Sunday, March 26, 2017

Making an Impact with or without audio description

One problem with going to meetings where RantWoman is present: RantWoman has a tendency to ask annoying questions and then to say more based on the answers.

In this case, the question was: Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind  just put out a cool new video. But how come they never include audio descriptions? Here is the cool video. It is closed captioned. See below for RantWoman's thinking about doing audio description TOO.

While we are at it, links to other videos, also captioned but not audio described
Jobs Independence Empowerment

Creating Opportunities video

Now, Please bear with RantWoman while she has one of those awkward dinner guest moments where it is necessary to say "Thank you..." and, um, the PR equivalent of the green beans were undercooked and there was too much dressing on the coleslaw and really RantWoman admits to being A LITTLE bit of a crank but the total effect was not as wonderful as intended.

RantWoman has two main problems with the video and both of them relate to what RantWoman would consider inclusive communications.

First, it's a video about BLIND people doing interesting things. Even though RantWoman got a lot out of the soundtrack, RantWoman thinks it would set  a really cool example also to have audio description.

What IS audio description? Here are a couple links for a primer

RantWoman thinks lots of blind people might be interested to know that  the video includes info about working specific machines or a blind person at a desk using a braille display, a job coach doing tactile signing with two deaf blind production workers,  or someone in a hi-vis jacket receiving travel training. RantWoman is also kind of a word nerd admits sometimes to being more interested than average viewers in technical vocabulary such as measuring a piece with calipers or what brand of CNC machine is being used.

Second, RantWoman THINKS the video includes some video of couple people signing as if straight into the camera. RantWoman but cannot find those moments and may have to conceded that this point is illustrated in one of the other videos YouTube is likely to offer.

RantWoman's beefs: RantWoman is not sure viewers can see all the signing because of camera angle. RantWoman notes that leaving the signing in would certainly make communication easier for some viewers whose first language is ASL rather than close captioned English. Also, the sign language interpreter is female; both speakers RantWoman remembers were male. RantWoman lurks around the edges of the interpreter business enough to know this gender mismatch sometimes happens. In this case it gives RantWoman the misleading impression that there are more female production workers than there necessarily are. 

RantWoman is not really qualified to comment further about the sign language issue. RantWoman also admits that plenty of blind people get along OKAY without audio description. But why merely be okay when one can set an example????

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