more on expectations of subtitling and so on

To follow up on my post yesterday, it didn’t end there. The entire exchange is as follows (as of now — he may or may not respond to my last note, but hasn’t as of this writing):

Hm. A video clip on disability art that isn’t captioned for the *ahem* deaf?

lots in fact. i am told Deafness is not a disability issue by Deaf people.

Um, wow. Look, I’m deaf, and while I don’t personally regard this as a disability issue, I am *extremely* interested in accessibility issues which are generally lumped into “disability issues” anyway– and whether or not I regard being deaf as a disability, I still need captions if I’m to understand videos about any topic that I’m interested in. And *usually* people who work with disability issues of any type are sensitive to that.

But with your attitude, I don’t think I’m interested in your work with disability art anyway.

access and disability are complex issues – usually overrated. Poverty, class and power are the real issue (along with self expression). most material on my vimeo is subtitled – the loose extra stuff is not. Why? Cost, time, skills and the recognition that it is not actually possible to be fully accessible (why is not also audio described; provide a transcription or braille download (see above)). if large billionaire dollar corporations cannot achieve one can always pick on someone just doing their stuff. i fully believe in accessibility but i also recognize it is not practically possible on everything (sadly). Aim the criticism at those who need reminding or pressuring (those who never do anything yet have waste power and wealth – the opposite of me). Paul

OK. Look, I was at this website:

It says: We are looking to commission six talented Wales based Disabled or Deaf artists (Performers, Writers, Visual artists, Musicians, Poets, Live artists etc) to join the camp.

It then says: See the film of Dr. Paul Darke – Visual Arts Manager at DASH, in conversation Colin Hambrook – Editor of Disability Arts Onine, discussing the past, present and future of Disability Arts.

So, my expectation of subtitles in your video was not unreasonable. Your churlish responses were unreasonable and insulting do not look good for either you or Camp DAG’s call for participants.

The exchange is currently up at his vimeo account; I don’t know whether or not he will leave it there or remove it.

His two responses are unrelated to each other, which I find baffling. Well, actually I don’t. His first response seems to me to indicate some type of resentment or disdain of deaf people, as evidenced by his willingness to seize on the “deaf-not-disabled” meme as an excuse to deny accessibility. His second response is a non sequitur in this particular exchange and is actually one I might have been more sympathetic to had he responded that way initially. But even this argument of his doesn’t hold up given the context in which I came across his video. It is being used in a call for participants that explicitly included deaf people!

On another note, I am actually in the “deaf-not-disabled” camp myself, as are probably most people who are born deaf are. I feel normal; I don’t feel like I’m unable to live my life as I wish. Yes, I require accommodations in various areas in order to fully access the world I live in, but most people actually require some forms of accommodation. Accessibility is an issue for all of us, not simply “disabled” people. This last is an important point. The thing is, for many people, “accommodations” are widely accepted and therefore not seen as issues of accessibility even when they are. Glasses are a simple example. Stairs are another — accommodating those of us who would otherwise be unable to climb up to second (and beyond) stories. Accommodations also tend to benefit many people besides the “typical” group. Ramps make buildings and other public ways accessible to wheel chair users, but they also make the same accessible to mothers with strollers, people with rolling suitcases, and so on. Automatically opening doors, the same thing. Heck, captioning benefits people who are in libraries, or who don’t have audio on their computers, or for whom English is a second language (this last group is actually the largest consumer of captioned material in this country). It also benefits the people who release their material with captions because it opens their visual material to being text-based searchable, so that a google search of “disability arts” could produce a link to this video if it were captioned.

Obviously, the general issues are more complex when you start digging. For example, there is a group of deaf people who do view their deafness as a disability (specifically as a loss) — those who are late deafened, for example. And for them, a medically oriented, pathological treatment of their condition makes sense. For me, it does not.

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