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Cute Creature Discomforts – a wake-up call

I am a fan of Creature Discomforts!

I just discovered these delightful creations from Aardman Animations while writing for another blog. As I wrote in that blog entry, these animations were made to help re-brand a UK charity called Leonard Cheshire Disability.

This type of communication appeals to me immensely. I admire the animation work of Aardman Animations and love watching their stories unfold. At the same time, in this case, I am also “educated” about disabilities. Mary Poppins’ rule about “a spoonful of sugar” helping the medicine go down frequently applies to education – and I could add: technical communication. How to get a difficult, serious, sensitive message across in the best possible way? That is a task that many technical communicators face every day. Seeing a presentation like this is a tremendous inspiration, although the effort behind clay or stop-motion animation is so huge that it is definitely not the solution for everyone.

So what’s with the “cute” in the title? Well, I do love these figures. I have always liked stories told with animal figures. Some of my favorites childrens’ stories were populated with talking animals, such as Bernard and Bianca from Margery Sharp’s The Rescuers (and I am talking about the books, not the movies, which I have not seen). I think using these creatures is an excellent move for these ads.

The “wake-up call” refers to some of the facts found in the quiz on the website. There are issues concerning people with disabilities which governments and the public need to face and solve. Considering the stereotypes and prejudices that abound, it is important to educate everyone through well-thought out campaigns using all the modern channels of communication that technology permits. The tv spots are meant to raise awareness and change our perception of what disability is. No one communication method works for everyone, but I think this method will reach a large group of people. I am happy if this blog entry and the blog entry on the STC AccessAbility SIG blog can help raise awareness in the minds of a few more readers.