Generic caption files for videos with no audio

Not all videos have audio, but this isn’t obvious for people who use closed captions. These fall into two camps: decorative and instructive.

  • Decorative videos are often used in the background of pages. They are short, perhaps three seconds long, and may loop. These don’t require a caption file.
  • Instructive videos may include a short demonstration or a time-lapse video of a scene. They have no spoken words or environmental sounds. These should have a caption file, as there’s no indication that a person who uses closed captions is missing information.

With the guidance of Sarah Margolis-Greenbaum, I’ve created a sample caption file you can use with your videos: Generic No Audio Caption (Github). This caption file will display “[No audio]” at the 2 second mark and will appear for 3 seconds.

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Long COVID, Brain Fog, and Inclusive Design Resources

At this point, we’ve all become aware of COVID-19 and the impact it has on people when they are sick with the virus. But the initial infection is just the start of many people’s recovery journey. Approximately 30% will experience Long COVID, a diverse set of symptoms that can last for months. This includes those whose initial illness is relatively light.

Long COVID

Long COVID symptoms are diverse. They include fatigue, breathing and heart issues, neurological impact, mental health (anxiety), and brain fog. Not recognizing Long COVID affects those returning to the workplace and not able to meet previous expectations.

Brain Fog

Brain fog is not unique to COVID-19. It’s also common for people recovering from cancer treatment, menopause, and chronic illness. It includes short term memory loss, difficulty focusing on tasks, blurred vision, and mental acuity.

Working with Long COVID

As we bring our whole selves to work, this includes our temporary and permanent disabilities. There are tools and resources for succeeding while experiencing Long COVID and Brain Fog. This starts with recognition from leaders and managers, working together for accommodations plans, and realistic goals and expectations.

Inclusive Design

With an awareness of Long COVID and Brain Fog, we can make changes to our products and services to support our customers and colleagues. Designs should support readability, recognition instead of recall, and simple vs complex designs.

The following resources have been collected while researching Long COVID, Brain Fog, and inclusive design for an upcoming presentation at CSUN 22. There’s a lack of information about how we can use our roles as accessibility and inclusive design leaders to improve the usability of our products and services for people who have Long COVID and its associated disabilities. Now is the time for us to reevaluate our work to include short term memory loss, anxiety, loss of focus, readability, and alternative documentation formats.
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Gallaudet 11 and Disability Ambassadors

You may have heard about the recent zero-g flight with 12 “disability ambassadors” who participated in various studies.

The 12 ambassadors on board, which included people with mobility, vision and hearing disabilities, conducted demonstrations and experiments during the flight. They aim to use their experience to improve the understanding of what spacecraft environments could and should be like to be more inclusive and accessible for all.

However, they were not the first group with a disability to take off. In fact, the Gallaudet 11 joined NASA in the 1950’s to study prolonged weightlessness. All but one had become deaf early in their lives due to spinal meningitis, which damaged the vestibular systems of their inner ear in a way that made them “immune” to motion sickness. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DT8-n-itEjU

Virtual Volunteer Opportunities for Accessibility Champions

At Intuit, we value community contributions and volunteering with a non-profit organization within the disability community is a required step to becoming a Level 2 Accessibility Champion. I created this list for our champions to explore. There are some fantastic opportunities for everyone to make a difference.

Virtual Volunteer Opportunities

  • Zooniverse: Assist researchers by reviewing large image sets, i.e. counting and identifying animals photographed in the wild
  • Career Village: answer questions posed to this career advice job board for underrepresented communities.
  • Amnesty International: help AI by reviewing documents, images, and other resources for information on human rights violations
  • Letter writing opportunities
    • Operation Gratitude (U.S.) – Show thanks to Troops, Veterans, New Recruits, or Wounded Heroes and their Caregivers for their service to our country. Care Package recipients say these letters, notes, and drawings are the most cherished items in their box.
    • Love for the Elderly (Global, but mailed to U.S. address) – Cards are collected and mailed to elders in senior communities across the globe. Small gestures in everyday life, like showing compassion and performing random acts of kindness, help us all  feel loved.
    • Post Pals (UK) – sending of cards, letters, emails and little gifts to seriously ill children and their siblings in the UK.
    • In Great Company (AU) – help to send beautiful notes of friendship to our seniors to show them we care.
  • Transcribing research documents:  Smithsonian Transcription Center and the Royal BC Museum have large collections of documents that need to be transcribed.
  • Accessibility Audit and Consulting for non-profit organization: Catch a Fire is a web site  that connects volunteers with organizations around the world. You can search for Accessibility requests and more.
  • Record your voice to create personalized voices for assistive technology: VoiceBank is creating a large collection of voices to provide personalized assisted communication devices.
  • Proofread scanned books for BookShare. This is the largest supplier of audio and digital books for people with print disabilities.

Create virtual cards for children being treated for Cancer: St Jude has an online card maker.

Inclusive Home Design from China

My current obsession is a home renovation show. You’ve seen a million of these shows that primarily center on an architect/designers ego and their interpretation of what a homeowner would like. But this show is completely different. Dream House Renovation – ?????, a Chinese show with English subtitles, is a masterclass in inclusive design.Each episode follows a family living in home that doesn’t fit their needs. Many times the household is multi-generational and the designers have to build unique solutions for grandparents to the grand children.

Episode 6 is a classic example. It features  Wang Zhichong, a prominent translator/author with ankylosing spondylitis. His wife has been his primary care giver, but now has dementia. Their daughter travels more than an hour each day to care for them. They have a flat that is 45square meters and doesn’t support his reduced motion, a bathtub that is unusable, and no space for their daughter to spend the night. The episode starts with an ego-driven designer that uses minimal research and combines general inclusive concepts with no personal customization. Problems quickly arise and he is replaced by an architect that takes a truly inclusive approach. This designer meets with the client, the client’s doctor, takes body measurements, and explores how the house can better support the couple. The final home is beautiful and provides unique solutions for each member of the family. Including this chair that was designed to Wang’s body and supports him while he works.Wang Zhichong using a customized chair that helps him stand at his desk

You can watch the show on Amazon Prime