Pro surfer and disability advocate Liv Stone speaks about disability inclusion in Adobe Q&A, Social Media Study

and social media impact the disability community. Adobe

In a blog post published Tuesday, venerable software maker Adobe shared an interview with pro surfer, content creator, and disability advocate Liv Stone. Stone is a disabled person herself: she has limb differences, having been born a congenital upper arm amputee; She has two fingers on each of her hands. A three-time world parasurfing champion and six-time gold medalist, Stone sat down with Adobe to talk about her life journey and illustrious sporting career.

Stone’s interview coincides with a study the San Jose-based company conducted a few months ago, the results of which are being released today. Adobe wanted to explore how developers like Stone are using digital tools to raise awareness in the disability community and dispel myths about disabled people.

“We recently conducted a study to learn more about how people with disabilities are using social media and creative tools to encourage others and promote inclusion,” Adobe wrote in the lead of the post, which is attributed to the company’s communications group becomes. “We caught up with Liv to get her take on our findings and to learn more about her incredible journey to where she is now.”

Stone has over 200,000 followers on Instagram and nearly half a million more on TikTok. (Her TikTok has received over 7 million likes.) She uses these channels to share her thoughts on various topics like surfing, skincare, cooking, and more.

“When I share relatable, inspirational content on my social channels, I feel like I’m part of something much bigger than myself,” Stone responded to a question from Adobe about the significance of their study’s findings. “Social media can be a great vehicle to increase awareness and inclusion of people with disabilities and show that we are more than a label or cliché.”

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Stone reiterated her feelings in a statement provided to me earlier this month.

“It takes a village to really make a difference — the more people understand and see the needs of creators of all abilities, the more inclusive our world can be,” she said in the emailed statement. “This study [from Adobe] shows that everyone can benefit from tools that make social media more accessible. I really appreciate social platforms and creative tools to help me share my story. I hope more accessible options encourage more people with disabilities to make their voices heard.”

Adobe conducted the study last October and surveyed more than a thousand people across the United States who worked either full-time or part-time. Half of those surveyed identified with some type of disability, the company said. Demographically, 50% of the participants were Millennials, followed by Gen X (24%), Gen Z (19%) and Baby Boomers (6%).

“The goal of our second annual accessibility study was to delve deeper into how people use social media and creative tools to increase awareness and representation,” said Andrew Kirkpatrick, who directs Adobe’s accessibility efforts directs, in a recent exclusive interview with me via email. “The results underscore the importance of digital tools to expand the visibility of this topic. It underscores what we’ve always believed: when everyone has access to creative tools, we all benefit. It’s been helpful to engage with the research as we continue to explore ways to further incorporate accessibility into our development processes.”

Among the results, 90% of respondents said that while social media has undeniably expanded the reach of the disability community, many barriers remain. Likewise, 84% of people – including 78% of those without disabilities – said that social media has made them more aware of people with disabilities and their needs. Finally, 81% of people said the disability community “needs more visibility on social media”. In terms of platform, Facebook (50%) and YouTube (46%) are the most popular; both are followed by TikTok (41%) and Instagram (38%).

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“Social media continues to play an important role in how people perceive the world, and digital tools are a crucial part of that…these results show positive momentum, but we all recognize that more needs to be done to increase visibility for all.” promote.” Kirkpatrick said of the lessons learned from the study.

Internally, the feedback, Kirkpatrick said, has been overwhelmingly positive, saying, “We’ve seen such excitement and support around this topic.” He added that Adobe looks forward to sharing the study with the public and providing input on the latest to hear company discoveries. Kirkpatrick said the study represents another step in Adobe’s continued partnership with the community to increase the importance of disability inclusion. “[The study’s results] are showing positive momentum, but we all recognize that more needs to be done to encourage greater visibility for all,” he said.

Stone shared news about Adobe’s study on her Instagram and TikTok accounts.

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Steven is a freelance accessibility and assistive technology journalist based in San Francisco. His work has appeared at places like The Verge, TechCrunch, and Macworld. He has also appeared on podcasts, NPR, and television.

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