A few weeks ago, this video from America started making waves…
In the vid, an American ASL user eloquently sets out the case for better access to online videos for deaf people. As he says, with the internet growing at a rapid pace, lack of access to online videos means the deaf community is falling further and further behind.
Whether it’s videos on YouTube, news websites (such as the BBC or the Guardian), or video on demand services like Netflix and Love Film, the levels of subtitling deaf people can find online falls a long, long way short of the level of subtitling on television.
We’re being forgotten when it comes to online video, and the situation needs to improve, fast.
That’s why today, on June 6th, our American cousins are highlighting the videos they’d like to see (but can’t, due to a lack of captions) by tweeting those videos along with the hashtag #captionTHIS.
And on the other side of the Atlantic, us Brits are joining them, all thanks to Pesky People’s Alison Smith who has organised a campaign to Tweet the hashtag #subtitlesnow.
Alison wrote this piece for her website highlighting the lack of access on the Arts Council’s The Space. As she points out, with 10 million deaf and hard of hearing people in the UK, that’s “1 in 6 of the population that cannot access this new, free on demand access to the arts service.”
The Space is just the tip of the iceberg.
So today, let’s make people aware of how much we’re missing out. Tweet the hashtag #subtitlesnow along with the videos you’d like to see, but can’t.
There’s more you can do. Alison Smith has also set up a #subtitlesnow Facebook group, with Suzie Jones, Lidia Best and CCAC Captioning working hard to draw people’s attention to it. Join the Facebook group, tell your friends, and tweet like there’s no tomorrow! You can also contact Alison about her campaign by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Limping Chicken is supported by Deaf media company Remark!, training and consultancy Deafworks, provider of sign language services Deaf Umbrella, the National Deaf Children’s Society’s Look, Smile Chat campaign, and the National Theatre’s captioned plays.
The Limping Chicken is the world's most popular Deaf blog, and is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne. Find out how to write for us by clicking here, how to follow us by clicking here, and read our disclaimer here.
The site exists thanks to our supporters. Check them out below:
- Eyewitness Media: TV and film from a Deaf perspective
- Ai-Media: Remote captioning. Find out about 5 funny ways to use captions!
- Bellman & Symfon: home alerting solutions
- Deaf Umbrella: sign language interpreting and communications support
- Appa: Communication services for Deaf, Deafblind and hard of hearing people
- SignLive: Online video interpreting for Deaf people
- SignVideo: Instant BSL video interpreting online
- 121 Captions: captioning and speech-to-text services
- Signature: Leading awarding body for BSL qualifications
- The National Theatre: Captioned and BSL accessible theatre in London
- Doncaster School for the Deaf: education for Deaf children
- Signworld: Learn BSL online!
- Action Deafness Communications: sign language and Red Dot online video interpreting
- BSLcourses.co.uk: Provider of online BSL courses
- Association of Notetaking Professionals: The professional body representing Electronic and Manual Notetakers
- Sign Solutions: communication support, training and translation
- InterpretersLive: On demand BSL video interpretation
- Hamilton Lodge School in Brighton: education for Deaf children
- Lipspeaker UK: specialist lipspeaking support
- Ozen: Australian hearing aid specialists
- Elmfield School, Bristol: Inclusive education for Deaf pupils
- deafPLUS: BSL advice helpline
- Exeter Deaf Academy: education for Deaf children
- Royal Shakespeare Company: Captioned and BSL interpreted performances (see dates here)
- Royal School for the Deaf, Derby: Residential education for deaf children
- RAD Tax Advice: Tax and Tax Credit info for Deaf people
- Performance Interpreting: BSL interpreting at concerts
- National Deaf Children's Society: The leading charity for deaf children
- Signed Culture: Advocating for BSL access to arts and culture
- SignHealth: healthcare charity for Deaf people
- CJ Interpreting: communication support in BSL
- British Society for Mental Health and Deafness: Promoting positive mental health for deaf people