Vlog Transcribing and Captioning, Accessibility in Ottawa & More

In my recent post, I had vented about the arising issue of transcribing and/or captioning vlogs, a fad that is quickly becoming the hot property in the Deaf community nationwide and worldwide. I’m pleased to see that the post had incited discussions and possible solutions – and it had shed some light on the increasing gap between the Deaf Blind and Deaf communities.

One of the commenters said it well: By not including the Deaf Blind in the Deaf community, it defeats the theory of Deafhood by leaving behind our blind brothers and sisters. Well said, Barinthus!

In the wake of the vlog captioning/transcribing debate, an unlikely blogger has come forward with an idea of a transcribing service (which I hope will lift off the ground and become successful). Ben Vess of DerSanktSpeaks.wordpress.com , has started this entrepreneurship after volunteering to transcribe Ridor’s vlogs. Go over to his site and find out how you can submit your vlog to be transcribed.

More accolades go to Banjo of  Banjo’s World, he has showed me that it is possible to caption vlogs. Check him out at http://banjosworld.blogspot.com/search/label/Vlog  . I cannot find the feature where it becomes full-size on the monitor. If that feature is possible, then those who are near-sighted can read the captions. Right now, for me, it’s a little difficult to read the captions with comfort.

After reading comments on which of these are more accessible – transcripts or captions – I would say transcriptions are more accessible than captioning. For one, fully blind people can read the text in their refreshable Braille displays via the Internet, while with captioning they cannot do so. Google may have come up with an easier way to caption vlogs but it may be time-consuming and there seems to be no feature to blow up the screen. I hope that the Deaf community takes Ben Vess aka DerSankt’s offer and transcribe their vlogs. Let me tell ya, many Deaf Blind will let out a sigh of relief.

I’d like to answer Mishkazena‘s question about the Americans with Disabilities Act’s nonspecific policies for the Deaf Blind. I have old research information but it’s lost somewhere in the hard-drive junkyard Gallaudet has, but this motivates me to look up new information and share it with you all. More benefits go to the Hearing Blind and the Deaf in terms of policies covering technology and education funding, and grants for organizations. Information will come soon.

ToddE asked me if he knew me from Gallaudet. Good question, do I know you, too? I attended Gallaudet from 1999 to 2006, with a semester off to study Braille, cane training & sign language in tactile at the Canadian Helen Keller Centre. I started using my cane circa 2003.

AADB’s Monthly Newsletter: It’s out! It’s free – go to www.aadb.org to find out how you can subscribe!

Complaint with the Ottawa Transportation: In the two months I commute to work daily, I have run into a few too many peoblems with the Ottawa transportation system. Instead of “whining and bitching about it and doing nothing” I have written a letter to the headquarters requesting a meeting. Hope they listen. Read below.

Ottawa-Carleton Transpo

Accessibility Division

1500 St. Laurent Boulevard

Ottawa, Ontario K1G 0Z8


613 842 3625


Christine Roschaert





February 26, 2007


To Whomever it May Concern:


            My name is Christine Roschaert, a native of Ottawa who is Deaf and legally Blind. I have just relocated back to this city after residing in Washington, D.C. and I use the local transportation everyday to commute to and from work. I do not use the ParaTranspo because I have some sight remaining and prefer flexibility and spontaneity of local transportation over pre-arranged and limited transportation.


            In my commutes and nightly sojourns, I have found it rather difficult to get around in the bus terminals and I find myself uncomfortable to ride the bus due to several reasons. For instance, often I receive minor injuries because once I get on the bus using my blind cane to guide me to my seat, the drivers tend to “bolt” and not wait until I am safely seated. This results in loss of balance and I slam into people or hazardous objects, like the steel poles.

            I am not going to list them all in this letter, rather, I am requesting a meeting with the people responsible for accessibility from the OC Transpo headquarters as soon as possible. When a day and time is confirmed, I will book a sign language/voice interpreter to ensure communication between the two parties is a smooth ride, no pun intended.


            I hope that you take my concerns seriously and feel compelled and motivated to improve accessibility for blind Ottawans who depend on the OC Transpo daily. I can be contacted at the email address provided above.



Christine Roschaert

I am in the process of searching for a high quality webcam so that I can start vlogging. I have a million ideas to vlog about, especially “how to”‘s (guiding, tactiling, conversing, vlogging with and for the Deaf Blind). I am excited about this prospect!

By the way, a reminder: if you have any interesting articles, information, research, stories, technology tidbits and even political bits about the Deaf Blind anywhere in the world, please feel free to submit! Contact me at tactiletheworld@gmail.com.

Tactile luv. 

This entry was posted in Advocacy, Education & Training, Technology & Equipment. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Vlog Transcribing and Captioning, Accessibility in Ottawa & More

  1. A Proud Canadian says:

    Way to go, Christine! I’d want to join and march with you.

    Take care and best of luck on whatever you do in Ottawa, especially in educating the public in Ottawa.

    Scott Burch

  2. ToddE says:

    Thank you for offering suggestions on how to make ASL Vlogs more accessible. I will try to provide transcripts from now on. My vlogs will still be captioned, though.

    And it appears I do not know you. Sorry. 🙂 I was thinking of this Deaf/Blind woman I met at Gallaudet during 1996-98, but the name escapes me now. At any rate, it’s nice to meet you on DeafBlogLand, and I look forward to reading (& viewing) more of your contributions.

  3. Banjo says:

    Alright, thanks for letting me know.

    Perhaps I can just add the transcripts. I wonder if there’s a way to make a pop-up window with the transcript (a printer-friendly version). Anybody happen to know if that’s possible on Blogger?

    If not, then I probably will just copy and paste from the transcript used for the CC on my vlog.

  4. MM says:

    We all need captions as well as sign, or vlogs will be the domain of the few, blogs cannot go ‘global’ until the deaf offer as much acess to their blogs as they expect, mainstream to offer them. Equality, demands they offer other deaf equal access. Does anyone seriously believe deaf culture is undermined because of text translations ? and if they DO, is this some protectionist thing ?

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