Earlier today we announced our 2022 list of SpecialEffect Ambassadors and were rightfully challenged on the lack of diversity seen in this year’s group. Firstly, we’d like to thank those who stepped forward and spoke up about this, as we agree and appreciate your comments.
A single tweet wouldn’t have been long enough for us to express all we wanted to say, so in this message we would like to set out for you our current and future plans to improve diversity and inclusion both in our work and in our community.
Our Ambassador programme has been in existence almost as long as SpecialEffect itself and has grown with us over that time. In the past 15 years we’ve been honoured to have nearly 300 ambassadors join us from all different backgrounds, countries and walks of life, including both supporters and people who the charity has been fortunate to help with their accessible technology needs. The only criteria is that these are people who have worked with us over an extended period of time (usually years) and gone ‘above and beyond’ in their commitment to the charity and its mission, whether that be in terms of raising funds, promoting awareness, volunteering their time or collaborating on a project to further our work. As such, being made an Ambassador is simply an opportunity for us to thank those who have helped the charity in some exceptional way for their ongoing support, and without whom it would simply not be possible to do what we do.
As a charity we are committed to diversity, equality, and inclusion and have been working in multiple areas over the last few years to ensure that we are always listening to and learning from our community and the wider community as a whole. That’s not to say that we cannot do more to improve, and we are always thankful for the opportunity to learn and grow.
In regard to a few of the steps we’ve taken in recent years, we’ve been proud to work alongside UKIE and their #RaiseTheGame pledge and sought advice from members of the games industry on the implementation of the ‘SpecialEffect Stream Team’ which currently has around 100 members, to ensure we could create and maintain a safe space for diverse communities and supporters.
We are also in the process of planning a revitalisation of our Ambassador programme in 2023 and will be taking all of this feedback on board so that we can ensure the next phase of the scheme celebrates our community in all its variety.
Thank you for taking the time to read this message, we would love to welcome advice, support or conversations with any who would like to know more or would be interested in helping us be the best we can be.