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 ( 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, or long URL

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 (, 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.

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

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