to do what we have been doing, and then we get it a dei of outcome, we get differences in hit our measurements that does that doesn’t exist. If you want the AI, as a result, it has to be a part of our process. So diversity in all the ways that it shows up inclusive of people with disabilities and a variety of disabilities, right. And there’s, but you have to have that, like I was talking about earlier, you have to have people with disabilities in your marketing team and your sales team, you have to, they have to be hired, and they have to be, you know, retained, and grown. Right, listen to given autonomy and a voice. You know, and, and that’s the role of psychological safety and team environment. So you can get those innovative solutions. But there needs to be equitable standards and systems access, removing the obstacles, providing whatever kind of, you know, I don’t know, if you use the word accommodations, maybe it’s just like, this is the kind of setup that I need. So it’s, you know, like, you know, I might have a bad back. So I should have some sort of way that I am set up for success with my workstation. So what like why, let’s, let’s set that standard, to your point, like this should just be a given on any individual level.
Michael Hingson 41:23
So the the, we’ll go ahead. And then,
Kim Clark 41:27
you know, so equitable access, so you’re removing any kind of barriers, you’re setting people up for success. You’re compensating people, you know, equitable levels, promotions, sponsorship, opportunities, etc. So you’re not holding people back. So equity, and then that inclusion is this ongoing verb, it’s an ongoing action, it’s minute by minute, moment by moment, paying attention, looking around to say, who’s not here, who should be here? How are we designing this program? Are we leaving anybody out? Why do I Why do I not have representatives from that community as part of this conversation, so I can make informed decisions? Why am I not learning more directly from that community, so I can be an advocate for them in rooms and spaces where they may not be. So it’s an ongoing thing that happens. So when you embedded in your systems and within your teams, and you’re in, you’ve got it in your processes, whether it’s from an organization as well as your team environment is how you operate within your team, that impacts the content, the calendar, the impact of your work, the words that you use, the visuals that you choose. And therefore you’re going to start having evidence of that work showing up which is going to lead to those outcomes.
Michael Hingson 42:51
It’s, it’s interesting to, to think about all this, and I recognize the value of communications. And what you do is extremely important. But we are not seeing tremendous yet paradigm shifts in attitudes. So for example, I mentioned that in reality for persons with disabilities, when companies think about us, which they often don’t, but when they do, or, as the discussions occur, it should be part of the cost of doing business to make an inclusive environment for all. So company, companies, for example, provide windows for you, for sighted people to look out. They also provide windows to be open to cool or allow heat in or whatever. companies provide fancy coffee machines to give their employees something that that they like and the company’s value, providing that stuff, to a large degree, companies provide lights, for all of you to be able to see to walk around to look at your monitors and so on. In fact, companies provide computers and monitors, and will spend a great deal of money doing that. But if a blind person comes in, for example, and says, I need screen reader software to be able to access the computer you provide immediately, resistance goes up. Why is going to be? Yeah, because we’re not yet valued sufficiently. And people can say that’s not true. But the reality is it is otherwise they would recognize that the cost of doing business ought to include us. Those coffee machines, for example, are often touchscreen, which makes them harder to use. Now there is a way for me to be able to use a touchscreen device by accessing someone who can read the screen and there are services that do that. Then you get resistance again about even using those. We still have not come anywhere. Close to recognizing that persons with disabilities have the same or ought to have the same equal rights. Or I think as Jacobus tenBroek, the original founder of the National Federation of the Blind, a constitutional law scholar would put it, we have the same right to live in the world as everyone else. But I don’t think that this society has gotten to that point yet. And we can communicate, and what you do helps. But again, it comes down to how do we truly make a major shift in attitudes?
Kim Clark 45:35
I would say it’s the role of the communicator and the content creator, how are we telling their stories? How are we deferring and handing the mic over? What kind of videos are we producing? What you know, we have to be proactive in this and helping people understand what the opportunities are. So it’s communication, it’s telling stories, it’s getting giving visibility, and, you know, driving that accountability, you know, starting with our own channels, but you know, we, especially for those of us who are internal communicators, we have access to HR, these are our stakeholders and business partners, we have access to it, we have access to customer care, we have access to facilities, you know, I’ve had many situations where, you know, I’ll, I’ll be working with a client, and they’re like, We are renovating our offices, and I said, Are you working with various, you know, people with disabilities and your design of your office spaces, there’s racism and how seating charts are decided, you know, you know, in facilities, layouts, that’s something that has to be addressed. People who are wheelchair users cannot reach the mugs in the cabinet in the cupboard. That’s not okay. You know, putting power strips under desks, where women with skirts, you know, have to climb underneath the desks in order to plug in their charger, you know, so, we have to understand and there is a wonderful research report that I refer to in the book, the conscious communicator book from Korn Ferry, talking about the, you know, kind of design of what they use it first, the crash test dummy, as the reference, the reference for all, you know, crash tests that do not take into account women’s bodies, or pregnant people, you know, etc. And it in it spawns out from there, not just in crash tests. But I highly recommend people to read that research report, and just talk about this reference man leaves most of us out. And so in the design of our facilities of our seating, the design of our communications channels, how we are communicating when the words that we’re using the visuals that we’re using, we that is the power of communications and setting up narratives and setting standards of the shared language and how we are going to address you know what we’ve been so oblivious, to dealing with, up until this point, the opportunity, the potential of flipping through communications is exponential.
Michael Hingson 48:28
I was watching the news this morning. And yes, I use the word watch. I have no problem doing that. Because as we know from the dictionary, the word to to see is in part described us to perceive. It doesn’t necessarily mean with the eyes. Anyway, I was watching TV this morning. And listening to a report about the Orion spacecraft that was launched, traveled around the moon came back successfully, really super. And a discussion of the fact that maybe by 2025, we’ll have the first woman and or the first person of color to walk on the moon. Why not a person with a disability? Why not a blind person? Why not a person in a wheelchair? Why not a person who happens to be deaf? Why not all three, I haven’t seen Jeff Bezos in any of his launches. I may have missed something. But in the rockets in the people who took into space, I haven’t seen that there were any persons with disabilities and Branson sort of the same way. The fact of the matter is that there is so much yet to be done. And we have and should not take the approach of violence and I know that that has happened with with race to a large degree look at things like the George Floyd thing which should never have happened, but at the same time, somewhere along the line We have to have a major attitudinal shift. And that people need to recognize that we are as valuable. And as you pointed out with the whole curb cut effect. And as I mentioned with VoiceOver, for example, on the iPhone, it can be such a tremendous tool to aid in so many ways so that people could focus more on watching the road rather and listening, rather than what we do today. But we haven’t got there yet. Which is, which is truly unfortunate.
Kim Clark 50:35
And I and I, I fault paradigms, over generations, where, you know, people with disabilities have always been among population, but that value of economic viability has taken precedence and priority over human experience, and leveraging leveraging all the beautiful differences, you know, and taking advantage of the talent and the expertise of how, however people have come to be. And that’s a paradigm shift. It’s a story and a stereotype and a narrative that has continued and been unquestioned, which is part of its intent is to not question it. And that’s the paradigm we have to question I used to teach a, I still teach at San Jose State University, but a class that I used to teach was going back to my point earlier of what’s being emphasized and what is being de emphasized. So when, when we are looking at our dei communication strategy, when we are looking at narrative, we have to be looking at who’s been left out historically. And question that and say, No, that’s unacceptable. That’s not That’s not how we roll. That’s not where we’re going to be like moving forward. And truly bringing in that, you know, because one of the things that I that I constantly have to work communicators through is the tokenizing. of folks. So you’re mentioning Jeff Bezos hasn’t had a wheelchair user in his rockets. I should have? Well, but I could foresee that there could be a tokenization of someone with disabilities, sure photo opportunity for a PR opportunity, right? We fall into that trap as communicators, like, oh, well, we need to have in this photo, we need somebody you know, who’s different, you know, different skin color, you know, gay, you know, a woman, you know, those kinds of things, somebody with disabilities have physical disability, we need to have physical disability versus neurodiversity. Because we can’t see that in the images and make our point, that we’re a diverse group, right? So what we end up airings, we end up on the tokenizing side of the spectrum. And we need to provide more understanding and context around the people who are involved in whatever it may be riding in a rocket. Why the and the value that they bring to that experience? So what you know what, what kind of feedback, what are we going to learn from a wheelchair user who’s going up in a rocket? What are we going to learn from that person, not just from that identity, but all that they can bring to the table of who they are.
Michael Hingson 53:24
Until we truly recognize that there is that kind of opportunity, and that people who are different than us are not less than us, it will be very difficult for us to move forward, whoever we are. And so I agree with you that the the immediate reaction wouldn’t be tokenism. And that’s what we have to avoid. But I think we can get there. But it is just a process. And it is something that we really need to do more to make happen. And I and I do hope we’ll get there. But we do have a long way to go. And as I said, What makes it doubly frustrated is disabilities are the second largest minority in our country. And yet it is the most ignored minority by far. And so it is a mitten issue. Um, you mentioned your diet, your documentary early on, is that available where people can see it?
Kim Clark 54:27
It is online that you can rent it for like $1.99 because this was 2006. And, you know, don’t judge me for my hair and my clothing choices at that. But yes, it’s online. It’s called God and gays bridging the gap.
Michael Hingson 54:44
Cool. And I think that I hope people will watch it. I think that will be kind of fun. Well, you wrote a book and we’ve talked about it. We’ve referred to it a bunch and we’ve also talked Talk about the fact that you wrote it with someone. But it was a number one Amazon bestseller, which is really cool
Kim Clark 55:05
in all three formats. So I’m very grateful for people who had been following us all year in 2022. We launched it in September, but our following just built more and more throughout the year. And they really showed up on the day that we launched it. And we are so so grateful. And it continues to show up around the world, people writing me and my co author Janet Stovall with you know, they’re, you know, this is what I’m doing with it, I heard from a graduate student, who has said, I’ve come up with an assignment for the class, I’m teaching based on your book, which is wonderful, because as a San Jose State University lecturer over the last 20 years, I am building a course based on the book four year universities, colleges and junior colleges to have a course that’s actually I’m going to be teaching, teaching a version of it, but I’m also going to make it available for educators. So it’s available for corporate communicators currently. Now, anyone who does any kind of content creation, also people managers, it is very helpful. Can an individual take what the model the depth Model D PTH? That’s our framework. That’s kind of the secret sauce of the book. Can they apply it to themselves? Absolutely, absolutely. But we are making it available as well to universities, because we want communicators who are coming up, you know, and, you know, not everyone is going to go to universities and colleges, I recognize that. So it’s available for others, I will have online courses available, I will have a book club and a conscious communicator community that I’m launching. So there’s all kinds of different ways to access the content and practice it with other folks. Because that’s, that’s, you remember that I am, I’m about action, I am about evidence. So this, you know, everything that I’m going to be rolling out, aligned with the book, but also within the course, etc. is all about accessing the content, practicing it together and being in a community that is being very intentional about this work.
Michael Hingson 57:17
So what kinds of things do you teach? To help people understand not to say stupid? What’s the word? Oh, yeah, stuff. That’s it. That is not really what you wrote for the original title, but it serves the
Kim Clark 57:29
purpose. No, yeah. And that, that shows like The conscious communicator, part of the tighter title that was me. And then Janet had the second half, you know, you know, I’m not saying stupid stuff.
Michael Hingson 57:45
People are wondering what we’re laughing about. The actual first two letters are sh and we’ll leave the rest alone. Yeah,
Kim Clark 57:50
there you go. It has an asterix in there just for to be family friendly. But yeah, so it’s it’s been so the kinds of things that I’m most asked to speak about. I do workshops as well, but I do a lot of speaking engagements and consulting. Specifically around the most popular topic is from unconscious bias to conscious communication. So it’s that the role of unconscious bias in Korea it that impact of bias in our communications, which can end up showing up like performative communications, it ends up looking like microaggressions. And so understanding ally ship and advocacy as an as a communicator and content creator, what’s our role there? There’s also a concept called majority coding, C O D ing coding. And that is about making sure that the dominant narrative is sussed out from our communication. So we are not reinforcing status quo unintentionally. Where do we disrupt that status quo in our narrative, you know, to the points that we’ve made over and over again, you know, during our talk today, being disruptive in that and so cultural appropriation, you know, when we’re supporting events, and we have pictures of employees with culturally appropriate attire during Cinco de mio or Native American Heritage Month, you know, like really making sure that we’re educating our employees that we are, you know, not reinforcing any kind of negative stereotypes around particular communities. So that’s where we start my call. That’s just that all that that I just said is where we start. So this is a practical application kind of lab experience whenever I do a speaking as well as workshops, and then there’s the whole work around the book itself of the depth Model D PTH. What does it stand for? So, so depth The whole point is, you’ll see this on the cover of the book is helping communicators bring depth to their organizations. So it’s an acronym though it is D is for deliberate. E is for educated. T is for tailored. Sorry, I’ve got the P. P is for purposeful. T is for tailored, and H is for habitual. So it’s a framework to be strategic and proactive. So you’re no longer knee jerk reactions. When a social justice, you know, issue happens. You have the infrastructure, you have the relationships, you have your content, you have the people in place, you have the funding, you have everything that you need to be proactive. And we tackle things like, let’s literally talk about PACs, political action committees, and what those what the companies that we work for are giving money to legislation, people will say, let’s leave politics out of the workplace. Well, I’m sorry, but yeah, yeah, that we need to talk about that we need to have that kind of exposure to understand that companies are entirely making so many business decisions based on political situations, legislative support, tax, you know, benefits. That’s why, you know, moving people to Texas, and I’m like, Oh, my God, Roe v. Wade, you know, you know, that kind of thing. So, we have to talk about those kinds of things and help communicators understand where the system has been designed to be performative. That’s what we’re hired for, rewarded and recognized for and how to disrupt it. And what do we need need to do to go backwards into the systems and processes to ensure that we are actually transformative, and that’s what we’re rewarded and recognized for, to help because there’s, there’s no doubt in my mind and, and 1000s of other people’s minds that D AI is the transformation of the business going on right now. And if you do not do this as the business, you will be irrelevant within the next five years, just like digital transformation, if you didn’t get on board, you’re not here anymore. The same thing is happening with Dei. And we need to understand this is that strategic business transformation of the business, and communicators play an exceptionally important role in this work.
Michael Hingson 1:02:36
I was talking to some people yesterday about podcasts and their people, roughly my age. And so I’m 72. I admit it right. And they said, We’ve never listened to podcasts. Tell us about podcasts. And, you know, we’re kind of old. We don’t deal with that technology. And my, my immediate reaction was, that’s a great excuse. But why do you put up the barrier to make it more difficult than it needs to be? And by the time we were done, they were going to go off and listen to unstoppable mindset, which I’m preparing. Everybody should? Everybody should? Yes, that’s right. But the reality is that we all need to practice keeping up. And it challenges our minds, when we work at keeping up with whatever it is, whether it’s podcasts and doing something like this, or just dealing with iPhones, I know any number of blind people who I see on lists who say, I need someone to tell me how to use this, or use this iPhone or use this technology. No, but what they don’t do is go research it, they don’t go look for it themselves, and do more to stretch and grow by learning to do it. And I understand there come times when it’s necessary to have some help because a lot of times when I go research how to do something. When I go search to search for it on say Google, I see links to tons of videos and I ignore the videos mostly because they don’t describe very well what they’re doing in the video and they don’t give me information. It’s an easy way but it doesn’t really help everything. So I go past the the videos to get to the other information stuff. And most of the time I can find enough information to tell me what I need to know. But we we really work as a society. It being often too lazy and not learning to research and not learning to keep myself constantly growing. When my wife passed away, the first thing or one of the things I started to say is you know I have to move on and it took me a few days to realize why I was uncomfortable saying that. And the reason I’m uncomfortable saying it is because I’m not moving on. She’s with me. She’ll continue to be with me, but I will move forward It should, we should all move forward, we should always work to move forward.
Kim Clark 1:05:04
Wow. Thank you for sharing that. And absolutely, there’s, you know, there, there’s chatter amongst the DI practitioner world that talks about, all right, well, if you learn to how to use a phone, because you feel like you have to, and there’s so many other experiences that we that we can refer to, in addition to the phone, you know, being racist, or sexist, or, you know, etc, ableist, you know, it’s just a matter of just doing it, just do it, you can you can learn a phone, you can learn to be anti racist, it’s, it’s a matter of being allowed, allowing yourself to learn, and make room and space, you know, for that learning, and seeing people with disabilities for their, you know, humanity, and what we have in common, and how needed unnecessary. Everyone is in society in this work, and to move forward in that work to your point, it’s, it’s necessary, and it’s just basically required as a citizen of the global Earth. Really, you know, it’s just like, this is just who we are. And this is what we’re about. And this is, this is part of, you know, leading a very meaningful life is, is is doing that learning, no matter how uncomfortable it can be. It’s the benefits are way outweigh the risks.
Michael Hingson 1:06:33
You mentioned politics and all that. And one of the things I’ve read on a number of occasions, or articles or commentaries about conversation, and that in our world where we have become such a fractured country, when it comes to political views, especially in the previous administration, according to the people who write some of the things that I’ve read, we’ve lost the art of conversation. Do you think that’s true that we’ve really lost the art of conversation? How do we get that back? How do we learn to step back and say, Hey, talking about differences in different views isn’t a bad thing, as long as we keep it in perspective, that everyone has the right to an opinion. But we do need to have a moral standard that we go by as well?
Kim Clark 1:07:24
Well, if we think about the workplace, and it comes from, you know, the environment that we grew up in, and then we bring that environment, to the workplace, and what what we do not have, or any kind of decent role models around having conversations outside of our comfort zone, because whatever environment that we we were raised in, whatever what was rewarded in the environment that we were raised in, and, you know, what we’re bringing into the workplace culture is afraid to say the wrong thing. We don’t have, it’s not only that we don’t have any role models on how to foster a learning environment. It’s, you know, it’s, it’s, we have terrible examples, not just that we don’t have any we have, and then the ones that we have are terrible examples. You know, like, we only see that the options are calling out, you know, for example, when there’s a lot of options that we actually have on our tool, but to have to look at valuing a relationship with a colleague, in a way that we can have productive, maybe even healing conversations, but we don’t, we’re so rewarded within a capitalist corporate environment of getting it right the first time, you know, part of the bias of professionalism, which is an excellent article by Stanford innovation review, talking about the bias, they did the curb cut effect as well. But you know, talking about the bias, professionalism, it shows up in perfection, for example, perfectionism. And so there’s the status quo, that is in the subtext of our corporate cultures that actually prohibits the the learning capacity, the curiosity, the willingness, the permission to explore these conversations amongst colleagues in a healthy productive way. So first order of business, go do your own research. Don’t lean on somebody, like I shouldn’t be only tapping into you on things that I could Google, right. But do I want to hear about your specific experience? And how communications and channels can be, you know, connect more with you? Yes, I do want that input. But are there things that I could go and learn on my own? Absolutely. Now, but I have to check myself and make sure that I’m in a place of listening and learning And then I shut the crap up, you know, and that it’s not that I am in that place of humility, and, and valuing your specific experience. But, you know, I’m not rewarded for that in a corporate environment, I’m rewarded for having all the answers for getting it right the first time for being extroverted for you know, pushing things and making things go fast, and least resistance, you know, allowing bias to inform my decision making. And you know, what, we’ll fix it later, or, okay, well, it doesn’t work for, you know, blind folks. But you know, we’ll do that in the next round. And then we never get to it because our budget got cut, you know, so it’s like, these are the things that we need to challenge and and understand that we don’t have role models, and we have terrible role models. And so looking at what that bias of professionalism is actually keeping us oblivious, and keeping us from growing beyond what has been allowed before to the point of really honoring, and learning and keeping our egos in check. That’s really key in order for us to foster that learning environment, especially in the workplace. So we can begin to do the real work.
Michael Hingson 1:11:27
Well, the the, the comment about, well, we’ll get to it in the next round immediately, puts a value on one thing over another, rather than truly being inclusive. And, you know, as far as this whole concept of, we have our role models, whatever they are, we have our own experiences, and so on, I feel so blessed with doing this podcast, because I get to hear a lot of different viewpoints, and brought that on myself. But every person I get to talk with, has educated me and has taught me things and I’ve changed some of my views and my language. And I think it should be that way. And so for you, for example, you may go off and do more research after this conversation, and you may find some things that you question about what I said, I hope you’ll come back and, and even if it’s an email that we talk about it so that we we both can come to consensus, which is what conversation is really all about. We may not agree on everything. But if we don’t talk about it, we’ll never learn.
Kim Clark 1:12:41
And we are so important, and leverage each other’s strengths. So if I’m responsible for my communication channels, and they’re not working for you, I have that power and privilege to make the changes, but I don’t know what to do. You have that experience and knowledge and stuff. So it’s like, you know, I can’t lose, it goes both ways. And I hear these, you know, I have clients who have, you know, harassed her saying, like, Okay, our leadership is all homogenous, white males, for example, able bodied, etc, etc. And they are, but they have they, but we’re looking to them to make these decisions and make all these challenges. Well, they don’t know the experience of the people that that need to be more intentionally included in our culture.
Michael Hingson 1:13:30
So you don’t know what they don’t know.
Kim Clark 1:13:33
And they don’t exactly and they’re used to knowing all the answers. That’s what they’re rewarded for. They didn’t get to that level, because they’re awesome at Dei, right? They weren’t that was not part of the reward and recognition and promotion system that got him to the level that they’re at. So I have some empathy for leaders. And yeah, budgets are moral documents. So they have budgets, decision making power, they have resourcing decision making power. So go to the people who have the answers that know what needs to be done, and you fund them, do what you have the power and the capacity to do and learn from them. Because they don’t have the budget decision making power. They don’t have the resource decision making power. But that’s where you collaborate. That’s where you leverage each other’s privilege and power and influence and knowledge and expertise. You work together on this, you know, so I can’t expect, you know, a CEO to have all the answers. And we should not expect that person for them to feel like they have to have all the answers. I don’t think we’re setting them up for success. But we do have to set the expectation of like you do have about budget and resourcing and decision making power you do have that. So you need to disseminate it in this way and empower the work to be done and you’re learning from it all through the process. To be effective,
Michael Hingson 1:15:02
you mentioned that your book was a number one bestseller, and all three forms what forms.
Kim Clark 1:15:07
So we have, we have hardback, paperback, as well as ebook. And in the spring of 2023, we will have an audio book, which will be a slightly different take with more storytelling etc. And so for those who have read the book, please leave reviews, please tell us your stories and how you’re applying the book because we will be using those reviews and storytelling as we as we record the audio book. So did we really
Michael Hingson 1:15:35
publish it? Did you guys publish it yourselves?
Kim Clark 1:15:38
It’s a hybrid publisher called publisher purpose that supported us it was there was no issue and being able to bring them this idea. It was like a done deal. They understood the value and the importance of it right away. So we were able to control the creative aspects and you know, the content excetera. And then they did all the parts that we didn’t care about learning about, which is, you know, Library of Congress and ISBN numbers. And I don’t want to do that, you know, and we wanted to go quickly. So that’s why we didn’t like go to New York, because that’s 18 months to 24 months turnaround, and we wanted to move much faster. And so from writing from from signing with the publisher to publishing, it was actually one year, September to September. And again, the title is the conscious communicator, the fine art of not staying stupid. Sh asterik t. So pretty easy to find by Kim Clark and Janet Stovall.
Michael Hingson 1:16:42
Well, how can people reach out to you, especially now that you’re on your own? And how can they Yeah, with you, and so on.
Kim Clark 1:16:50
So my website is Kim Clark communications.com. And I offer free strategic consultations for for for folks that you know, first having conversation, but I do an awful lot of speaking, training, and consulting. And then as I mentioned, inclusive communications guides, and I will be having online courses made available as well as a book club. So get the book, join the conscious communicator community, and we’re gonna go through the book all next year together as a community.
Michael Hingson 1:17:24
Well, that’s as cool as it gets. And I hope people will do that. And I’m gonna go work at doing that as well. I’ve very much enjoyed doing this. And I when people say how long are your podcasts? They’re roughly an hour. Well, we have now been doing this for. Yeah, we’ve been doing this for a long time. Tim, you’re now doing it for 77 minutes, I think. I think people have heard from us enough for today. But I want to continue this discussion.
Kim Clark 1:17:53
Thank you, Michael.
Thank you. And now tell us about your so you had me up here on your webinar or your your interview on YouTube last week. Tell us about that, if you would before we go.
So prior to the book launch, Janet Stovall, my co author, and I put out the conscious communicator q&a. And so we have a YouTube channel, where you can go to and see how we interview each other based on questions that we would get from our clients. And so how not to be performative during Black History Month, or how to go beyond the land acknowledgement. How do you handle hesitant leadership? So we built this YouTube channel all around that. And since the launch of the book, I’m putting up interviews with illustrative experts like yourself, talking continuing to go deeper into the conversation. And so yes, I’m excited about putting that up and talking about how communicators specifically, we get into the nitty gritty like the things that we talked about. Here we go deeper, you and I, around specific practical actions that communicators and content creators need to do around making our, our messaging our narrative and the technical aspects of our channels, more of a connection point and useful for people with low vision and blind.
Michael Hingson 1:19:21
And how do people find the YouTube channel?
Kim Clark 1:19:25
The conscious communicator. So if you just put that in, and you say, yeah, maybe just put them on YouTube. And then I have an Instagram called Constant conscious communicators, I believe is what the handle is for Instagram. Yeah. I’m primarily live and active on LinkedIn, which is dei communications, Kim Clark, and as well as my co author Janet Stovall, she’s mostly active on LinkedIn, and Instagram as well. Well, we’ll
Michael Hingson 1:19:52
have to somehow invigo JANET to come on and one of these as well. I’m gonna leave that
Kim Clark 1:19:57
to you. She’s amazing. She’s amazing. Well, thank
Michael Hingson 1:20:00
you very much for being here. This has been, needless to say fun. And I learned a lot and joyful and it’s great talking with you. So I hope people will give us a five star review after listening to this, even though it went a little bit longer than some but it time really passed. And you and I had a lot of fun, didn’t we? Oh,
Kim Clark 1:20:22
absolutely. Michael, I really, really genuinely appreciate this conversation. And thank you for your support, and sharing your experience and expertise with communicators, people who aspire to be conscious communicators. Thank you for all that you do. Thank you. Well,
as I said, We’d love a five star review and rating from each of you listening to this. If you’d like to reach out to me, I’d love to hear your thoughts, please do so you can email me at Michaelhi at accessibe A C C E S S I B E.com. We haven’t really talked about accessibe, which is a company that makes products that help make websites more usable. But we’re really here to inspire this weekend to teach us all that we can be more unstoppable than we think. You can also learn more about the podcast by going to our podcast page, www dot Michael hingson h i n g s o n.com/podcast. So however, we’d love to hear from you. And wherever you are, we want to thank you once again for being with us and putting up with us for all this time, both of us. And once again, Kim, thank you very much for being here and giving us the benefit of all your wisdom and knowledge.
Kim Clark 1:21:34
What an honor to be with you Michael, thank you for having me.
Michael Hingson 1:21:42
You have been listening to the unstoppable mindset podcast. Thanks for dropping by. I hope that you’ll You have been listening to the Unstoppable Mindset podcast. Thanks for dropping by. I hope that you’ll join us again next week, and in future weeks for upcoming episodes. To subscribe to our podcast and to learn about upcoming episodes, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com slash podcast. Michael Hingson is spelled m i c h a e l h i n g s o n. While you’re on the site., please use the form there to recommend people who we ought to interview in upcoming editions of the show. And also, we ask you and urge you to invite your friends to join us in the future. If you know of any one or any organization needing a speaker for an event, please email me at speaker at Michael hingson.com. I appreciate it very much. To learn more about the concept of blinded by fear, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com forward slash blinded by fear and while you’re there, feel free to pick up a copy of my free eBook entitled blinded by fear. The unstoppable mindset podcast is provided by access cast an initiative of accessiBe and is sponsored by accessiBe. Please visit www.accessibe.com. accessiBe is spelled a c c e s s i b e. There you can learn all about how you can make your website inclusive for all persons with disabilities and how you can help make the internet fully inclusive by 2025. Thanks again for listening. Please come back and visit us again next week.