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The Importance of Accessibility in Tech

An Interview with Canadian YouTube Star Molly Burke

— March 14, 2019 — Business
Molly Burke is a Canadian YouTuber and motivational speaker who has been living with no vision for 10 years. Molly is one of the inspiring forces behind #DoWhatYouCant, a hashtag created by Samsung that aims to empower the next generation to achieve their goals, no matter what. As the first blind YouTuber to hit over 1 million subscribers, Molly loves sharing her story with fans and recently teamed up with Samsung to showcase the power of accessibility in tech.

Tell us about yourself and why you started your YouTube channel?

I started my YouTube channel to be a creative outlet. I struggled with bullying in my younger years and I constantly found myself trying to fit within someone else’s mold. I would listen to “popular” music and wear “popular” clothing all for the sake of making friends. When that didn’t help me connect with others, I was tired of pretending to be someone I’m not. All of a sudden I started wearing what I wanted, listening to what I wanted and even moved to California. Me sharing my story has helped me immensely and helping others #DoWhatYouCant motivates me every day.

How did Samsung's #DoWhatYouCant hashtag come about and what's the message you hope it sends to your fans?

Aside from being a Samsung tagline, #DoWhatYouCant is also a mantra that I try to embrace every day. My whole life I’ve been told “I shouldn’t, I wouldn’t, I can’t.” I’ve been told that by society and even worse – I’ve told that to myself. But thankfully, I’ve proven all of us wrong. Do What You Can’t is about pushing yourself to do better, to be better and to live more. It’s about innovation and I think it’s something we should all be living by.

How did your recent partnership with Samsung come about? How has technology impacted your life as a social media personality and generally?

I was initially introduced to Samsung by Casey Neistat when we worked on a collaboration about two years ago. He thought that there was a natural fit and that I would love the brand’s message. Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to work on a number of programs with them. Every day technology helps me do something I would otherwise struggle to do. Accessibility in tech has come a long way. For example, 10 years ago I couldn’t even use a smartphone. Now I can fully navigate my Galaxy S10 by myself. I’m able to use voice controls on my phone to draft texts, emails, and reply to comments on my social feeds. Being able to navigate my own device and genuinely connect with my followers is invaluable for someone who has my type of career. Accessible technology is truly equality for someone like me.

How do you reset to be creative?

When you have a career in social media you don’t really get days off, but instead you get time off within a day. Those quiet moments are my time to reset and recharge. Some of the things I look forward to the most are taking a bath with scented bath bombs, listening to audio books or brewing a cup of tea.
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