At Verbit we take pride in creating a solution accessible to all those in the world. This goes from educators to students to businessman to old ladies in Montana. We understand the importance of providing content which suits the requirements of those wanting to further themselves. In many instances this has proved to be difficult for those with learning disabilities, therefore proprietary technology has been fine-tuned to the address the specific needs of this field.
In 1990 the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) was welcomed into law as a means of providing equality for people with disabilities. This meant equal opportunities across the board from the work place to school, through state and local government services, transportation, and through the use of commercial facilities.
However, in order to create disability standards it is important to understand how disability is defined. The ADA decided to create a greater general emphasis on how disability is defined in 2008 and both physical and mental aspects are now being taken into consideration. Whilst people who have a type of disability, whether it psychological or emotional, ADA puts focus on providing an equal service and accommodating their needs where necessary. Before the ADA was established there were no legal requirements for organisations to cater the needs of the disabled population. For example, ramps in public buildings were not mandatory but more so a conscious choice.
In order to assess the different interactions and areas disabled people may encounter, the ADA has been split into 5 categories, and these are, employment, public entities, public accommodations, telecommunications, and miscellaneous provisions.
EDUCATION The first components prohibit any discrimination in the education system. This includes experiencing discrimination directly or via the use of online learning content. Transcribing and captioning on online video content are two of the ways communication has been made much more accessible for disabled students. As ADA do not specifically focus on online video or video captioning they do use a service called “auxillary aids” which provides an equal service and access to disabled people.
PUBLIC ENTITIES Public entities refer to places and services accessible to the general public, for example schools, courts, police departments. This section neglects discrimination against disabled people in these areas. Furthermore, in employment disabled workers must not be alienated and unable to perform tasks due inaccessible processes or procedures. In such instances video captioning is necessary for training purposes and other forms of communication within the work place.
PUBLIC ACCOMODATIONS Public accommodations often include places such as hotels, bed and breakfasts, restaurants, shops, cinemas, museums, doctors offices, and more. Such accommodations must be accommodating to disabled visitors, thus they must include facilities which are easily accessible without compromising the enjoyment of the individual. The products and services provided should be of equal quality as those without disabilities.
Whilst public accommodation has been traditionally defined as, “a physical construction whose operation affects the global market.” This definition has since recently been broadened to include online services such as Netflix who are now taken under the public accommodation model.
Entities such as Netflix have faced criticism for failing to comply regulations set by the ADA and in 2010 they were targeted by NAD (national association of the deaf) for not including video captioning on much of their online videos. By 2012 Netflix decided to settle the suit by agreeing to caption up to 100% of their videos by 2014.
In the new age of modern technology online sites must provide services which are accessible to disabled people in the same manor public entities do in the form of different building constructions and facilities.
Sites that do video/audio transcripts and caption see an average increase of 16% on revenue.
Online video captioning has become more relevant as more and more people are living their lives via online media on a daily basis. Captioning is a great way of enabling deaf viewers to watch programmes via syncing audio with written text.
Even though ADA do not specifically focus on online video captioning there is an increasing number of government bodies that do and in doing so comply to some standard regulations. These include syncing captions in time with audio, replacing caption frames with another caption, 99% accurate spelling and grammar, readable font, and more.
For many disability advocates such as Verbit, the ADA is a much needed entity as they continue to ensure services that are equally effective for those with disabilities.