Caption Action 2: September 2012 Newsletter
This is the Caption Action 2 newsletter for September 2012.
We are finally going to begin to enjoy the fruits of our labors. On September 30, 2012, the first aspect of the Internet captioning requirements from the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) takes effect. Starting September 30, 2012, television programs that are shown on the Internet without any editing, are required to be closed captioned on the Internet. This article from the Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology (COAT) explains and has other upcoming Internet captioning deadlines as well: http://www.coataccess.org/node/10107.
Remember the petition asking Yahoo to update their video player to support captioning? Thanks to you, it has gone past 1,000 signatures! We need to keep it going until Yahoo updates their video player. We actually have two versions of the petition, one at causes.com, which is past 1,000, and one at change.org. Here are the links again: http://www.causes.com/causes/306249-caption-action-2-internet-closed-captioning/actions/1670136 and http://www.change.org/petitions/yahoo-inc-add-closed-captioning-support-now. Comments posted to both make it very clear people want this!
After the petition reached 1,000 we began tweeting the CEO of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer, @marissamayer. We will tweet her as the petition grows, until we get a positive response from Yahoo. The day Yahoo updates their video player to add closed captioning support is the day the petitions end.
Shortly after we sent the previous newsletter in August, we realized there was a need for a different approach to sharing information on captioned web series. The Caption Action 2 blog list no longer made sense. So, we launched a new companion blog - Captioned Web TV! At http://captionedwebtv.blogspot.com you can find a web series by label. All labels (ranging from Action to Zombies) are listed in alphabetical order. Each web series or channel has its own page, with a description, photo, and link. If the producers have stopped captioning or have not captioned some episodes, you will find contact information so you can push them to either restart or finish captioning.
Besides making information on captioned web series easier to find for deaf and hard of hearing people, the new blog has other benefits. Web series producers were delighted to learn about the pages for their shows. It was a new source of traffic for them in a very competitive environment. Some producers even pledged to resume captioning after they saw the warning notes on their blog pages. Plus, the blog was quickly discovered by a diverse international following! Blog audience statistics show visitors are coming from all over the world. There are days when there are more international visitors than visitors from the United States.
We aren't surprised by the blog's growing international following. Many people use captions to help them learn English or improve their English. This also is proof that if web series producers don't caption, they could be missing out on a substantial international audience.
We will never have 100% access to web television because of its made-only-for-the-web nature. Plus the new law, as everyone now knows, does not cover programming made solely for the Internet. So while the blog will grow, the selection of captioned web television programming will likely remain small relative to the total amount of web television content out there.
In the absence of a legal requirement to caption, the primary way to get captions on web television programming will be to simply ask. Many producers will say no, giving as explanation limited time, funds, and personnel. The blog includes an "How to Advocate" page to guide those of you who want to push web television producers to caption.
Another page explains how to use the blog. On the Internet, it is normal for things to become unavailable after awhile; we need for you to notify us if a web series is no longer available so we can take down the page.