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.
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!