The new year is already starting soon this week, and I would like to highlight some things related to audio accessibility happening throughout this passing year:
- Holiday season brought heartwarming videos of a hearing kindergartener signing to her deaf parents and a deaf girl signing “The Night Before Christmas”.
- The most attention-grabbing news of this year was the fake interpreter incident in South Africa at Mandela memorial. While it’s great for the whole world to realize that you cannot just use anyone to interpret into sign language, many are not aware about the lack of access via quality captioning as universal access since many deaf and hard of hearing do not know sign language and are not to be left out, too: Importance of Quality Communication Access – No Waving Hands or Auto Captioning.
- A high school and a college student were fighting to get access to their classes via CART captioning: Delanie Harrington, a Poway High School student, and Michael Argenyi, a medical student of Creighton University.
- A deaf friend mentioned that Union Station in DC was captioning an aural announcement at a gate for those traveling on train with Amtrak. Virgin America also did a great job explaining the delay via captions at a gate – though it’s a mystery about how a badger got into the rear of the aircraft. It would be great to see more of captioned announcements at more airports, bus/train stations, etc.
- Two bills were proposed by Senator Tom Harkin to mandate captioning for movie theaters and on airplanes.
- US Open aural announcements were accessible via open captions on a scoreboard that made my day when watching the men’s finals.
- Justin LeBlanc, a deaf designer and an assistant professor, participated in Project Runway show and made to the final round.
- Claudia Gordon, a deaf black female lawyer, was picked by President Obama for the job as an associate director in the White House Office of Public Engagement.
- Sorenson shut down IP Relay services to follow suit of Hamilton and AT&T: Telecommunications – Going Backwards?
Some major changes are expected to happen in 2014:
- Netflix agreed to caption all of their videos by 2014 – hope it will be true.
- There’s work to have text-to-911 available nationwide in USA: “AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon have voluntarily committed to provide text-to-911 service by May 15, 2014 in all areas served by their networks where a 911 call center is prepared to receive texts.”
- Some great news will happen hopefully next month and be announced then.
I would like to conclude the article with a fun safety video with creative captions by Virgin America.
Happy New Year!