Thursday, January 1, 2015


On December 29, a historic video was posted on YouTube: the #WithCaptions video! This video, produced by the Glide video texting app YouTube channel, brought together several deaf talents including Daniel Durant, "Matthew" on Switched at Birth, and the deaf rapper Sean Forbes.

One by one, the deaf people, led by hearing app creator Sarah Glide, talk about the need for captions on YouTube. Real captions, not the automatic captioning ("craptions").  The video uses the catchy hashtag, "#withcaptions." There is no mention of automatic captioning vs real captions - the message is kept simple for maximum impact - caption, period! Viewers are urged to tag the names of YouTube creators they want to see captioning, in the comments area. Already, many top YouTubers have been tagged in the comments, such as Jenna Marbles.

For those of us who are wondering what the fuss is over the craptions, there's a world of difference. If one watches carefully the automatic captioning (autocaps) and compares it to what's being said, they don't always make a lot of sense. Automatic captions must be edited to turn them into understandable captions.

Caption Action 2 is thrilled ("pah!") that this excellent video was created. This is the clearest sign (no pun intended!) that the deaf and hard of hearing community is FED UP with being left out of YouTube. After years of pushing for captions on YouTube and other places, Caption Action 2 is delighted that more people are getting involved - both deaf and hearing. Plus, the Caption Action 2 Facebook group is growing! New people are joining daily, and best of all, more young deaf and hard of hearing people are joining as they recognize the need to advocate for access on YouTube.

After its release, word of the #withcaptions video quickly spread through the deaf and hard of hearing community. This video now has over 11,000 views! It was even tweeted by Marlee Matlin, who, after Caption Action 2 tweeted her to ask for help in getting the word out, responded with a very emphatic YES!!. Work is continuing to get the word out to the people who really need to see it - the YouTube creators. As a result of the #withcaptions campaign, more small YouTubers have begun to caption, and selected ones are being published on the companion Captioned Web TV blogsite.

At the same time,  we will keep the earlier petition to Smosh open until Smosh captions! That petition is growing slowly but steadily, and more importantly, people are posting comments on it. The most recent comment was "My son is an avid Smosh fan, and I would like to be able to understand more of what he is watching."

Watch the #WithCaptions Video and Share It With Everyone You Know!

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