Skeptics should be doing our part to improve accessibility – for our events, our online content and in general. If the message of rationalism and science is truly of value, then it should be accessible to everyone, regardless of their abilities.
One way to do this is to ensure that online audio and video content is provided with transcripts and/or closed captions. This allows deaf and hearing-impaired people to access the content. That’s 5% of the world’s population, or 360 million people worldwide according to the World Health Organization.
Aside from feeling good about doing our civic duty, it can benefit outreach as well. Captions can be used as the basis to translate the content into other languages, allowing your content to reach other countries. And as I explained in my YouTube meta-data post back in January, the additional text of the captions helps make your content more attractive to search engines like Google.
There are some skeptics who are leading the way with this, whose efforts I’d like to highlight in this post. But I’m also going to update you on my own efforts, which recently helped one video become a viral hit.