This activity, from my Computers and Writing class this week and the guru-of-accessibility, professor Melanie Yergeau, was designed to see how accessible the caption feature on youtube really is for video material. We recorded ourselves reading a paragraph of text (mine is me reading my blog response to the readings from the other day), and then we uploaded the audio to youtube, turned on the captions, and looked to see what would come out. You can listen to and watch mine below, just click on the CC captioning icon when you press play to see the captions.
Overall, though, I’m surprised at how good of a job the youtube captioner does. Ok, ok, so the captioner has no idea how to use a comma, and authors Bowie and Zdenek became “slowly and senate,” but who even knows how to say Zdenek’s name anyway? And digi-rhetors became “digi-renters,” but I’m not even sure digi-rhetors is a word some of my colleagues would recognize if I said it to them face to face. In class, Melanie mentioned that the youtube captioner does better with a man’s voice – maybe my voice is manly?!? I am an alto, after all.
All in all, an interesting experiment in accessibility for digital video. Maybe the youtube captioner technology is getting better, for which those of us who care (or should care) about accessibility can rejoice.