The Accessibility Mistake You Don't Know You're Making

  Do you know how little people think about ensuring that others have equal accessibility?

It's not that they don't care, they just don't think about it.  I'm also not talking about preferential treatment. I'm talking about equal access.

In the online world the Deaf population is being neglected. Find out what you can do to include the Deaf and Hard of Hearing more and stop making this simple accessibility mistake.

Did you know it's pretty easy to make things more accessible?  It is!

What Mistake Are You Making?

You go and watch a movie, a favorite TV show, a funny clip online and it's an enjoyable experience for you (unless you're watching a stupid movie like A.I.).

Enter a Deaf or Hard of Hearing person.

Now, can you imagine the frustration they must feel?

What is the solution?

It's actually very simple.  I'm going to turn this over to a man that says it best.


If you don't watch any other video on this post, please at least watch this one!

I would add to his list of reasons why captioning would be good for you.

  • too much noise in the room (children) and you can't hear your show
  • the show is hard to understand (accents and mumblers)
  • people in other countries can translate the captions into their native language
  • it's better for search ranking (more words for the search bots to read = more keywords)


Can you imagine what that would be like?

What Can You Do?

Now, if you know me, I am an action oriented type of person.  I do not like reading "be this and then this will happen."  It always seems to be so ambiguous and unclear.  Be a "good mom" for instance.  Okay.... sure.  But do they tell me how?  Not really.  Well, at least not in any real actionable steps.

What would be the point of me telling you about #captionTHIS if I didn't give you any real thing you could do?

Here it is.

Are you a vlogger?  Add captions to your videos.   Don't stress so much about the old videos you've made, add those as you have time (ha!).

Do you produce podcasts or webinars?  Get them captioned so you can send a recorded version of your slides (webinars) and a transcript to those that want it.  Or get the meeting transcribed live for those watching you.

Ask others to add captions to their videos.  Contact the major companies that do not provide captioning and bring attention to the movement.

Contact your favorite YouTube channels, celebrities, and anyone else you can think of. Thank them for captioning their videos and ask them to join in the movement.  If they do not caption their videos, send them here!  Now they'll know why they should and how to do it.


Here's a tweet to use:

Tweet: Add captions to your products. Find out how it can benefit you and your audience.


Hey@____, please #captionTHIS: [VIDEO LINK HERE.] Your videos aren't accessible to the Deaf/Hard of Hearing.

How to Add Captions



I've heard good things about CaptionTube

Synchrimedia is a program you purchase, but it looks pretty awesome.  It will loop 4 seconds of your video while you type it out. When you hit enter it goes to the next 4 seconds and loops it. That's pretty nifty.

But... but... but... there's no way I can transcribe an hour long webinar or 90 minute podcast!  You're right, you may not want to do that.  You probably don't have the training to caption or transcribe so it's going to take you a lot longer to do it, especially if you're a hunt-and-peck-typer.

You can hire a transcriber or captioner for your webinars,  podcasts, and longer videos to type out the transcript for you.  Then they send you the file and you're ready to get it into the video.


Okay, I know what you're thinking. Dude, Rochelle, I am small potatoes I do not have the money to do hire out, especially since I don't think there's any Deaf people paying attention to me.

You'd be wrong.  Deaf people don't bust into a blog announcing their Deafness.  Plus, think about how many people that are Deaf and Hard of Hearing who could now come to your site.

There may be a lot of people in your niche, but are there a lot of people that make all of their products and services accessible?

Speaking of.  If you have a service that uses the phone or conference call, you can use VRS services.

You can either call their phone directly (yes, Deaf have phones) and it will be routed through an interpreter who will interpret what they are saying to you and what you say back to them.  You can also contact the individual and they may be able to give you their direct VideoPhone (VP) number.

It really is easy and once you forget the fact that you're talking to an interpreter it's not awkward.

Sum It All Up

Accessibility is something we all could think about.  Adding captions and transcripts is easy to do and is beneficial to many people, including yourself.

I've created a tip sheet for you to help make captioning easier for you! Click to Download!