Web Directions Conferences for web and digital professionals

Deafness – our next big accessibility challenge?

Further to John’s post on Lisa’s article on A List Apart – Deafness and the User Experience – I just wanted to point out a little initiative we have started over the last couple of weeks here at Web Directions.

We’ve been publishing podcasts after our events for some years now, but it wasn’t until a deaf reader got in touch a few weeks back and enquired about the possibility of transcribing these audio recordings that I thought about how alienating presenting content in this way could really be. A classic instance of experiencing the world through your own prism I guess.

Anyway, I did a bit of hunting around and found an Australian company – Smart Docs – who were able to do transcriptions of 1 hour sessions for around $125. Which seemed pretty reasonable, though I guess it’s going to add up over two days and three tracks of content – any organisations out there keen to help us spread a bit of goodwill by becoming our “Transcription Sponsor”? :)

So we trialled Smart Docs with one of our most popular sessions from last year – Scott Berkun’s The Myths of Innovation. They got an accurate transcription back to me with a 24 hour turnaround, which I’ve since managed to get up at the site with the help of Joe Clark – thanks Joe! You can find the transcript here – new and improved print style sheet coming soon I promise!

With so much video and audio content coming online, as Lisa hints, deafness really is on the rise as the next big accessibility challenge for the web. How’s your organisation going to respond?

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