When listening can be exhausting…..

 

[ Image: A woman who is wearing a short-sleeves purple shirt, covering her face with her hands near a computer.]
[ Image: A woman who is wearing a short-sleeves purple shirt, covering her face with her hands near a computer.]
Hello, everyone!

After a long hiatus, I have moved to a new blog on WordPress and renaming  the blog from “Empower The Talent” to “ Redefining Trails”. I decided to make this change because I felt that this is be needed and I wanted to start new again. I will be eventually closing my other blog on Blogger.It was a nice run on Blogger, but it was time for me to move to a better place.

Onward, I would like to get into a discussion about “Concentration Fatigue”. You may ask, “ What is Concentration Fatigue?”

The definition of Concentration Fatigue is:

“ caused by heavy amounts of concentration required during normal day-to-day activities.It usually kicks in when deaf people have to lip-read, sign or listen to somebody for a long period of time.”

Let’s imagine that you have a deaf/Deaf/HOH co-worker. Your department does back to back meetings on a daily basis. Now typically, a workday is 8 hours in a  day where everyone gets very tired at the end of the day. However, for someone that is deaf/Deaf/HOH can be very exhausting! Imagine having to listen to meetings, networking with other professionals, and using phone on the job. Being a deaf/Deaf/HOH professional is not an easy task! But somehow, we still get our work done well!

It is good to be aware of this issue as a hearing co-worker or employer. To a D/deaf and HOH employee, hearing is a lot of work and takes a lot to learn how to manage concentration fatigue. However, there are things that employers can do to help minimize concentration fatigue.

Tips to help workers with D/deaf/HOH workers to minimize Concentration Fatigue:

  • Offer accommodations. Many accommodations are available to assist D/deaf and HOH workers understand communication effectively.
  • Make the environment deaf friendly. Face them when talking, be mindful of lighting conditions, avoid noisy areas, and etc.
  • Try not to take it too personally if the person isn’t talking too much. They may be very tired from a long day of listening from working.

In addition, there are tips for D/deaf and HOH employees in reducing chances of Concentration Fatigue:

  • Try taking breaks between the down times throughout the day.
  • Change your environment: Avoiding noisy areas, use visual information such as captioning and pictures, and communicate with people using assistive technology.
  • It can help to change positions when you are talking to someone. For example, try suggesting to sit in a round table when it comes to group conversations. That way you can see everyone’s faces to lip read better.

Concentration Fatigue can be a problem for D/deaf and HOH professionals in the workplace. It can hurt a D/deaf and HOH employee’s productivity if it is left unchecked. However, if everyone can have an open conversation on how to minimize Concentration Fatigue. It would be a good start on creating a deaf-friendly and aware workplace in an organization.

 

 

Why We Need Accessible Foreign Language Learning?

A girl with brown hair on a laptop with white scribbled speech bubbles in the background around her, saying:
[ Image Description: A girl with brown hair on a laptop with white scribbled speech bubbles in the background around her, saying: ” Hello”, “Hallo”, “Hola”, ” Bonjour”,  and “Ola”. ]
In seventh grade, I took a Spanish class because it was suggested for me to learn the language for future job prospects. My family members always told me how important it was to learn Spanish since America has a huge amount of Spanish speakers. As I started to take the class, everything was fine when I did the reading and writing portion. It was the speaking portion that was a challenge! I could not pronounce a single Spanish word correctly as it frustrated me that I wasn’t getting the language quicker, like my hearing peers. Being a Hard-Of-Hearing student taking Spanish was tough! I dropped out of the class due to getting bad marks. Since then, I never bothered to take Spanish again. I opted for Latin when I got to high school when I needed to fulfil the language requirement. Fast forward to today, I felt mature and ready to try Spanish again.
It didn’t occur to me that what I really needed was a different way for me to learn the language. So I searched one day to find a language app that would fit my needs. As I searched on the internet, I encountered an app called “Duolingo”, which is a very popular language learning app. I was at first, going to dismiss this app if the app emphasises on listening and speaking exercises. However, I found out a lot of D/deaf and HOH people adore this app for one reason: The option to skip listening and speaking exercises. In the end, I ended up giving this app a shot which put me back on the road to learning an additional language.
What I learned from all this is that access to learning to foreign languages are important. A good advantage about Duolingo is that it gives options to learn the language differently. However, this is not about just Duolingo. Turning away D/deaf and HOH people from learning a language is wrong. I realise that there is a need for foreign language learning to be accessible.
While there are many resources out there to learn foreign languages, there are things that mobile language learning apps can do to make foreign language learning accessible to the D/deaf and HOH.
  1.  Make sure there are visual aids to guide learning.
Much like in a classroom setting, D/deaf and HOH people may need visual aids to help them with language learning. Closed Captioning or Subtitles can be helpful. Sometimes they need a sign language interpreter if they are signers.
  1. Don’t put emphasis on speaking and listening.
As said before, Duolingo makes speaking and listening exercises optional. This is great if you still want to continue the learning a language if you are in a quiet place. Some people cannot learn auditory, which it can be helpful for them to process and retain information better.
  1. Ask for feedback.
In my previous post about captioning, try to get feedback from the community to improve learning. Improvements and adjustments can make your mobile apps better.
As I will continue my journey to learn Spanish, I am more confident learning the language now compared to when I was in seventh grade. Language learning apps are rise and business are finding the value of learning a second language. It would be a shame if D/deaf and HOH miss out on these opportunities if there aren’t more accessible language apps, like Duolingo.

What I Noticed When I Took An Online Class

It has been a long while since my last blog post! During my hiatus, I have taken a self-paced online class. The online class was related to my targeted career interests and it has been an interesting subject to learn.  I learned a lot from this online class and gained some knowledge to apply it in my career . 

A row of brown desks with two chairs and a white laptop in a library.
[ Image Description: A row of brown desks with two chairs and a white laptop in a library.]

Online classes have been on the rise in the recent years. Many people are finding ways to build up their knowledge and skills for the variety of reasons to keep up with the knowledge economy.  While I haven’t taken a lot of online classes, I find that many of the online classes are different from each other. I found key noticeable differences from the college online classes and non-college courses.

1.    Differences between pressures to complete assignments.

The current online classes I took was self-paced and not connected to a college. While you are still graded on the work , it’s more relaxed compared to college online courses. College online courses in my experience expect a lot and can be intense. It is not for people who aren’t used self-disciplined. Most of my college online courses have deadlines on when assignments are done, the non-college online classes did not deadlines. You still have to finish the assignments in order to the move onto the next lessons.

2.    Class Discussions.

The non-college online courses didn’t promote class participation a lot. The college online classes that I took did. Participation was a part of your grade for every week. I did missed the participation part bit when I did took online class from college.

3.    How the way content is set up.

Depending on the instructor, some online classes are set up in different ways. College online classes dig into the course content in depth, which is not surprising if you are studying for your major and career. Non-college online courses do go into the course content a little bit. However, if you want to go into the course subject deeper, you may have to look outside of that.

In the end, it is up to the online learner to decide which type of classes are work best for them. It all comes down to what you want to get out of learning from online courses. Online classes can be a mixed bag for some people, but lot of people who are looking to  continue to expand their knowledge virtually.

Questions from my readers:

 What has been your experiences with online classes? Do you like or hate them?

What Businesses and Colleges Should Learn from Berkeley’s Lawsuit Response

Picture of a stressed person who is sitting at a desk with two stacks of books at each end of the desk and two pieces of paper in the middle. One stack of books is taller than the other.
Whether or not, people would agree with the decision removing the content from the public. This still shows that businesses​, even colleges like Berkeley, MIT, and Harvard are still behind when it comes to accessibility issues. The American Disabilities Act is over 25 years old ( Around about 27 years old in fact!). It is more important now to learn how to avoid these issues in order prevent these type of situations.
As, a Hard of Hearing person, I can completely understand how sometimes expenses can become an issue. But, it is no excuse to not make your content accessible.

Lessons Learned from the Berkeley’s Lawsuit Case

Be Accessible from the Beginning

While I am not sure how long Berkeley had their online courses for the public view up,  one of their first mistakes was making sure the content was accessible from the beginning.  It is important if whenever you plan to provide something for public view, you have to put accessibility in mind.
 This article from DailyTekk explains this:

 “Many websites are more accessible now than they were a decade ago. Many large companies now include accessibility considerations in their Web development process; however, it’s often too late in the process.”

There is a reason why there are so many complaints about accessibility being too expensive. If content wasn’t built with the accessibility in mind, then it is harder to make an existing inaccessible content become accessible.  That is it is important to do research first and cover all your bases to ensure your target audiences receive and learn the message. While it may look time-consuming, it saves stress, resources, and trouble if you put accessibility as your priority.
Accessibility is not just a social trend, it is a demand issue.

In my past blog post, I wrote about the Economic Model of Disability, where we need to move from thinking disability is a social issue to a demand issue. With the rise of people becoming disabled or already being disabled today, it is worth something to move towards to when there is a potential market that should be tapped into.
Not saying we should completely move from the Medical and Social Model, both the Medical and Social Models of Disability will always have a place in our society.  However, there are downsides to both models when applying them in a business setting.

“ Instead of addressing disability as a personal issue or as a social problem, which places great stress on government agencies and public service providers, businesses can use their talents and expertise to analyze and evaluate the growing disability market, and generate market-driven solutions that effectively accommodate the diverse needs of people with disabilities.”DrumBeat Blog.

Looking at disability as a demand issue is a much better strategy. Successful accessibility requires a lot of research and understanding your market. Once those are mastered, it would be easier to be not caught off guard by complaints of the lack of accessibility.
If anything that can be learned from the Berkeley lawsuit response, understanding the disability target market would have saved them from a lawsuit. However, what’s done is done. The best thing that Berkeley, any college, or any business  can learn from this is the power of understanding your target market can help your business, as well as following laws and regulations.
Conclusion

Perhaps, it is time to look at disability in a different way. Looking at a disability in a social perspective have helped advanced society to makes strides with accessibility and disability rights. However,  we should be looking at disability from an economic perspective that can help businesses and college strategize their marketing strategies to improve accessibility. Making content accessible should be a first priority, which can save you time from trying to fix the issue later on.  At the end, Berkeley and many other businesses still have a lot to learn about accessibility. Let’s hope this lesson learned for anyone in the future.

Your Biggest Strength is Being Underestimated

When I was in high school, I have took 2 years of Latin. It was a pretty interesting language class . However, this was not just about taking Latin class. I am a Hard of Hearing person, as many of you may know. On my last year of Latin, I remembered in a parent-teacher meeting I had that included my Latin teacher. One comment that stood out to me was my Latin teacher’s fear of me of not doing well in his class due to my deafness.
As a young 17 year old high school senior, I didn’t think about what he said to me  too much. To me, it was normal for teachers to be worried about how well I do in their classes. Most times I usually proved them wrong by doing the best that I can in classes. However, I reflect back to that time  sometimes and learned from that moment. I never thought being hearing loss would be an issue when taking Latin. It is usually in the back of my mind. On the the other hand, I got used to the comments and sometimes take it as a challenge to prove people wrong. Now I won’t say I am a confident all the time as I do have my low moments.  But my determination and supportive family members are the reason why I had made it far in school.

“Being underestimated is one of the biggest competitive advantages you can have.Embrace it.”— Unknown

This quote stuck out to me because there are many people who can relate to being underestimated and used it to become competitive. People underestimating you is not easy thing to deal with regardless what person you are. What people may think you are at disadvantage, when in reality it can be your fuel for success. It is better to take up the challenge to try to prove people wrong.  It reminds you to stay competitive in today’s fast moving business world.
In the end, I did end up doing well, despite my Latin teacher’s fear. To me, the class was nothing more than a challenge accepted to drive myself to succeed.  Being underestimated does have its benefits after all.
My questions for my readers:
Was there was a time you felt underestimated? If so, what are things you did that helped you succeed?

Knowing When To Give Up

When I was an undergraduate, I had a set goal to become teacher and I was very ambitious to get my PhD one day.  I always placed high expectations on myself, when it came to education. However, before my junior year, my grandfather who I was very close to died. While I still continued in my studies, I realized my passion for teaching was wavering and I was stubborn to admit that.
Overtime, I made a very tough decision to discontinue my pursue to teaching for personal reasons. I ended up going to graduate school to get my Masters in Human Resources. At the end of graduate career, my desire to go to school to a PhD level has died as well. It took a lot of self-awareness for myself to learn when to give up! We live in a society where we motto, “ Quitters Never Win” where is giving up is seen as a bad thing.
“It’s OK to give up on a dream to reach for a new one. Dreams come and go and there is nothing wrong with letting go of one dream and creating another one. Let go of dreams, but don’t ever lose your ambition. Don’t settle for anything less than what your heart desires.”-Caitlin Austin, Why It is Sometimes It Okay To Give Up
While this quote is interesting, it is relatable to one’s personal career development. Just because one door closes, doesn’t mean you cannot open another door. People are too used to never quitting, while it is admiring to not quit. You have to measure the risks and benefits between quitting and sticking with it.
“The overall point it makes is pretty undeniable: when your goals become more stressful than they’re worth, there’s no shame in giving up.”-Whitson Gordon,Why Giving Up is Sometimes the Best Solution to a Problem
The bottom line: If the priorities change in your life, you should be allowed to get a new dream. Career changes are a never ending evolution of change. Embrace the change and don’t feel afraid of to give up.
Questions to my readers:
Was there ever a time you felt bad about giving up a dream? What did you do about it?
If you have changed your career, what led you to do that?

The Truth About Telephones

Picture of a black cord telephone.

We live in a world that relies heavily on auditory communication on a constant basis. While, I can understand that most people prefer phone calls.  Not everyone can rely on auditory information, but they can process visual information and use electronic communication. For this reason, this is why it is important to not assume that people do not want to use the phone because they are lazy or ” that’s just a part of being a millennial”.

As a person who is hard of hearing, it can be frustrating to use the phone, although I can manage phones a little better with the help of captioning phones and captioning phone apps.

What is a captioned phone, if you may ask?

Healthy Hearing explains what is a captioned phone is:

“Captioned telephones are special phones that can be used in a home or place of employment and have a built-in screen that displays text captions of the conversation during the call in near-real time. ”–Susanne Jones

These phones are not perfect by any means.  Captioned phones can be prone to make errors. Sometimes, the captions lag and  captioning mistakes do happen. Not all HOH/Deaf/deaf people use the same telephone tools, as there are many other types of assistive technology tools for them to use when it comes to phone calls. The more notable ones are video relay services, which signing Deaf users use this for communication over the telephone.  However, assistive telephone devices are not perfect, but there is a need for alternatives, in case, these devices aren’t enough.

In 2017, organizations and businesses need to move towards to opening all lines of communication preferences. In Svetlana Kouznetsova’s article, A Note to Businesses-Why Voice Phone Calls are a Thing in the Past explained, how it is important for businesses to use email and video communication to reach the D/deaf, HOH, and the hearing populations. Svetlana Kouznetsova’s article also pointed out that Dan Zarrella’s research has shown requiring phone numbers produces lower conversion rates for leads. This shows that the telephone is not enough to reach customers and job seekers, regardless, whether or not the person is deaf or not.  Wouldn’t it be better to cover all bases channels of communication?

In conclusion, businesses and organizations are missing a huge opportunity to not open different channels of communication.  It is time for business and organizations to think out of the box about communication strategies to reach out to the D/deaf, HOH, and hearing populations.

Talk Corner: Elena Nen

Picture of a woman in a black top with a friendly smile.

Did you know that hearing aids batteries cost from a range from $30-$150 a year depending on battery size? Keeping up with the Hearing World is no easy task for hearing aids and cochlear implants users who are D/deaf and HOH. It can also be expensive for many of them, especially when keeping up with other costs of living.

I am here today to introduce Elena Nen, who is the leader of the campaign called, Hearing Aids Batteries Please ( Also known as “HABP”, pronounced as “Happy”.) Elena provides hearing aids and cochlear implant batteries for D/deaf and HOH people who can’t be able to afford them.   I am thankful that Ms. Nen took the time for answering my questions about HABP, the D/deaf and HOH community, and the hidden costs of cochlear implants and hearing aid batteries. I think it is important to understand these issues in order to minimize barriers for the community.

  • What led you to come up with HABP?

EN: I created HABP in 2013 when I was pregnant. I had a really rough pregnancy and it led me being on bed rest when I was seven months along. I actually was still in college when  I was pregnant! I ended up finishing the semester online when I was put on bed rest. I couldn’t work anymore because of it, and due to bills, my savings drained quickly. I was broke. Really broke. I ran out of batteries and I had to ask for help, but a lot of people refused to help me. They didn’t know that hearing aids and cochlear implants require a lot of (expensive) upkeep. When I finally got the money for my batteries, I never really paid attention to the price as I always got them from my audiologist’s office for 40USD for 40 batteries. I saw the price for 8 batteries… 15USD! I was curious if there was some kind of organization that helped D/deaf & hard of hearing people with getting them, but to my surprise, there wasn’t. So, then I thought, why don’t I be the first? Maybe it’ll lead an example.

  • I noticed HABP expanded from beyond just providing hearing aids and cochlear implant batteries, how were you able to stay motivated in keeping HABP up float?

EN: Easy! I thought about all the deaf and hard of hearing people who need it. I needed it just as bad when I created HABP four years ago. But I never had any help. So, I have no doubt that there are a lot of us in the community that doesn’t have help for it. I don’t get very many donors and I’m not sponsored. But the fact that I give people hope keeps me going. I can’t believe it’s been four years already, wow.  

  • Besides the cost of hearing aid and cochlear implants batteries, what is a challenge that people who are D/deaf and HOH face?

EN: Discrimination. Everywhere. Not just in school, but at home, work, and finding an equal opportunity for just about anything. It’s hard to overcome it because people don’t care to listen to us. But we’re breaking barriers for that because if you google #DeafTalent, you’ll find loads of people who are fighting for equal opportunities.

  • In your own words, how can hearing people help the D/deaf and HOH  communities?

EN: The number one thing that I believe hearing people should do is learn how to communicate with us. For the love of Harry Potter, PLEASE learn sign language!

Notice that I didn’t say “American.” Because there is more than one sign language out there. It varies by where you live. Please be willing to write (or type) things down, and/or repeat themselves. Stop getting angry with us for something we do not have any control over. Be more patient.  
Also, I really wish hearing people would stop marketing us and our culture for their own monetary greed. A lot of them bring recognition on things like ASL, which is nice, but the problem is that it’s a hearing person doing it not to bring awareness, not to be an advocate, but.. to get 15 seconds of fame or money from it.

  • Who are your role models?

EN: My Mom and my Dad. I lost my Dad in early October this past year. 
 
  • Did the cost of hearing aids and cochlear implant batteries surprise you?

EN: Yes. I never really paid attention to it when I was growing up because my mom always paid for them. But when I was in college, I had to pay for it myself. It wasn’t until last year when I did calculations, and for a society that demands us to hear like them, they sure do make it really expensive to get batteries.
Depending on the brand, it costs between 1 to 1.50USD for just one battery. HABP provides 60, ranging between 4 to 6 cents for one battery. But the way I run HABP, it’s free, just as long as you don’t
take advantage of it.  

  • Starting up a project like this must have been very difficult, what were the challenges and successes with HABP?

EN: The first issue I had starting up was getting recognition. I was able to provide for a few people when I first started up. Not a lot of people knew about me or HABP just yet.  Then I got more recognition when a fellow and popular advocate, Rikki Poynter reblogged a post about me. That’s when HABP really started taking off.  It’s been four years since I started HABP and somewhere in the middle of the third year, I
noticed a lot of people started trying to take advantage of HABP. So, unfortunately, I had to cut out overnight shipping and I then created a security process in order to protect HABP and it’s clients.

I wanted HABP to be free and I’m determined to keep it that way. I refuse to start charging money for batteries; because disabled people are already on a very strict budget and the upkeep of hearing aids and cochlear implant batteries makes it really hard to keep that budget.  Anyone that is caught attempting to take advantage of HABP will be banned without notice and won’t be able to order again.
I have to protect my clients. A lot of them have only me to rely on. I don’t want a couple of jerks to ruin that faith they have in HABP. If somewhere in the future that I absolutely HAVE to start charging for batteries in order to keep people from taking advantage of HABP, it’s definitely still far cheaper than what it costs. I’d only charge 5USD for one box of 60 batteries, compared to 45 to 60USD. That doesn’t even cover shipping!

Another challenge is some people just don’t read their emails after they put in an order and get upset with HABP because they don’t know when their batteries come. Some don’t double check their information before they order and don’t answer my email until they realize it’s been a week or more that they last put in an order.

  • Upon reading your story on your website, this one quote stood out: “I wanted to be the beacon of hope to those who lost it along with faith.”  I really like this quote because it is very uplifting. What is your advice for those who feel like they lost hope?

EN: Thank you! I came up with that because it’s true. I’ve been there and it gets really hard. My advice is to keep pushing. If you start questioning where you’re at in life, ask yourself if you’re passionate enough about it. Will it be worth it in the end? If you answer yes, then keep pushing at it.

I know it’s hard. HABP also doubles as a support system for a lot of clients. Some of them have my phone number and some of them email me whenever they need someone to talk to that understands. They all can always come to me whenever it gets hard.  

  • What is your advice you would like to give to HOH and D/deaf people who are struggling now?

EN: Remember that you aren’t alone. If you’ve exhausted all your resources, ask your resources what their resources are. If you’re angry, find a healthy outlet where you can take that anger out on. Sometimes, I think society sets us up to fail because we work so hard for half the amount of respect from our able bodied peers. But then I remember that we have to keep pushing through and pave way for ourselves and the future of HOH d/Deaf people, too.

BE the change you want to see, don’t expect for someone else to do it because it may not even happen. I did that with HABP.  

  • What’s next for you?

EN: I’m actually going to go back to school this semester for a BA in Human Services so that I can work for Vocational Rehabilitation! I graduated in an entirely different major two years ago, and now I’m going back so I can do more outside of HABP for the disabled, not just the d/Deaf & HOH community!
____________

I would like to thank Elena Nen again for her insight about the D/deaf community and talking about HABP.  If you know any D/deaf and HOH person or yourself that needs hearing aid and cochlear implant batteries, please visit Hearing Aids Batteries Please website.  You can also check out Hearing Aids Batteries Please on Facebook!

You can also check out the #DeafTalent hashtag on Twitter and Rikki Poynter to learn more about the D/deaf and HOH community and latest issues that the community is advocating for.

End of Year Reflection: Never Stop Learning

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” – Henry Ford

As 2016 comes to close, I learned an important lesson about learning. This lesson came from my late grandfather who always put the value of learning.  As long as I can remember, I would see books related from math to science whenever I visited my grandparents’ house. It felt like walking into a mini library when I came into the study room. When I got older, I still valued learning, but not just traditional way. 

In my previous posts: The Benefits of Learning Outside Your Field and the Importance Knowing Yourself, I have ready discussed the importance of learning outside of your field and self-awareness. However,doing these things comes down to a desire for learning about yourself and willing to be flexible on trying new things.

This year, I created this blog, which is a big step for me in trying new things. I always wanted to blog, but I simply kept putting it off. The main reason I started blogging was that I wanted to get my voice out and educate others about deaf issues and advocacy. However, learning how to blog was a big task !  am still learning how to manage a blog and learn new additional skills. I plan to continue on improving my blogging skills and explore many topics to learn outside of blogging into the new year.

The truth is, we never stop learning, even after we leave the school doors.  Even outside of blogging, I still learn about many things from the latest software to social media management. While at the same time, it is challenging and scary. Learning new things can be frustrating, but it can be worth it for the long haul.

I do like to thank people for all the lovely comments that I received from my blog posts. I am eternally thankful for people who give advice and encouraging comments. My goal is that Empower The Talent will continue to reach and educate others about many issues, including deaf issues. 

Questions for readers:

  •  In 2017, what are your plans to enhance or learn new skills in relation to your career?
  • What new skills did you learn this year?

The Importance of Quality Captioning

The previous post talked about how business owners, bloggers, and vloggers are missing an opportunity to caption their videos. While it is important to the caption, we must also realize that quality captions are important. There is nothing worse when watching a video where the captions are missing, inaccurate, and inappropriate for your target market. It is worth the investment to take the time and make sure your captions are good quality.


Gary Robson’s TED Talk “ Does Closed Captioning still serve for Deaf people?” describes, how important quality captioning are for the D/deaf and HOH audiences:

While a lot of Deaf activists have spoken out about this issue, quality closed captioning is often disregarded as not important.  Sometimes poor quality captioning can be seen as entertainment rather than being accessible. Everyone is familiar with Youtube’s automatic captioning feature and how terrible it is. It is famous for making fun of poor captioning. Many people forget that speech recognition hasn’t reached its peak yet.  It is not 100% accurate which makes reading the captions unbearable for people who need them.

What if Your Business  is Promoting on Youtube?

If you have a Youtube channel, you may not have noticed there is a feature that the community can contribute captions for your videos. It is a wonderful  tool if you cannot afford to create your own captions. However, like the automatic captions, it can be prone to quality issues if the content creator is not reviewing them.

There is a trend where people can vandalize the captions.  People can take advantage of the feature by adding their own commentary and jokes. These issues with the automatic and community contributed captions need to be kept in mind when captioning your content.  It is the content creator’s responsibility to ensure quality captioning.

What Can You Do to Promote Quality Captioning

  • Follow the FCC ( Federal Communications Commissions) Guidelines.

While the FCC does not apply to every video situation, it is a good idea to use the FCC captioning quality guidelines as a reference.

  • Don’t put up captions without checking.

Whether you chose to allow others to contribute captions or do them yourself, check over for review. Make sure they are correct and accurate as possible.

  • If you are a content provider or business, please respond to any inquiry if there are captioning problems.

Be responsive if there are captioning issues. Allow the  audience to give out feedback on how to improve your  captions in the future.

  • Speak up to promote quality captions.

Help do your part to speak out when captions are poor quality. Poor quality captions should never be accepted and improving the quality of captions is a must.

Conclusion

“We wouldn’t tolerate grainy pictures, sloppy camera work, poor audio quality, bad lighting. Why should we tolerate bad captioning?”Gary Robson

Poor quality captions  is an issue. Many people who use videos should be mindful to caption their videos properly. Youtube automatic closed captions should not be used as a substitute. Everyone (including the hearing) should encourage quality captions. This will help ensure that accessibility is available for everyone.