Those of us who spend much of our time writing or generating other forms of communication need to keep accessibility on the top of our minds. It’s easy to forget about it as we hurry to get things done.

When I published my blog linking to the video of my Toastmasters speech I heard from my cousin who is hearing impaired. She said she liked the speech and said that she was glad it was captioned. I hadn’t captioned it, so I assumed that YouTube did it automatically.

Now I know that I don’t have the best quality sound in that video, having used my laptop’s built-in microphone. But still, the job that YouTube’s speech-to-text software did was, at best, horrible.

My introduction, which started with the traditional, “Mr. Toastmaster, fellow members,” came out as “mr Joyce  master blenders.” When I said, “Finally, it must have been probably two-and-a-half hours…” YouTube rendered it as, “finally there are way too many happy hours…” Good grief, I stopped going to bars decades ago. And when I did it was generally later in the evening.

I took the time to thoroughly and carefully clean up the closed captions. If someone in my family needs captions to access my video, I know that there are many others who do as well.

Perhaps you heard Stevie Wonder at the Grammys saying:

quoteWe need to make every single thing
accessible to every single person with a disability.

I bet you know someone who needs some kind of accessibility.

Keep accessibility at the top of your mind and remind me to keep doing so as well.

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