Online video is popular — well, duh. But what’s equally true is that it’s no longer just about fun but silly viral videos. When a US President-elect chooses to use it to reach his constituency, when important news organizations deliver news this way, it is a critical part of the technological infrastructure, to rival and surpass “traditional media”.
This too, is a truism, of course.
But somehow it does not yet seem obvious to governments and important organizations that the messaging this medium provides has to be accessible to everyone.
Sure, de jure, at least the governments are requiring such accessibility. There is Section 508 of Rehabilitation Act
, ADA, and others in the US; Disability Discrimination Act
in the UK, etc.
But de facto it is far, far from being the case even for the organizations that such laws mostly apply to. BBC, a public service corporation
, laments the lack of “technology to provide subtitles on online videos”
. A US .gov site publishes YouTube videos
without captions while reiterating commitments to accessibility
As to private sector, well, as Megan Taylor quips
, its “self-regulation [...] looks like [that of] Wall Street”.
It seems that Joe Clark
has a point in calling for standards, and, in some cases, regulation.
But that can’t be done but for the great efforts and activism of people and organizations like Bill Creswell
, Ian Jolly
, Reunify Gally
, We Can Do
, and countless others who raise this issue time and again.
We’ll get there.
But we’d get there a lot faster if one more person was in the above list. A very influential one.
Hey, 2006 Time Magazine’s Person of the Year, I am talking to you