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Video-blogging comes to Ouch!

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Vaughan | 16:50 UK time, Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Thanks to the ease of use and simplicity of video-sharing sites like YouTube, video-blogging is becoming increasingly popular. Just boot up your computer and plug in a webcam - available at most high street electronic shops these days, at bargain prices - fire it up, and you're away. Like blogging, you can tell the world about your life, your thoughts, your experiences - but this time in moving pictures and speech rather than just plain old text.

Having featured guest writers from the disability blogosphere for some time on Ouch, we're now experimenting with video-blogging. Or 'vlogging', as all the cool kids are calling it. Our first two video-bloggers are Lorraine Hershon and Jemma Brown (who will already be familiar to Ouch readers as a regular guest blogger here).

Here's Lorraine's first video, in which she introduces herself:

Watch Lorraine's video on YouTube

And here's the latest video from Jemma, added just yesterday - though it wasn't an April Fool's joke, honest - in which she reveals some exciting education news!

Watch Jemma's video on YouTube

You can keep up with Lorraine's and Jemma's vids by bookmarking their YouTube pages. They go by the names of LorraineOuch and jemmabrown1988. But you'll be able to catch their latest video updates right here on Ouch's blog.

That's not all, though. If you've watched these videos and thought that you could do this too, drop us a line. We want to recruit some more vloggers whose regular updates about all aspects of life as a disabled person we'll feature here. You don't even have to have your own webcam - as we have a limited number that we're ready and willing to send out to the right people. So just email us at, telling us a bit about yourself, your interests, some of the things you'd like to talk about on Ouch, and why you think you would make a good video-blogger for us. And if you're already posting your own video blog entries to YouTube, get in touch with a link to your page.

• For more videos, this time specially produced for Ouch, check out these clips featuring Luke and Becca. It comes with further tips on how to get signed up to YouTube - or one of the many other video-sharing services out there on the net - and start uploading your own videos.


What I want to know is why a web site that purports to be for DISABLED people has not done the bare minimum work it needs to do to ensure that its own content is actually ACCESSIBLE to DISABLED people. Including DEAF people.

In other words, where are the captions on these video blogs? Or failing captions, at least transcripts?

Why do you even bother pretendinig to be a cross-disability web site if your web site is not designed to be cross-disability ACCESSIBLE? Why not just hang up a sign on your web site saying, "For all disabled people, unless you're deaf, in which case you can p*** off," and be done with it.

Ouch has clearly not thought this one through AT ALL.

Thanks for your comment there, i cant represent the views of ouch as a whole but i did look into what i could do to make my vlogging more accessable.

i had some serious issues trying to make things more accessab le to deaf viewers. So far i have been unable to find editing softwere that is accessable for me to use to put captions on, hence my vloggs are all un-edited.

I have however attempted to sign some stuff in to the webcam as im a level 2 BSL student but the technology just isnt there for signing strieght on to a P.C to be clear enough to be understood.

However I am intrested you mentioned the idea of a transcript, this is something i will definatly look in to and hadn't really thouht about trying.

  • 3.
  • At 05:44 PM on 03 Apr 2008, Disappointed Deaf Reader wrote:

Seems to me that if BBC Ouch is serious about supporting more vlogging efforts that they could or should give some help with this to ensure that deaf people are not left behind. If they can help distribute web cams, then why can't they also help with tech support for accessibility? Personally, I'd take this up with them, at least for those of your videos that are or will be hosted at Ouch.

Sounds like transcript might be the best way to go in your case, at least if you really are left to work out the accessibility issue all on your own. Not quite the same as watching the video itself, at least for sighted deaf people, but it would be more accessible for deaf-blind people. (Deaf-blind people make up about 2 percent of the overall deaf population. They're over-represented among deaf people because of conditions such as Usher's Syndrome that lead to deafness and blindness occurring together).

But, thank you for being interested and supportive. I felt very much betrayed to come to a site that pretends to be for all disabled people only to find that its newest feature was not even accessible to me and that no official word was given up front about when it would be made accessible. Not even an official apology from BBC Ouch, which I think they seriously owe to the Deaf, deaf, and hard of hearing communities. This strikes me as a rather hypocritical act on their part. (NOT blaming you--it should have been primarily BBC Ouch's reponsibility to work out the accessibility issues before they launched their new foray into video vlogging. They shouldn't be leaving you stuck in the middle to do all the extra work on your own.)

I'm not deaf, but I have a poor internet connection. Transcripts are the best thing for me - much better than getting half way through a video only to have it freeze up, cut out or go back to the beginning.

Transcripts please! Have pity on those who use slow, second-hand computers and tempremental modems.

  • 5.
  • At 09:02 AM on 04 Apr 2008, Keith wrote:

I would love to be a vlogger for Ouch and I even have all the equipment to do so.

But alas I doubt I ever will be, why you ask? Simple, I have written to Ouch using the email address on two occasions previously and never even received so much as a sniff of a reply, not even an acknowledgement that they have got my email and will get back to me, nothing, nada.

So why waste my time emailing then about becoming a vlogger when they cant seem to be bothered to reply to my previous emails.

It is a shame really as I feel I have a lot to offer and I do not shirk from talking about difficult subjects.

Oh well

P.S. *Waves hello to Jemma*

  • 6.
  • At 10:26 AM on 04 Apr 2008, Anne Cunningham wrote:

Great posts from Disappointed Deaf Reader. It seems especally ironinc given that there are a number of really good Deaf Vloggers, vlogging in BSL. For some Deaf people, English is a second language and so will make little use of a site like OUCH which is text based. Surely the idea of video blogs were an excellent opportunity to get more Deaf BSL users innvolved. Shame on you, BBC!

Admittedly transcripts would be good; although I can hear, I do use the transcript for the Ouch Podcast as life's too short to listen uninterrupted!

However, there are other issues to address. I'd love to see a BSL speaker post a video blog. That said, it would then need subtitles for those who don't speak BSL as well as a voice over for those who cannot see.

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