#Part of Me Podcast

Episode 15: Meryl - Video Captioning Effectiveness

February 01, 2019 Celebrating Disability Episode 15
#Part of Me Podcast
Episode 15: Meryl - Video Captioning Effectiveness
Chapters
#Part of Me Podcast
Episode 15: Meryl - Video Captioning Effectiveness
Feb 01, 2019 Episode 15
Celebrating Disability
Transcript
Esi :

Hello everybody. Welcome again to another podcast of part of me today. We're here with another interviewee. Thank you very, very much for tuning in. I would just like to say before we start with our interviewee that if you enjoy this podcast, it would be really great if you can share it with others and tell everybody else to come and listen to it because the more listeners we have, the more we spread the message of disability inclusion in the workplace. So on that note, I'm just going to introduce you to our next interviewee. So hello interviewee. Hello. Can you introduce yourself?

Meryl:

I'm Meryl Evans, a deaf digital marketing pro from Texas. I help companies achieve their marketing goals. These could be through content marketing campaigns, email marketing, social media management, SEO, website management. Digital marketing has a wide spectrum of activities and tactics.

Esi :

So, um, can you tell me the three challenges that you face in the workplace due to your disability? And explain a little bit about each.

Meryl:

As a self-employed digital marketer, most of my business comes from referrals. The challenging part is networking and engaging with prospects to find new clients. The second challenge is the phone. While I have a caption phone that I'm grateful for so I can make my own calls, it's a little different from a typical phone conversation. The captions are imperfect and there are pauses as it takes time for the captions to catch up. The third is that as a digital marketer, I know the value of podcasting and the growth of voice search. Voice search doesn't like my voice. And I don't think podcasting would work for me because of my accent and people need to see my face along with the captions to understand me better. But here I am giving it a shot. Sure, a podcast can have a transcript but it's a lot to read and I prefer to read books and online articles rather than a long podcast script.

Esi :

So you told me, I mean these are really interesting challenges and I can see, you know, you're working through them and making them work for you as well and you obviously really successful with your business and the work that you do. So how do you overcome some of those challenges?

Meryl:

I'm experimenting with different ways of connecting and engaging online. I'm all about building relationships and avoiding sales-speak. As for overcoming the challenge of using the caption phone, I made a video so people can see how it works. And the third challenge, I've been making sure content is conducive for voice search.

Esi :

If you could offer any advice to disabled employees in the workplace, what do you think the advice would be?

Meryl:

Be open and transparent. If people don't ask about accommodations or what you need, bring it up. Tell them you're an open book and willing to answer questions. I've made quite a few videos where I mention I'm deaf -- to help people get to know me beyond what's appears in words on the screen or paper.

Esi :

Okay, brilliant. Thank you. So if you could offer any advice to an employer hiring a disabled person, what would that be?

Meryl:

Good question! Be willing to ask questions and learn more. The more you know, the better everyone will be. Studies have shown that people with disabilities are the best workers you'll ever hire. They're loyal and stick around longer than the average employee. They come up with creative ideas and solutions. A lot of us have to worker harder in all parts of our lives, therefore we're often your hardest workers. And accessibility options are not always expensive. In fact, it's possible to profit from accessibility. When companies provide accessibility, people appreciate it and will most likely talk about the company in a good way.

Esi :

I completely agree. I quite often on these podcasts, I nod away and nobody can see me nodding, but I think sometimes I agree so much at my head is going to fall off. So yeah, I completely agree with everything you were saying. Thank you very much. So we're just going to ask a different, a new series of questions now about consumers in the workplace. So as a disabled customer, what would you say was your biggest challenge when buying a product or service

Meryl:

Another good question Esi. Videos that aren't captioned. In fact, I recent saw a video showing how to caption a video. Guess what? That video itself wasn't captioned.

Esi :

Really? That's quite ironic isn't it?

Meryl:

Can you believe it? So, It's not just people who are deaf and hard of hearing using captions. An OfCom survey has found that 80 percent of the people who use captions are NOT deaf or hard of hearing. The two other challenges for me as a person with a disability are the rise of podcasting and voice recognition devices.

Esi :

It's interesting isn't it? Because as you said, um, a lot of people who aren't disabled, or deaf or hard of hearing use captions. I was on the train this morning going into Reading for a meeting and I wanted to watch a video on Linkedin, but I couldn't because it wasn't captions and I was on a busy train. And so it supports everybody. Especially when you're trying to market your product, if nobody can understand what you're saying then they're never going to buy your product or service from you, are they? So what would you be - I mean the answer might be obvious here, but what would be your solution to solve the issue of no capturing? Captioning, sorry,

Meryl:

That's easy - make captions standard. I can't tell you how many of my friends and colleagues who are not deaf, they tell me they use captions - they have the sound off. It could because they're in public, they don't have their headphones or they're multitasking. It's not hard or expensive to caption videos. There are services that can caption videos affordably. I find most videos I watch are no longer than 5 mins. Anything longer will require too many sittings to view. The shorter the video, the easier to caption it. As I like to say, Caption, Capture, Captivate. You can't captivate people without capturing them. And you can't capture them without captions. And then, voice search is growing, regular search isn't going away. Ebooks did not replace the traditional book. The same applies to podcasting. People will still produce text-based content and videos with captions as alternatives to podcasts.

Esi :

I completely agree. And also, you know, I record my podcast on Buzzsprout and recently as you know very, very recently, which I'm a bit ashamed of, I've started captioning my Buzzsprout podcasts as they can be open to more people and it's really, as you say, it's not difficult to do at all. Buzzsprout providers a service, where I think they charge something like 20 cents a every 10 words or something, which isn't, you know, depending on, not word, sorry, every, every minute, which isn't, depending on how long the podcast and that's not a lot of money and 10 cents and England is even less money as well, so it's not very expensive. And then I captioned one to try it out and it only took about 10 minutes before it was ready. So it was not time consuming. It's not expensive as there's no reason at all why people aren't doing it. And as you said earlier, it helps with things like SEO, search engine optimization and everything. Um, because as you were saying, the content in the words can be captured that way. Um, so if people want to think about it in a non-disability and non-inclusive way it's going to support their business anyway. Um, so it's kind of a no brainer really. I think,

Meryl:

I think so too - I know a service that charges one dollar per minute. I don't know how that translates into pounds?

Esi :

it's probably about 70 p yeah, it's probably about 70 p.

Meryl:

Okay.

Esi :

Yeah, that's, that's kind of, I, I know that a little bit only from holidays. So that's not based on any kind of accuracy, but I would say it's about that much. But yeah. Is there anything else that you would like to tell us?

Meryl:

You can catch my videos about captions and other things on youtube.com/merylkevans as there are several videos encouraging companies to hire people who are different. If you need caption resources or any other information, contact me. I also encourage people to contact me with their questions whether it's related to deafness or digital marketing. I am happy to help educate and inform.

Esi :

that's great. Thank you so much. And what we'll do on this podcast, obviously we're going to caption this podcast so people can read and we can add the link into that. But what we'll also do is how to link to the end so that people can go onto your youtube page and onto your website and any other social media you would like people, uh, people to be able to know about so they can capture you. Well, thank you very much. And I will speak to you again next month listeners.