“Respect. Empower. Include. Win.”

Not only is this a great presidential campaign slogan (thanks Obama!), we also find it’s a great strategy for agency life.

As an ethics-based design agency, at Carbon, we’re always trying to do our bit to make the world a better place. We specialise in working with charities, social health, wellbeing, education and environmental organisations; helping to make life-changing organisations get their voices heard. With the recent conversation regarding society’s serious shortcomings in terms of diversity and inclusion (particularly in terms of creative and media representation) we wanted to champion this cause as an agency.

Beyond Empower project

For the past couple of months, we’ve been cooking up an exciting project with Beyond Empower which we can’t wait to share with you all. However, due to live project client confidentially, we hope you don’t mind if – for the time being –  we share just a snapshot!

Recently, we had the pleasure of welcoming Adam (he’s the guy with the ginger beard and glorious hair) as an honorary member of our Carbon family. Adam is a Deaf BSL interpreter who specialises in media and TV productions. He’s also hilarious and constantly cracking jokes.  We’ve been working with Adam on a special video project for Beyond Empower, ensuring that our amazing piece of work is not only accurate, but accessible to as wide an audience as possible.

Our filming day was possibly one of the most exciting and rewarding days at Carbon yet. There are businesses who might make excuses or grumble about the added expense of hiring an interpreter in order to work with a hearing-impaired person. But for Beyond Empower, they felt it was not only important, but fundamental to have real representation within our work.  I think it’s fair to say that, by having Adam join the team, our video went from being great to flippin’ fantastic!

As someone who has been using sign language his whole life, Adam is a true expert in what he does. He has unparalleled linguistic know-how, working with complete ease and confidence. Not only did he challenge us and keep us on our toes as an agency, but he also entertained us with stories of hand cramp after interpreting for 8+ hours for the Emmerdale Omnibus specials (FYI, apparently ITV offers better refreshments than we do!).

A beautiful and diverse world

It’s clear that we learnt a lot from the experience, one of our personal favourites being the BSL sign for ‘Merry Christmas’ – we recommend you Google it, if you don’t know it!

More importantly, we discovered the truly magical and enriching moments that can happen when you respect, empower and include in the creative world. It’s not about giving people a voice, it’s about shutting up and listening to the voice they already have. There’s a beautiful and diverse world out there, you’ve just got to have the guts to embrace it and get stuck in.

As an agency, we’re super excited to be working on more projects in the future which centre around inclusion and accessibility. We might even invite Adam back – but next time, we’ll be sure to stock up on better tea and biscuits!