Filming The Philadelphia Geek Awards this year, as always, is just an incredibly fun time but also gives me the opportunity to see all of the amazing things that are happening in my hometown. The winner of Geek of the Year this year, Ather Sharif, got everyone in the hall choked up with his acceptance speech on how he overcame his injury and, more importantly, how he continues to be a strong proponent of accessibility and inclusion. I heard him loud and clear that night, and going forward I'm taking steps to make my work as accessible as I can.
The Speech You Should Watch
What Can a Filmmaker Do?
It's dead simple: add closed captioning. It's not sexy and it's not fun, but with the tools built right in, there's also not an excuse to skip it. Vimeo uses a service called Amara that allows you to build the captions yourself or pay a very reasonable $1.70/minute to have your video captioned. They can also subtitle and translate your videos, which makes it available to an even wider audience. Had I not done it myself, the above video would've only cost $10.20 to be fully captioned. This expands your reach and shows you give a damn that everyone has a similar viewing experience.
Going forward, I'm going to ensure that all of my videos are as inclusive as possible.