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How To Learn Sign Language

Your Sign Language Videos Might Not Be Accessible

[pencil writing] [Pokemon game sound] Hey, it’s Rikki. Welcome to Deaf Awareness Month. Today, I want to talk about how your
signed videos might not be accessible. If there is no sound in a video, it is
inaccessible to blind/deaf-blind people. If a blind person can’t see the signs, they need sound in order
to understand the video. If someone is deaf-blind,
they need captions, but they can’t see the captions
very well because of size. People go, “What does that say?
I can’t read that.” So you need something to
make videos more accessible. So what do you do? There’s 3 things you can do: 1 – If you’re comfortable,
voice in the video. Make a voiceover that you
can put on the video. So then you’ll have two things:
captions and voice in the video. Now, I know and understand that not
all deaf people are comfortable voicing. So a possibility would be to get
someone else to do it for you. I know that Chrissy has someone
do the voiceover for her videos. So that’s an option. 2 – If voice is not an option,
write out a transcript. It’s like captions, but
it’s all on one “paper”. It’s a bunch of words all
laid out at once in the screen. But wait a minute! How is a blind/deaf-blind
person supposed to use that? There’s a program called VoiceOver. VoiceOver is a program that lets
the computer read text out loud. Or, you know how there are
deaf people who can hear? It’s the same with blind/deaf-blind people. If a blind person has some vision, they can use their computer
to make the text bigger. So the font would be tiny before,
but now it’ll be bigger and more viewable. Make sense? 3 – Both, or all the options mixed together. So you have a voiceover,
captions, and a transcript. Just everything together in
a nice little package. So if captions were also included
and if someone used them, they would be in charge of
changing size and color. Or if they don’t want captions,
they can simply open the transcript. Or if they’re a hearing blind person,
they can use VoiceOver and hear it. So now you have the transcript,
but where do you put it? I’m an avid user of Google Docs. That is my preferred program. You can use whatever you want. But that’s just my suggestion. So where do you put the
transcript in the video? If I’m using Google Docs,
I write it all out and then I put the link to the transcript in the video. Personally, I put the link
in the description box. The description box is
under the video player. I just put the link in there. So if someone needs it,
they just click on the link. They open it, they read it,
they get accessibility. I know people who like to put
the transcript in the comments. So you have the video player
and then the comments underneath. If you want, you just paste
the whole transcript there. Most of the time, I see
this done on Facebook. For myself, I personally prefer
a link because of character limits. If you use a description box,
you have to put all information in it. But you can’t write everything
you want because there’s no room. If you use the comments, I
guess sometimes that’ll work. Or if you want, again, use both. Really, I do use both. I leave a link in the description
as well as in the pinned comment. That comment stays at the top
so everyone can see it. They’ll always see it
because it’s at the top. So, again, your options are voiceover
if you’re comfortable voicing, or have someone else
voice for you, have a transcript typed out, or lastly, both. It’s nice to have all the options
because everyone has different needs. So, hopefully, this video
helped you out some. If you would like to,
please support on Patreon. There, you get special perks
that nobody in the public receives. Happy Deaf Awareness Month, and I’ll see you later.

40 Replies to “Your Sign Language Videos Might Not Be Accessible”

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    So I did a voiceover for a video for the first time in years, and for an ASL video for the first time ever. To be honest, I’m not sure how I feel about it because of the awkward pauses and the length, etc. But in order to make something more accessible, something that is all about audio, I have to do it in a way that’s accessible to me and my ears. And that’s reading when captions show up. And since I’m a slower signer, well, that means it takes me longer to sign half a sentence.

    But I’ll let you be the judge of that. Keep the voiceovers or not.


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  • Aaahhh. Finally somebody talks about it. Thanks rikki for this content. Im visually handicapped and this is sometime an issue for me.

  • This is great information. Please keep the voiceovers! I have a reading disability so trying to read captions when there is no sound and watch the video at the same time causes me much anxiety. But I also need the captions because I'm hoh. For instance when you said the word 'viewable' I had to check the captions because I thought you said 'beautiful'.

  • Awesome, rikki, thank you for making others aware of this:) BTW, my son was watching the video with me, he’s too, and he said you’re pretty and to tell you 🙂

  • Thank you so much for making this video! Though I am not deaf or blind, I do rely on captions as well as sound. I have difficulties with processing sound/speech (which is possibly APD but I don’t currently have an official diagnosis), as well as dyslexia. For this reason I use both senses to aid eachother in order to fully understand and enjoy content.

  • Lack of voice is stopping me making youtube video… also idea for contents… mmm what kinds of contents ? btw your make up is lovely. I am male and straight, i would rock that pink coloured nails and lipstick (y)

  • Love this video. So well done. Bery informative i. A very professionally educational way. I love the slow speaking and scripted structure. SOME times your videos are too casual and a tad rambly :p much love Rikki

  • Thankyou Rikki this very important video educational wise is these a program that you can put on… Your YouTube…. On anyone s… A program that you can add that links a person computer that codes for braille… Ver there computer system?? Can that work,??? Its nice seeing you sign Rikki !) Hope we see more .. Thankyou again for … This video

  • Awesome, great video. I hope other signing YouTubers / streamers / vlogers follow your example. I am also a sucker for voices overs. I hope you continue with this format for your American sign Language video. ❤️❤️❤️

  • Thank you for taking the time to make your videos more accessible and for giving great suggestions for others to do the same! I'm visually impaired, and it's easier for me to understand a voiceover than a transcript, but transcripts can be what another person needs, so it's great for everyone to have all the accessibility options they need.

  • Excellent points Rikki! It wasn't until last week or so that I learned you can add captions to your twitter pictures for visually impaired people. I don't understand why Twitter has to have that feature as a thing you have to add manually when it should really be standard!

  • Could you talk about youtubers with scripted videos who copy and paste their script into captions without editing it so that things that were cut out are still in the subtitles, lines that were added are not in the subtitles, clips that have been inserted are either not captioned at all or the dialogue is incorrect because it was written from memory, and things like "Intro" and "insert clip here" have been left in? This is especially prevalent with so-called "video essays".

  • Signed and non captioned videos aren't accessible to deaf people from different places as they know different languages.

  • I love this video. Just so you're aware, your audio has some minor interference in it. It's not a major problem, just a little annoying, you probably just have your mix turned up too high so it's picking up background noise. But again, it's really not a major issue, and this video is awesome. And I like the voice over, but I'm happy with any sort of video as long as it's accessible for me.

  • I loved having the voice over for this episode… One tip would be to talk a little slower to help lessen the awkward pauses, but I didn't mind them personally ^-^ Great job trying to make things accessible for everyone ^-^

  • Excelent information, though some may benefit from knowing that VoiceOver is exclusive to apple devices and windows users should dig into NVDA or one of the major commercial solutions that cost as much as the computer they want to run them on.

  • Amara has a custom subtitle option called "Metadata: Audio Description" people can add to YouTube and TED videos.

    But I haven't found a good WPM speed for refreshable Braille readers since subtitles for sighted people are processed much faster than what blind folks can read.

  • In case you're not aware : it is possible to increase captions to four times their normal size using the subtitle options available on YouTube . You can also change the color of the font as well as the background . Other options include opacity, font type, window color etc.

  • This came at the right time! I am about to start a series soon and was debating on how I could connect with any potential audience as much as possible since it will all be in sign. Thanks for this!

  • This is why I started doing the companion blog posts! Instead of google docs, it's a public blog that people can directly follow and read instead of watching if they want to. I add whatever pictures I have in the video too and whatever visuals might be important to provide context, so it's a bit more rich than just a transcript 🙂

  • I love the video, and love the fact that you're raising awareness!
    Just curious – what about people who don't use ASL? I come from New Zealand, and my primary sign language is NZSL, which is completely different from ASL.
    Keep up the good work, I can't wait to see what you put out next

  • Regarding transcripts: how is YouTube's transcript feature? You can access a whole transcript of the captions on a video directly from YouTube, but I don't know how well or poorly it interfaces with any sort of technologies like Voice Over.

  • Thank you Rikki! I’ve run to so many videos about deaf stuff that have no sound (and no link to transcript). Inaccessible… voice and transcript are the best. If there is no voiced version, I’ll just go read the transcript.
    There is also the option to have your computer do the voice for you. So you have the transcript, and then use either text to speech function (turn the option on from accessibility in your system) or things like voiceover. Siri voice for instance is pretty clear to listen to.

  • I totally agree with what you have to say about captions. I admire how hard you work to educate society about deaf/hearing impaired and blind people. I support you 100 percent girl! BTW, I love your makeup in this video. You're so pretty with and without makeup.

  • Do you know of any good asl classes for people with cp I’m hearing and have cp that affects the use of my right hand and have difficulty with fine motor skills

  • Hello Riki, I am vlogger on two YouTube channels. My fitness channel is more asl and rare to add captions because I am trying to type the minute limit in each of my asl. I try to put transcripts under my vlog that could help. I do use my voice little bit but not sure if people understand my speech. I am deaf and thank u for the tips.

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