Photo Credit: James Watkins
Thank you to everyone who came to our DevLearn 2018 session! We were inspired by your attendance, your thoughtful questions, and the solutions you shared with us and each other.
Keep in touch about what you’re doing!
- Here it is! We’re releasing this work under a Creative Commons 4.0 ND license, so feel free to share in its original form, with credit.
- Download the PDF, get some practice, and send us your results at wwwwelearning at gmail dot com for feedback!
- Gender Representation in eLearning
Update: Stock photos of transgender individuals have greatly improved since 2015, but there’s still a gap in showing them in work environments. Remember that the goal isn’t necessarily to show someone who is “definitely transgender” or “definitely cisgender” — you can’t tell by looking at someone whether they are trans or cis — but to expand how you represent gender. Try searching “androgynous” as well as “transgender”.
- How to Be Disabled, According to Stock Photography
- The Genderbread Person – Suggested by one of our session participants! Since posting, we’ve also learned that some prefer the Gender Unicorn; check out both and see what meets your needs!
Resources for Language
- The GLAAD Transgender Media Reference Guide
- TransRightsNow – Fantastic downloadable (or purchasable) educational posters
- Generatedata.com – Useful generator of names and other data, useful for expanding on the genders/nationalities/ethnic groups you may be focused on.
Resources for Visuals
- The Humaans Illustration Library – Mix and match skin tones, hair, and outfits. Includes scenery and a wheelchair. Requires Sketch for Mac.
- Illustrations on iStockPhoto (download as EPS to be able to edit the images)
- CreateHER Stock Photos – emphasis on women of color
- Nappy.com – emphasis on people of color
- Pexels – free, high-quality stock photos with great representation of women and above average representation of people of color
- WOCINTECHCHAT and The Jopwell Collection – We LOVE these CC and free collections shared by Barbara Waxer in her session later that day! Also, the fine folks at Videvo have plentiful, free green-screen stock video with women of color — and have tagged them “devlearn“.
- Disabilitiyimages.com – stock images of real people representing different abilities. Photoability.net is also good, though wheelchair-heavy; we do appreciate their gallery of people in professional settings.
Questions People Asked Us Later
- My audience is 100% one race or one gender. Should I make my elearning representative anyway, or not bother? We’re for “authentic+” representation. If you know the demographic breakdown of your audience, push the envelope toward a little more diversity. Remember, most organizations are aspiring toward greater diversity (even if they don’t know how to get there), and this is one way to help.
- What if there really are no good purchasable images to represent my audience? You always have the option of creating your own images and illustrations, although you might be limited by time and budget. Even smartphone photos can make a huge impression; authenticity is a powerful communicator and it doesn’t require high production values (although there’s nothing wrong with brushing up on your smartphone photography skills a bit, either). Once someone at a high enough level notices your work, you’ll start getting the budget for custom shoots. And remember, you also have the option of illustrations, whether they’re sketched on paper or built on computer.
For example, we were inspired by this DemoFest entry from Sauntura Jones and Lisa Kolkman, who have clearly been working hard on representation on their own. We hope we’ll be able to post more screenshots soon!
Got a great example of representation being done well? Email us at wwwwelearning at gmail dot com and we’ll share it here!