Open captions project

Saw this in one of the email threads on the video caption project at Google.

URL: Open Captions.com.

John Schimmel, a resident researcher on Assistive Technology at the NYU’s graduate Interactive Telecommunications Program, thought of an idea where instead of relying on a content owner to put captions on videos, he created a website where a community of know-how volunteers can help with making captions for non-captioned videos. That’s an awesome idea!

I think we have gotten too practiced to the point that every time we see videos or TV with no captions, we just scream. “Waahh!! no CC!!? don’t they know any better? haven’t they heard of Deaf people before or the ADA law!? they ARE required to have CC!! I’m going to boycott that network!! start a petition now!” Not that there’s anything wrong with that but I think that pretty much gets us nowhere and even if we write letters, we’d be 100 years old by the time we finally see that show getting captioned.

The power is in our hands now. Next time you see a video that’s not captioned? Simply, make a request on that website above and hopefully, someone with a good heart will notice your request and make captions for that video.

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3 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. Tyson Mitchiner

    Good hearts can only go so far, especially if youre dealing with shows that are hours long. Who has the time to do a lot of shows for free?

    I think there should be a donations page to the captioner– if someone does an awesome job they get rewarded.. if someone does a sloppy job that leaves out most of the content, they don’t get much. If there is a show that a lot of people really wish would be captioned then the expanding pot of donations for potential captioners would draw someone in to do the captioning.

    Just an idea.. this or something similiar should be explored..

  2. This could be great for, say, on-line videos and blogs produced by amauteurs who genuinely cannot afford the time or money to do their own captioning.

    BUT, for TV stations, and for dvd/video manufacturers, I think we should use other resources (e.g., a complaint to the Department of Justice or whatever legal channels are appropriate, or letters etc) to pressure them to take responsibility for doing the captioning themselves. If someone else ends up doing the captions for them for free then they either will complain about copyright issues (because it IS, after all, THEIR video content so legally they own all distribution rights), or else they’ll be left with no incentive to examine the flaws in their internal system that lead to breakdowns in the process that OUGHT to put captions on everything. And that just perpetuates the problem.

    Volunteer captions for genuinely AMAUTEUR products, YES. Marvellous idea. But for professional content, NO.

    Donations for captioners based on the quality of their captions is a good modification to this idea, though it begs the question who will do the donating. Deaf people (frankly including me) have a tendency to assume that we should just have captions for free. After all, hearing people don’t have to pay for the sound track, so why on Earth should we have to pay anything for the tool (i.e., captions) that gives us access to the sound track? So how many people would donate?

    Worth exploring this idea, though I think it needs further dialogue among a wider circle of interested people to see where it goes (and to decide where it SHOULD go).

  3. How did I miss this post?

    I am going to check it out.

    As for getting “paid” for captioning, TubeCaption has a program to allow you to use Google Adwords on their site.

    Not the fast way to fame and fortune….

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