The Internet is Not That Scary

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Robert McConnell, a 23-year-old student at Gallaudet University in Northeast Washington, said Web cameras, instant-messaging programs and his BlackBerry allow him to communicate in ways that were not available to previous generations of the deaf and hard of hearing. "We live through our thumbs," he said of his dependence on his cellphone to send text messages and photos of sign-language sequences.

But video clips and many TV shows that are streamed online are often unintelligible to him because they lack captions. ...

Similarly, Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential candidate, has put captions on many of the videos on his campaign Web site, McConnell has observed. Officials with Republican candidate Sen. John McCain did not say whether his site provides captions for videos.
-- Access Denied, Washington Post June 19, 2008 Page D1 (emphasis mine.)

Seriously?? It's impossible to go to the Web site and check? I understand that the reporter might have been nervous about missing some secret button, but if she can quote some random kid about Obama, wouldn't she be able to look at the Web site, or get someone else to look at the Web site to figure out what the deal is?

If she was still nervous how about a graf like this:

McCain's Web site does not offer a clear way to access closed captioning, and does not appear to offer it at all. Obama's Web site has closed captioned videos in a designated "channel" on"BarackTV," the name of the video part of his Web site.

It's clunky, but it does the job.

I actually have met this reporter and she is smart, nice, and young enough to be tech savvy, which is good, since she covers technology. So, I have no clue what happened here, in what was otherwise a very interesting and well-reported article.

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