5 Video Bloggers Doing Captioning Right
Updated: June 3, 2019
With online video taking on such a huge role in our lives and our culture, video blogging (vlogging) has become an increasing trend. No matter what you “vlog” about, there’s one thing all vlogs should have in common – closed captions. Although many YouTube vloggers rely on the platform’s automatic captions, that simply is not enough. Video content creators should be adding accurate and comprehensive captions to their videos. Adding captions will make your videos accessible and more successful. These five vloggers are already taking the next step, and some of them are sharing how (and why) you should do the same!
Kat Blaque is a Feminist YouTuber, Illustrator, Animator and Writer. Beyond that – she’s a captioner!
Although Kat’s been blogging since 2005, she didn’t start out captioning her videos. It was being called out on Tumblr that brought the idea of captioning to her attention. Like many others, Kat explains, “For some odd reason, I had never really considered the fact that there were people who were deaf that watched YouTube videos. It sounds insensitive, but it was just something I just hadn’t considered.”
Kat initially turned to the Internet as an emotional outlet, and has successfully transformed her passion for social media and writing into a career. Unsurprisingly, Kat wasn’t thrilled about being called out about something that didn’t seem like a big deal to her. Kat was then introduced to Rikki Poynter, and that’s when her eyes were opened and she had a major change of heart.
Since gaining popularity, Kat says she’s had many people refer to her as a “Media Influencer”. Understanding the true weight behind this term has inspired Kat to use her power for good. On top of captioning her own videos, Kat has become a captioning advocate who encourages and educates others on the need for making their videos accessible to all viewers. Here’s why you should start captioning.
Safiya Nygaard is a former Video Producer at Buzzfeed Video. She worked there from April 2015 to the end of January 2017, and worked on Ladylike for most of her time there. Safiya was interested in having her own YouTube channel, and since leaving Buzzfeed, has been focusing 100% of her energy on this opportunity. All her fans are pretty grateful for this dedication!
Thanks to Safiya’s good captioning habits, no one has to miss out on her unique content! Safiya doesn’t specifically say why she chooses to caption her videos, but we’re glad she does! While her captions are crowd-sourced and suffer from the occasional formatting error or lack of punctuation, we still commend her for captioning so widely across her channel. She posts new videos twice a week. Her videos cover things from style and beauty challenges to bad makeup science experiments and questionable fashion decisions – or as she puts it “Beauty, Style, and Weirdness.”
ASL Stew’s Jill and Jenna describe their channel as “your one stop shop for anything interpreting, or Deaf culture related.” Jill is hearing, and is a certified ASL interpreter. Her wife, Jenna, is Deaf. This dynamic duo really does cover anything you might want to know about Deaf culture. They cover topics like being a new signer at Deaf events to hearing-Deaf relationship tips, Deaf History Month, cultural differences between hearing and Deaf people, American Sign Language, interpreting, and cooking.
All of their videos are accessible, with captions or subtitles. Many also have a voiceover for when they are using ASL. If you’re looking for practical (and fun) advice, ASL Stew has you covered!
Austin Andrews, best known to his YouTube fans as Awti, works with Deaf and hearing ASL professionals. As a child of Deaf adults (CODA) Awti offers his viewers a unique and personal perspective. Awti posts on a variety of topics, including an interesting discussion of privilege, and how people can use their hearing privilege positively in the ASL and deaf community.
You also won’t want to miss his heartwarming story of why he’s thankful to his dad. Awti’s videos are captioned and have a voiceover when he is signing. Thanks, Awti!
Amanda McDonough is a Deaf actress. Her YouTube channel includes demos and samples of her TV and film, but also has videos about being Deaf – like short ASL lessons. Check them out to learn fingerspelling.
Amanda is an actress, speaker, advocate, and author who grew up just outside of LA. Some of her most recent credits include NBC’s “Bad Judge,” ABC Family’s “Switched at Birth,” “Just Us Guys,” and films such as “Listen” and “Silent Star.”
Not only does Amanda caption her YouTube videos, but she even has a video on her channel dedicated to TV captioning! That’s what we call a #captioningadvocate.
These five video bloggers are doing it right! By adding captions, their videos are accessible, searchable, and more engaging.
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