Author: has written 142 posts for this blog.

Chally is a student by day, a freelance writer by night, a scary, scary feminist all the time, and a voracious reader whenever she has a spare moment. She also blogs at Zero at the Bone. Full bio here.
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17 Responses

  1. karak
    karak June 15, 2010 at 1:42 am |

    I get bored watching videos–I can read 20x faster than most people can talk. I LOVE transcripts, love them to death.

  2. Robyn
    Robyn June 15, 2010 at 3:44 am |

    Good for you. After all these years its a shame we still have to do this. You are right. Its not just about disability. Our broadband is so slow that sometimes its quicker to read a transcript than wait for the video to download, And not everyone in the world has broadband. Keep up the great work.

  3. ana australiana
    ana australiana June 15, 2010 at 4:35 am |

    Thanks for this. s.e. smith’s post is great too. Really wonderful learning for this long-term perpetrator of accessibility fail – hopefully not so much in the future.

  4. Michael
    Michael June 15, 2010 at 6:22 am |

    Thanks for this. As a hearing-impaired person, I hate having to skip articles just because I can’t hear them. I wish more sites followed your example.

    And to those people who think accessibility is a waste of time … I hope you stay able-bodied forever! Good luck with that!

  5. Jadey
    Jadey June 15, 2010 at 7:01 am |

    Thank you. :)

  6. Dorian
    Dorian June 15, 2010 at 7:27 am |

    Challyyyyyy! You are great! As are the other Feministe people, as I’m assuming this is a joint decision. Seeing the site moving in this direction makes me super-super happy.

  7. Ouyang Dan
    Ouyang Dan June 15, 2010 at 7:41 am |

    Chally! You are made of awesome, and I appreciate this post so, so very much!

  8. strangedays
    strangedays June 15, 2010 at 7:59 am |

    Thank you for this :) And thank you for pointing out that accessibility is not always about different abilities — sometimes it’s a class thing, too. For over a year I was using a computer that didn’t have speakers, because they had broken. It wasn’t covered under my warranty and I simply did NOT have anywhere near the amount of money required to throw away on fixing speakers on a computer, of all things. I was worried about tuition, rent, food. I’m lucky now because my situation is a little better, but my disadvantage was a temporary one. I can hear videos now, if I want to. Not everyone can, and I don’t think that transcripts are an unrealistic thing to ask for OR provide.

  9. Solara
    Solara June 15, 2010 at 8:25 am |

    Since I’m forced to either read this blog from work (where audio is a no-no for me, but web browsing is okay as long as the work gets done) or at home, where the internet is incredibly slow, I appreciate transcripts too. Also, awesome post.

  10. Kaz
    Kaz June 15, 2010 at 10:31 am |

    Thank you! I can’t pin down what exactly about my disabilities makes watching video incredibly stressful and unpleasant for me (and get defensive about it for this reason, because I know a lot of people will not take me seriously) but it’s definitely the case, and solely-audio is similarly difficult. I can usually manage something like one five-minute Youtube video every few months so in general, if there’s no transcript I can’t access the content.

    And I’ve also seen people attacked for asking for transcripts on Feministe before (years ago, so I’m appalled it’s still going on), and I know first-hand how difficult and embarrassing and awkward it can be to ask for a transcript and how easy it can be to just go “well, I guess I’ll just wander off and do my own thing instead”, so. Thank you for this post.

  11. Megan
    Megan June 15, 2010 at 11:23 am |

    Another transcript lover here!

  12. Alara Rogers
    Alara Rogers June 15, 2010 at 11:53 am |

    I don’t think my hatred of video stems from disability so much as different ability — as karak above says, I read *much* faster than the human voice can speak, and I feel like watching a video is getting a tiny trickle when I could be drinking from the firehose. when someone posts a video and does not post a transcript with it, they are wasting my time, and time is the one commodity none of us will ever get back.

    So I just don’t watch it.

    It feels wrong to say “I have a superpower you don’t and as a result watching video is painful for me because it bores me”, in a world where other people are saying “I can’t watch video because I cannot hear/cannot see/cannot handle shaky camera”, so I rarely speak out about it. I feel like, I “can” watch video, so I don’t have the right to protest video. of course, this is the same kind of logic that says that gifted children shouldn’t ask for or expect class material that actually challenges them because they *can* get by on the material the other children are learning. I think we should have our different abilities from the high side of the bell curve met, as long as doing so doesn’t prevent meeting other people’s different abilities from the low side, because while it is not as bad to encounter something you are *able* to do but is far enough beneath the level that you can function at that it is mind-numbing to do it as it is to encounter something that you *cannot* do or that is physically painful to try to do… it’s still bad.

    Also, I do all my reading of blogs at work, and the firewall won’t allow streaming video. At home, I have children to attend to and I can’t stand other people being able to see me stream video or watch TV unless I know for a fact that they would appreciate it as much as I do, so I almost never have *time* to watch video or TV at home.

    I’m so glad to see this post, Chally, and also s. e. smith’s. All humans have different modes of learning and different ways in which we take in information, and for many of us, whether it’s because we literally can’t use a particular channel or because a different channel is so much better for us that our brains are optimized to handle it, some channels are way better than others… and those might be channels that the majority of humans actually find harder. (Amanda on Pandagon once argued that it is universally true for all human beings that watching television is easier and requires less effort than reading a book, and I was one of several posters who argued with her that this *isn’t* universally true because even among people who are as sighted and hearing as she is, the intake channel the brain is optimized for is different. I read for relaxation. Watching TV can be incredibly engaging for me, but it is also harder than reading a book.)

    In the ideal world we’d present as many channels for our information as we can; in practice, it’s still much easier to blog than to video-log, so we can’t always provide sound and video to go along with text. But we *can* always provide text to go along with sound and video, and there’s really no excuse not to.

  13. April
    April June 15, 2010 at 8:13 pm |

    Transcripts for videos and audio are also awesome for people who are blogging about the clip. The text is already there, so we can copy-and-paste accurately for quotes.

  14. lilacsigil
    lilacsigil June 16, 2010 at 3:33 am |

    Even minimally shaky, flashing or spinning video (such as animated GIFs) makes me ill, and, as more and more TV shows and movies and videos and news footage (and phone calls!) take on these aspects, it leaves me feeling more and more left out. Endless thank yous to the transcribers, and to the people who put warnings on videos, and cut their animated GIFs so I can be prepared or skip them.

    As part of equality and fairness, it’s also *my* responsibility to make sure what I post is accessible to other people, whether it be text, pictures or anything else. I can’t transcribe many clips, but I certainly can try to make my posts accessible to screen readers and put descriptions of my pictures.

    As another extremely fast reader, I’d take issue with the idea that it’s a “high” ability – it lets me absorb text quickly, but it also means that I read faster than I process, so I get a lot of spoilers and squicky content, and things that I would ptherwise rather not read. When that ability is countered by my vertigo and I have to read slowly, I think I often have a more enjoyable reading experience. Does it mean I have “lower” ability on those days? Only in the literal “words per minute” sense; certainly not in my experience of text.

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