A Hearing Loss & Late Deafened Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Caption’

Ask, It Really Is That Simple

In Accommodations for Deaf, advocating, captions, Deafness, Hearing Loss, Travel on March 28, 2015 at 2:29 pm

By Michele Linder


I’ve said this many times before when beginning a blog article, “I love to travel.”

It’s true, I absolutely love going somewhere new and finding out what there is to do there… what services and sights I can take advantage of during my visit. This is true of my plans to attend the 2015 SayWhatClub Convention in San Antonio, Texas, coming up on May 13th-16th. I’ve been to San Atonio before — once as a teenager visiting Six Flags, a visit to the Alamo with my husband and three small children in 1986, and again several years later for my nephew’s Air Force graduation — but it’s been awhile and I’m sure much has changed.

During my Internet research, I was looking into bicycle rental, both for myself and for any other convention goers who might be wanting to pedal around the city and along the River Walk. I found B-Cycle San Antonio. I plan to get a 7 days pass since I’m staying the entire week. It’s a great deal!

I contacted B-Cycle via their Facebook page and requested information on where to find a good map for bike paths in the city. I also was curious to know whether the demo video embedded on their website had sound, as there were no captions and I can’t hear videos on my computer, even with the sound all the way up. I let them know about our upcoming convention — that our group is a not-for-profit, worldwide forum for people with hearing loss — and said I’d like to share their website on our SWC Facebook page, but I don’t tend to share things that contain videos without captions, as it’s very frustrating for those of us with hearing loss to encounter one-more-thing we can’t understand.

Long story short… I got a very prompt reply to my question about bike path maps and a recommendation to ride the Mission Trail, but no mention of captioning on the video.

Unexpectedly, just a few days later, I received another message saying the B-Cycle team had revisited my request for captioning on their video. I was assured B-Cycle was discussing the issue and trying to come up with a solution to add captions. In the meantime, they linked a how-to guide to the demo video. Their message made me smile, not only because of B-Cycle’s interest in making their website accessible, but also because they signed their message, “Love, The BCycle team”.

Yeah, I was feeling the love. :o)

Fast forward… Two weeks later and several messages back and forth…

Me – sending links to information on how to add captions to YouTube videos.

B-Cycle – updating me and asking for other information.

Me – consulting the CCAC Captioning forum I belong to to see how we could get the embedded video captioned and asking about DNN format (out of my realm of knowledge) for better understanding.

CCACer – uploading and captioning the video on Amara in an attempt to provide a captioned video that could possibly replace the embedded one without captions.

Me – sending B-Cycle links to the captioned video on Amara.

B-Cycle – linking a YouTube version of the demo video, with captions, to their website. NOTE: B-Cycle will be overhauling their entire website in May and they will make sure to caption any and all videos embedded in the new website.

Imagine the world without barriers! Yes, yes I can, but it doesn’t happen automatically… unfortunately, you have to help it along.

First, there must be an awareness that barriers exist, so sometimes those of us who have a barrier simply need to ask for what we need to make that awareness happen.

As awareness increases, more and more companies and individuals will consider accessibility as part of their process and there might come a day when we won’t have to ask.  Captioning will no longer be the afterthought it often is today.

What a glorious day that will be!

Thank you, B-Cycle. I wish every company or person asked to provide captioning for their videos online was as responsive and open to accessibility.

Thank you, CCAC Captioning, a great advocacy group whose sole mission is quality captioning universally.  It’s an online community of cooperation and collaboration between those — individuals, groups, providers and consumers — who have an interest in access via captioning.

Thank you to others who take the time (it actually takes very little time if you make contacting owners of videos without captions a regular thing) to ask for what all of us need.


One lone voice asking to be included   a few more (B-Cycle Team) who team up to consider the request → over 500 CCAC members by asking (on their forum) for information and assistance to get it done → more than 1,800 by sharing the success on the SayWhatClub via our SWC Email Lists, Closed Facebook Groups, SWC Gen-Y (a group for those 18-40 year olds) and Say What Club Friends with Hearing Loss, and those who follow us on SayWhatClub, A Worldwide Forum for People with Hearing Loss Facebook, the public page where we share hearing loss related news items, articles, and links to captioned videos → thousands more from B-Cycle’s own website, YouTube viewers, followers of the SWC and CCAC blogs, and the many who share those blogs once read → and so on, and so on, and so on → before you know it you’ve changed the world for MILLIONS!

Why Not Caption?

In Accommodations for Deaf, advocating, captions, Closed Captioning, Deafness, Disability Rights, Hearing Loss, late deafened, Partially Deaf on April 25, 2014 at 5:18 am


by Michele Linder

Here in the United States, we enjoy a high rate of captioning on television (though we still have our frustrations when we come across an exempt program or one where the rules have not been enforced), but New Zealand’s rate of public broadcasting captioning is less than 25%, a level well below some third world countries.  Unfortunately, you’ll find those who argue vehemently as to why a higher rate of captioning cannot be achieved.  You’ll even find people who make excuses as to why captioning shouldn’t be provided.


I was recently asked to write an article for Caption It New Zealand.  Below is the article which first appeared on their website:


Why wouldn’t you caption? “…when you look at the adverse effects of exclusion, and consider the very weighty costs to our society, clearly, the benefits of providing captioning far outweigh any monetary cost incurred to provide it. Captioning truly is a bargain”

April 18, 2014

by Michele Thomas Linder.

In my personal advocacy efforts for captioning, in all forms needed, the one excuse that is offered most frequently is: Captioning is cost prohibitive — “It costs too much.” and/or “We don’t have the funds.” Those failing to provide captions are most concerned with who is going to pay for them. When I hear those excuses, my response is always to point out that the focus should be on the investment and benefit of inclusion and accessibility. Because, when you look at the adverse effects of exclusion, and consider the very weighty costs to our society, clearly, the benefits of providing captioning far outweigh any monetary cost incurred to provide it. Captioning truly is a bargain.

Keeping people with barriers dependent on others — some negative people think those with disabilities should rely on their family and friends for assistance, but that’s not even possible for some as they may be isolated without family or much connection to the outside world in their social life. It’s simply not a realistic solution — robs them of their self-worth, first and foremost.

In a broader realm, it’s not in the best interest of society, as a whole, to force people with barriers to depend on others. One way or the other, dependence comes with a cost and we all pay for those dependencies whether we think we do, or not. It makes so much more sense to pay, monetarily, for providing what someone needs to remain independent than to have them draw on public assistance or government, which is what excluding them often forces.

The World Heath Organization cites the number of people with “Disabling hearing loss refers to hearing loss greater than 40dB in the better hearing ear in adults and a hearing loss greater than 30dB in the better hearing ear in children.” to be 360,000,000 worldwide. That’s a huge slice of the world population to limit by not providing access to communication.

Too many in our society focus on not wanting their taxpayer dollars to pay for things that don’t directly affect them, and they might even think those asking for accommodation feel as if they are owed something by society. Also, unless you are deaf yourself, you might not understand how limiting that particular barrier is, however, it is worth noting that disability is something that can happen to anyone, in an instant. But if you woke up tomorrow not able to hear you would want accommodations in place so that you could remain as independent and informed as you were the day before disaster struck. That is guaranteed. Not because the world owes you anything, but because it makes sense in the broader picture, and because it’s the right thing to do.

Accessibility is an investment which works to remove the barriers of an increasingly complex and competitive world, allowing those who cannot communicate in traditional ways to participate, contribute and compete on the same level as everyone else. Quality and uniform captioning enables millions to remain independent and vital in a world that too easily justifies excluding them by placing more value on the monetary aspect of what a thing costs, rather than on what providing it accomplishes.

When looking at captioning in this light, why wouldn’t you want people with barriers to be a part of a productive society by including them?

Michele Thomas Linder is an active Advocate of Captioning in the USA. She is profoundly deaf and is currently living in Munich Germany.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 223 other followers