After recently experiencing of a listening to a podcast by a well-known person, and from years of similar experiences from a number of podcasts and videos, it’s time to call it out if you are not providing transcripts or captions to your content.
Since I have less patience about bad quality content and experience, this is an opportunity for me to call it out on people who don’t make their content accessible. But it’s not just about making it accessible because you feel like “you have to”, but you will get a lot of benefits out of it too.
I can tell you from experience that the positives of providing transcripts/captions far outweighs the negatives.
You can listen to the podcast below or scroll down to read the transcript:
- The Benefits of Using Transcripts & Captions/Subtitles
- Nobody Should Be Shot Down Because of Accessibility Needs
This is the Hear Me Out! [CC] Podcast, a place to hear stories from the d/Deaf and hard of hearing people, and from your host, Ahmed Khalifa.
The topic of this podcast came about as a result of listening to a podcast recently. Now, yes, a deaf guy listening to podcasts. I love listening to podcasts. How does that work? How does a deaf guy like to listen a podcast?
Well, it just, long story short, certain specification I require are very good quality audio, good quality sound, and my environment, and also having access to transcripts, so then I don’t actually listen to it. I read the transcripts.
So, I wanted to talk about this topic not just because of the experience of one particular podcast I listened to from a well-known person, but also from years of experience of not calling it out on people.
It’s time to call it out
I used to be very hesitant about it, but I’m a bit more bullish about it now and I call it out if people don’t make their content accessible.
I have less patience for a number of thing when it comes to, not just podcasts, but even videos like YouTube. If they have a lot of what you call “banter” and a lot of laughing around in the beginning, I have no patience for that.
If there’s a lot of fluff and a lot of ads and it just takes ages to get into the topic, like maybe 10 minutes later, then that’s just very, very annoying.
And also, if they didn’t provide show notes with links to relevant sources, links to a transcript, and also for videos, as well, same idea, but also, they didn’t provide captions.
I have less patience for that now.
So it’s kind of the same thing and even though I’m talking about an experience of a recent podcast, it’s kind of relevant to videos as well.
Why you’re missing out
The thing is for me is that I strongly believe that if you are creating these content and you’re not providing transcript and captions, as well as all the other necessary stuff like good quality audio and making sure that it’s easy to listen to and easy to watch, you are missing out massively as a person who is creating those content and wanting to have people to access it.
And of course, I miss out as well because if I see something or I hear something that I just can’t access it, I don’t have any patience. I shut it down and I move on.
And I’ve done that to a lot of very, very well-known podcasters and YouTubers and any kind of those content creators.
I am not patient anymore for anyone who don’t put the effort into doing that. And I will come to a part about how they get the benefit out of it in a second.
But for me personally, it’s so easy for me to switch and move on to someone else because, let’s face it, we have options for other type of content. We don’t have to stick with those people. It is a shame if they don’t provide accessibility to it, but we just have to move on.
The one thing is though, it’s not just about having the perfect transcript, the perfect caption and all these kind of things. It’s not about being perfect. I’m not perfect and I’m providing transcript as much as I can, make it really good quality, make it structured, have images and all these things. I try my best to do that and I encourage people to do that.
But the most important thing is about making serious attempts to make your content, and in this case I’m talking about those audio and video-based content, it’s about making them more accessible.
Because we have to accept the fact that you are going to be excluding a huge chunk of people who can’t access your content otherwise.
And by the way, I’m not just talking about d/Deaf and hard of hearing people. There’s so many people who will not be able to access that. It could be anybody who are blind or it could be anybody with learning disability.
Maybe that person doesn’t know your language, but wants to read it in a language that they’re comfortable with, for example, English, and they have access to it.
There are so many benefits to it, and I’m going to link in the show note of the benefits of using transcript and captions and subtitles. There are so many, and it’s not just for d/Deaf people. There are so many people who can benefit out of it as well. So make sure you check it out in the show note, that link to a blog post.
Nobody should be shot down because of accessibility needs
But I’m a strong believer that nobody should be shut down because of their accessibility need. And especially when I think it’s something it is in your control if you’re creating those content.
Nobody should be shut down because of their accessibility needs, and this particular phrase that I’m saying right now is coming from a personal experience.
Again, I will link to it here and you can read about my own time when I have been shut down on that particular occasion. But it’s happened a number of time.
So it’s in your control. This is very different when it comes to, for example, trying to encourage cinemas to provide caption. We have less control over that because it’s one thing that we have to talk about, protest about, shout about it, but we don’t have access to the machine that does it or install it, whatever.
But if you’re creating this content, that is in your full control.
The thing is as well, I’m going to talk a little bit about those other benefit that you get from out of it. You can create a blog post out of it when you have a transcript. You can make it better for your website in terms of search engine optimisation and people will find it more easier if they Google it.
It’s also a great place for you to provide links to sources. For example, I’ve just mentioned I have provided links to your blog post so I’m going to link to it in the show note and in the transcript itself. That’s just easy to do that.
It makes it more credible as well because if I’m, for example, or you are, going to be talking about a specific research or a specific topic that someone talked about, well then, if you link to that person then it gives you better credibility because you’re not making it up.
And also, it’s just easier to scan content, just to skim through it. Whether you like it or not, we all do that when we go online and we read any blog post, articles, whatever it is, we all skim. We all quickly scan through it for various reasons.
But why not give that option?
The idea is to make it as good as an experience as possible for anybody who is using the content, accessing it, reading it, listening to it, watching it, whatever it is.
And all of this, you can do it for free, and I know people think about, “Oh, this costs money to create transcript and to create caption, when they all cost money.”
But you can do it for free. There are so many places that you can do it. I just don’t think it’s an excuse to use cost as a factor. There’s so many technologies out there that allow you to do it.
So this is so important, and this is so important for your content to reach more people. At the same time though, don’t forget that I’m not just talking about content which are available to the internet and to the public.
It’s not just about the public content
Maybe the company that you work for, they have internal video training guide, or some kind of onboarding video series for new employees to the office, or maybe for new customers to use your products. Well, they are also important so make sure it’s accessible.
It’s not just about those which are available to everyone in the World Wide Web. It’s also for those internal private videos and any kind of documents that you have and make it accessible.
So make sure that people can access that because it will make an experience for those new employees or those new customers who have those videos, it will make their experience better.
It will make more of a comfortable experience for them as well. So just make sure that you have that in your consideration as well.
Even after all that, if you don’t want to provide transcript and caption, if you don’t want to do any of it at all, despite all these things that I’ve mentioned, all the benefits, then you just have to ask yourself the question of, “Why do you do what you do?”
What’s the point of creating this content if you’re comfortable that fewer people, and maybe fewer than you want, actually, but fewer people are getting the benefits out of it? What’s the point of creating this content if you’re not going to give it to as many people as possible?
You just have to ask yourself that question. And then, dare I say it, is it because you are lazy as well?
I have called out so many people who have literally no excuse in terms of they have resources, in terms of people around them and finance and all these things, and they have all these available to them, but they just don’t want to.
And I just sometimes think, “Is it because that person is lazy? Is it because that person don’t care?” I don’t know. I would love to know from that person’s perspective why do they not do it? And I’m not going to accept anything because of like cost or, “I don’t have time” or anything like that.
If it’s important to you to reach people, then this is important for you as well. The benefits for providing anything like transcripts and captions and subtitles far, far outweighs the negative. It really is.
There’s so much more benefits to it than you think, and you are going to miss out. You are going to miss out on potentially a lot more people to have access to your content.
I have linked to a post about the benefits of using it. And also keep an eye on the website at hearmeoutcc.com for more information about how to create captions and what to look out for, those content will also be added too as well.
So, like I said, this is also coming from me personally to provide transcripts for your podcast and for your videos. Provide captions and subtitles for your videos as well. Not only I get the benefit out of it, but you will also massively, massively get the benefit out of it as well.
If you don’t believe me, contact me, let me know and I hope I can prove you wrong.
But I hope this makes sense. I hope you enjoyed reading this transcript or listening to a podcast, whatever you’re doing. I hope you found it useful, and make sure you check out the show notes.
And also, make sure you subscribe to the podcast as well so that you don’t miss out on the future episode as well.
Thank you for being here. Thank you for listening and reading transcript. I really do appreciate it.
In the meantime, I will speak to you soon.
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