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Slovo Spotlight: Interview with EDI Manager Tereza Michalkova

Posted by Slovo on 2023-11-13

In the lead up to handing over to the next Slovo Editorial Team, we are running a series of interviews with the current team about the ins and outs of their role and their experience working at Slovo. Applications are open now until 23:59 on the 16th November. Apply through this link. We can't wait to read your applications!

Following our interview with Typesetter Kexin Cui, in which we discussed managing the workload at crunch time, we are chatting with EDI manager Tereza Michalkova about the importance of accessibility in academia.

Why did you apply for the role of EDI editor?

TM: I applied for this role because I wanted to get involved in the publishing process of academia, as well as make it more accessible to everyone, regardless of ability. It presented itself as the perfect opportunity to learn and grow for me, as well as help Slovo do the same.

Can you explain a little bit about what your role involves?

TM: The responsibilities of EDI Editor are very fluid and depend on many factors. The role requires a great dose of creativity and willingness to take ownership of new initiatives and processes. The main role of the EDI Editor is to be the voice of potentially disadvantaged and marginalized contributors to and readers of the journal. While you are a core part of the editing team, you have to maintain a healthy distance from the editing and publishing processes to be able to identify weak spots and opportunities for improvement.

Why is this so important within Slovo and academia generally?

TM: Academia notoriously lacks the desired level of inclusivity that has become standard in other industries. The relatively narrow variety of ways in which one can get involved with academia make it hard or even impossible for many. However, I believe everyone, regardless of disability, should be able to participate. By ensuring access to the creative and publishing processes we open academia to new people with unique thoughts and perspectives, which will serve to enrich our understanding of the world around us.

What are you most proud about during your tenure?

TM: I am really proud of everything we achieved over the past year, but if I were to choose one thing, it would be the launch of our audio platform. We managed to publish several articles in audio format on our Spotify channel, SLOVOJournal. By doing so, we dismantled the barriers in accessing Slovo’s content to visually impaired individuals, as well as individuals with learning difficulties.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking of applying for your role?

TM: Don’t be scared of a role with no clear-cut responsibilities - look at is as an opportunity to make it your own and make your unique mark on SLOVO. There will be many obstacles along the way, especially if you are starting something new, but always remember who your responsibility is toward and fight for what you believe to be important. You can make a real difference for so many in this role!

EDI manager responsibilities responsibilities:

  • Keeping up-to-date on tools and media used to improve accessibility for a diverse range of disabilities.

  • Reaching out to and gathering know-how from organizations dedicated to improving accessibility and ensuring inclusiveness.

  • Monitoring the SLOVO website and ensuring maximum accessibility is achieved.

  • Overseeing the SLOVOJournal Spotify Channel and managing all stages of the audio process.

  • Working with the editorial board and authors in making editorial decisions aimed at improving accessibility and inclusivity.

  • Being perceptive to fellow students and serving as the focal point for the Slovo audience to reach out to with ideas and requests.

  • Ensuring any in-person event is fully accessible and inclusive.


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