Accessibility and Service Dogs

I had the pleasure of finding Andrea from The Manor of Mixed Blessings and she gave me a much needed kick in the ass. You see folks, I’ve been posting videos without captions and/or transcripts. I did search for these things before posting, and I tried to note whether or not a video had them; however, that just isn’t good enough. As Andrea said:

Unfortunately a lack of accessibility is pretty well endemic in progressive circles in general. It’s especially bad with what seems like a sudden proliferation of videos (thanks, youtube) some of them from really smart people — but ALL THE DAMN TIME you see people post the video and think they’ve done enough by saying “Gosh, I know there’s no transcript/description but this is REALLY IMPORTANT and maybe someone will do a transcript for us!” without thinking about how that sounds to people who can’t access the video.

Because what it sounds like is “This is really important but I don’t give a fuck about including you in the conversation about it because you don’t work just like I do. Putting any effort into including you in the conversation is totally beneath me because I care so little about you. If you’re REALLY LUCKY maybe someone who actually does give a damn about you will step up. Otherwise, piss off.”

So yes. I’ve been a jerk and I apologize. I went back and added transcripts for Jay Smooth’s video on the policy page, and there is a transcript for AthiaC’s video as well. I found a great community on DreamWidth that let’s people request transcripts (or just volunteer to do transcripts!) where I’ve requested the first episode of Virgie Tovar’s series to be transcribed. I’m going to be working on a transcription of Nicki Minja’s video too. In the future, I won’t be posting videos without a transcript.

Now, to finish this post off with a word of wisdom, Andrea shares with folks when it is a good time to pet service animals:

So what should you do when you see wonderful shoes a service dog and its handler? The answer is easy: ignore the dog. No matter how much you want to talk about the dog, touch the dog, ask the dog’s handler questions about the dog, tell the dog’s handler about your own dog — don’t. Treat the handler exactly like you are busy treating all the people in the world who do not have dogs with them. If you have a customer service job, or you actually need (not just want) to approach the dog handler, speak to the person, not the dog. Ignore the dog, no matter how hard it is for you. A service dog is not “just” a dog, to its handler it’s a trusted partner and a vital part of what its handler needs to get through the world. Remember too that service dog handlers deserve privacy about their medical issues just as much as everyone else, and asking “Why do you have the dog?” or “what does the dog do for you?” is exactly like asking “So, will you tell me about all your medical problems?” (i.e. none of your business).


About Mx. B

My preferred pronouns are: they, their, them.
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