North Texas 23: Thing 20 – YouTube

YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/) is neat!  I’ve been neglecting it.  I used the library-related search terms and found some interesting videos.  Some were descriptive – basically public relations spots for libraries, some were informative – a craft show produced by Abilene Public Library, videos of children’s story hours, and some were just funny – book cart drill team.

As a solution to the ever-problematic issue of how to get local television stations to do brief spots on public services such as libraries, YouTube seems to be the answer everyone was waiting for.

Although many of these incorporated text in a PowerPoint slide show way, the YouTube options for displaying annotations or captions weren’t used, because apparently, no one thinks of captioning their uploads.  In one – “The OPAC Sucks” – a rock anthem about OPAC deficiencies, a commentator actually asked for captions because the lyrics weren’t understandable!

Web2Access has extensive comments about YouTube (http://www.web2access.org.uk/product/8).  Some of the issues related to captioning YouTube videos are discussed at this site from University of Washington web developers (http://cuwebd.ning.com/group/accessibility/forum/topic/show?id=1763934%3ATopic%3A358).  Captions need to be added to videos prior to uploading. An alternative YouTube interface by Christopher Heilmann is available on his blog (http://www.wait-till-i.com/2008/06/12/making-youtube-easier-and-more-accessible/).

Ratings for YouTube are 73% for those with blindness and severe visual impairments, 78% for those with partial sight and visual acuity, and a very low 33% for those with hearing impairments.

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