You know, we were taught to stop, drop and roll whenever a puff of smoke hinders in a building or in a house. After seeing from debate to debate whether or not ASL vlogs should have subtitles or transcripts, we are not getting anywhere. So that is why I am recommending for us to stop, drop and roll. You can interpret whatever that means to you but let me tell you a thing or two. It looks like that there will be no definite solution because we cannot possibly force a vlogger to provide English text (i.e. captions/transcripts) AND we cannot even possibly force a blogger to provide ASL to translate from their writing but we can share our point of views with respect. My goal of this blog is to provide a balanced view where we can better understand the issue and move on.
Normally, I tend to do ASL video clips and provide English text as much as possible but I am placed under the circumstances that I am not able to do an ASL video blog at this moment. Should I wait until the timing is right to vlog which may take weeks for me? Nah, by the time I release it, this news will be so old (I hope). Should I stop blogging or vlogging just because there are people out there expecting both languages to be presented? Heck, no! Like everyone else, I have the right to decide the way I want to express in my vlog/blog and to feel free to throw in my thoughts. Actually, I don't think anyone is forcing anything but I do see expectations going on here.
It goes the same for you who want to continue to do your vlog without including subtitles and transcripts and it goes the same for you who want to continue to blog without including ASL. But wait..what about those readers who don't comprehend English well may not enjoy reading blogs? What about those viewers who don't comprehend ASL well may not enjoy viewing vlogs? What about the Deaf-Blind people? What about the non-signers? What about...what about..the list goes on and on. Know what? It is your blog or vlog that you get to decide the kind of audience you want to have. You are what you vlog or you are what you blog! Hmm, does that phrase sound familiar to you? Anyway, we have been fighting for communication access and for us not to make an example out of it; does it mean that we are bunch of hypocrites? I have got news for you, people. We all are hypocrites in our way whether we like it or not and that includes this blogger who shamelessly pointed fingers to those who don't provide English texts in their vlogs. Isn't it a hypocrite of him to cry equal access for those who struggle to comprehend English texts that he ends up not providing in ASL? No one has the right to point fingers if they are not practicing what they preach so lay it off!
We know very well that ASL vlogs are not equivalent to TV, movies or news because they do not make money out of it. There are no ads and sponsors for the most of ASL vlogs to provide captions unless the vloggers volunteer to spend more time to add subtitles themselves. That is their choice not to provide English text and it is not even against the law. While I understand that this very same blogger I talked about earlier pointed out that "providing transcripts for vlogs is pretty much the same feeling when someone offers a transcript for a movie or news video instead without providing any captions. It just does not convey the same feeling of something that’s more engaging (i.e. captioned) while watching a video at the same time." You also need to understand that the viewers especially those who use ASL watching ASL vlogs also have to put up with the distraction that they are not able to relax and focus on the message. Instead, they spent the time comparing both languages and thinking how it was translated like saying, "oh that is not the right way to interpret it or look at the subtitles, etc." and they ended up not getting the message. You get the picture, folks.
Closed-captioning has been around us for decades and of course we, the Deaf community, always appreciate that we have this access when it comes to viewing the media that consists a spoken language. When it comes to ASL vlogs, the feelings are not mutual in this DeafRead community and that is what it divides us, unfortunately. The subtitle supporters say it helps them to be more involved in vlogging that they are able to follow vlogs better while they others say they feel more detached from subtitled vlogs and it is like for the hearing to listen to English and French at the same time. It is an ongoing dilemma and one way to stop it is to respect the choice of the b/vlogger how they want to convey their messages.
You know, it is not fair to assume that those who don't provide subtitles or transcripts in their vlogs signals that they are oppressing the others. I honestly don’t believe it is the intention for most ASL vloggers who don’t provide captions or transcript is to oppress the others. They have their own reasons NOT to just like the bloggers have their own reasons NOT to provide in ASL. One of the reasons that the vloggers who are not even there with technological skills to do captioning or even worse that they are not capable to provide transcripts because of their limited English skills. They feel intimated and for those who give this kind of pressure even made them more inferior. On the other hand, one of the reasons that the bloggers chose not to provide ASL may not have the technological skills to do a video clip so again we cannot assume they are oppressing the others who depend on ASL. Just stop this madness!The only way I could provide an idea to a solution is to RESPECT the v/blogger's choice of language where we all could gain better awareness and sensitivity of the others. It is impossible to please everyone and we have to realize that is a reality. America is full of choices that we can chose what we like to see or read so come on and roll over with me and get out of the friggin' burning house and go to this link.