Thursday, October 15, 2015

It's time to talk about another news article that tickled my thoughts.

Lawsuits to force schools providing FREE online classes to caption the content? We all know I have someone I absolutely adore who relies completely on captioning on TV shows. It breaks my heart when we throw in a DVD and there isn't captioning, meaning it's a waste to even watch the movie. It bothers me off when we're watching TV with captioning and the caption text paraphrases what is said, rather than staying true to what is in the movie or show (it just plain pisses me off when it looks like a monkey was just mashing on the keyboard and there are no discernible words in the caption "text"). It is a handicap and a need that requires extra provisions.

HOWEVER... FREE materials? How can you force free content providers to invest extra time and money to meet your (everyone's) standards? On one hand I want the content captions, but I realize that the costs may be prohibitive, resulting in there being no content provided at all. But what's next (and yes I am purposely playing devil's advocate here)? Does the professor have to make sure they're wearing clothing that doesn't give color blind students an issue? Does anything written on a board in the video need to be described in embedded data for a screen reader to read to blind students? Should the class be less than 20 minutes, because anything more than that exceeds the time a student with ADHD can sit still and stay focused? Only seems "fair", right?

We cannot make everything accessible to everyone - nor does it make sense to force providers (particularly of free content) to take steps beyond what they're offering up. When it comes to paid content, allow the free market to provide the push. What if a baker only wanted to bake wedding cakes for a straight couple? But we all know the answer there - they get sued into oblivion. No, no - NO! Again, allow the market to do what it will. Personally, I think it's a dumb move to deny anyone service who has the green to pay for it. This is why Chick-fil-a has it right. Have your opinion, stand firm in your beliefs, feel free to share it, but be willing to lose business if you do - however, do not DENY service. I've witnessed a lesbian couple in a Chick-fil-a, apparently they can't give up their #1 w/ mayo and sweet tea either.

Now you will devil's advocate back at me and say, what if a FREE content provider wanted to offer classes, but only to white men. It's their content, shouldn't they be allowed? I'd begrudgingly say - yes. Can I join the boy scouts, or can that guy over there go to an all women's college? Frighteningly, there are so many lawsuits now that say yes to the previous two items, which is ridiculous.

Our sue happy world to try and make everything even for everyone is destined to fail because all it does it reduce the options and possibilities because of fear of said lawsuits.

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