Friday, May 1, 2015

Now Petitioning The White House!

What's that?? Petitioning the White House? Why? The deaf community and its supporters are petitioning the White House because the White House is guilty of engaging in a common practice that denies deaf and hard of hearing people equal access to videos. The common practice is posting videos first, and captioning later.

Sometimes it's days later. Other times it is several hours later. It does not matter what the length of the delay is. There should be ZERO delay. The White House should not be posting videos until they are captioned.

See the Problem

Below is a screenshot taken of the newest video posted to the White House YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/whitehouse/videos) at the time this blog post was being written. Note the automatic captions displayed. You can tell they are automatic because they are surrounded by three parentheses, and when you click the CC button the words "English (auto-generated)" appear in the upper left corner. Plus, at the time this blog post was drafted, the first five videos listed had no captioning.


Some of the videos on the White House YouTube videos listing have the CC logo. Others don't have the CC logo but if you click on them, they are in fact captioned. It is not known why this is the case. It may or may not have something to do with the fact the White House is posting videos first, and captioning later.

Wrong Captioning Attitude 

Too many YouTube channels have the attitude of post first, caption later, which is NOT equal access. Change must come from the top. The top is the White House, which is supposed to champion equal access for people with disabilities.


Petitioning the White House... Petitioning the White House...

So, someone who was fed up with being left out of the initial viewing experience decided to create a petition on the White House petitions site. This petition calls for the White House to end this post first, caption later practice. The petition is at short URL http://wh.gov/iBvP9, or long URL https://petitions.whitehouse.gov//petition/ensure-all-white-house-youtube-videos-are-captioned-moment-they-are-made-available-public.



If the petition achieves the target indicated in the picture, there is a good chance the White House will respond to the petition. This is explained on the Terms of Participation page (https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/how-why/terms-participation), which states "To cross the second threshold and require a response, a petition must reach 100,000 signatures within 30 days."

Get the word out!

If you live in the United States, you can sign this petition. If you are outside the United States you can not sign but you can still help get the word out. Suggested hashtags to use on twitter: #WHCaptionsNow or #GovCaptions4All.

http://wh.gov/iBvP9

Note: After you sign you must verify signature by email. In some cases the email may appear in your "junk" mail folder.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Thank Tyler Oakley for Captioning by Donating to Trevor!

By our estimate, Tyler Oakley paid more than one thousand dollars out of his own pocket to cover the cost of captioning a video backlog going back seven years. AND he did that now-classic Hear Me Out video (inspired by Rikki Poynter). Now, the international deaf and hard of hearing community has a chance to thank Tyler for captioning and for advocating so strongly for it, by donating to his birthday cause (his birthday is March 22), the Trevor Project.

What is the Trevor Project? It is a nonprofit organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to gay and lesbian youth. You don't have to be a supporter of the gay community to donate. For us personally, our motivation was to say thank you for captioning!

For just $5 minimum (about the cost of a premium coffee, comic book, or a pair of pantyhose), you can say "thank you" to Tyler for captioning by donating at http://www.prizeo.com/tyler.  (To make a $5 donation, select "I'm In" then scroll down to "enter a custom amount" and enter $5.00). Prizeo takes both Paypal and credit cards. You can even leave a message (at the time of making a donation) for Tyler on the supporters' wall. Others have already left messages for Tyler thanking him for captioning, as shown below. Leaving such a message, even anonymously, is highly encouraged! You don't have to be a fan to donate!



 

Remember this video? It has had a huge impact on the YouTuber community! Over 1,678,000 views and still going since its initial posting on January 16, 2015! All those views mean that more and more hearing people - especially young people - are becoming aware of the need for captioning online. It has already inspired many small youtubers to begin closed captioning.  Thank Tyler by donating to the Trevor Project!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Want Smosh Captioned? Go After Defy Media!

It is impossible to get the attention of Smosh. Several people tweeted Smosh in response to Tyler Oakley's video, asking them to caption. But Smosh has over 2.5 million followers on Twitter, which means that a tweet to them never gets noticed. So how to get Smosh to notice your demand for captions?

Answer: Go after Defy Media! Defy Media is the company that owns Smosh and also Break.com, a site that also does not caption and recently started offering free movies online. Defy Media has only just over 1,000 followers on Twitter. which means a tweet to them is more likely to be noticed. Defy Media has a facebook page with fewer than 2,000 likes, again that means it is easier to be noticed.

So if you want captions on Smosh - and you should want captions on Smosh, because of Smosh's sheer size and huge potential influence on YouTube if they caption (19 million subscribers on main YouTube channel, a game channel, a cartoon channel, and a movie coming out soon), reach out to the following:


  1. Defy Media Facebook - You can either post on the page, or send a private message.
  2. Defy Media Twitter - @defymedia
  3. Defy Media's President - @keithrichman
  4. Defy Media's Marketing - @eliztesch
  5. Defy Media's Search Engine Optimization Specialist - @hotelcafejunkie
  6. Defy Media's Creative Team - @defycreatives

And, of course, don't forget the #CaptionSmosh petition!