This past summer, my mother, sister, and I attended the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing convention in Denver, Colorado. It was during a seminar about accessible technology that it occurred to my mother that she had overlooked the need to close caption her workplace's videos. She knows that many people with hearing loss cannot understand recorded voices reliably, despite their personal hearing technology, and require captioning. As someone who has struggled to obtain access to the content of videos and recorded resources many times in the past, both for myself and for others, I believe that all web content deserves to be closed captioned.
While leaps and bounds have been made in accessibility, it has always struggled to keep pace with current innovation and technology. For example, caption decoding features were not required on television sets until 1990. However, the Internet, where the vast majority of video content is stored, is not often under the jurisdiction of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and was not at all before the 2010 signing of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act by President Obama. Despite this, small businesses are still not required to caption their videos.
We don't always need a law to tell us what the right thing to do is. I offered to close caption Signature Medical Spa's 13 videos available on the Signature Medical Spa YouTube channel. Adding captions to the Spa’s videos was a challenge for me (I have two cochlear implants to hear, and I need close captioning!) but was necessary to make the videos’ educational and promotional content accessible to those who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, non-native English speakers, or have auditory processing disorder. The Captions now allow the content to reach a much larger audience than before. Furthermore, I will continue to caption Signature Medical Spa's YouTube videos in the future.
For more information on closed captioning issues: