Recommended Reading for November 26

They hate you. Yes, you.

Because the first thing people use on us is always, “It’s not about you.” When I was a kid, when I first started reading about autism rights, it was so instinctive: of course it’s wrong to say “cure autism now.” Of course it’s wrong to say autism is a tragedy, a disease, it’s wrong to give kids electric shocks, it’s wrong to say you thought about killing your kid in a video about eliminating autistic people from the gene pool. Like Sinclair says it’s wrong to mourn for a living person. All this stuff was plain and clear and bright, and I was autistic, and I was being attacked.

Right?

Well, not to anyone else.

YouTube now adding close captioning automatically

We received word from our new star writer Tara that YouTube will begin using a machine to produce close captioning for its videos. At first, the “auto-caps” will only be seen on a select number of videos of the nearly 20 hours of footage uploaded to YouTube every minute.

This is an excellent step in the right direction to add more accessibility to the second most popular search engine on the planet. Deaf and hearing-impaired gamers will now be able to begin looking up cheat codes for their favorite video games just like everyone else!

Accessibility and Table Top Gaming: Rulebooks

To fully understand what accessibility means in a gaming context, game players and game designers need to think beyond simply what our own abilities are, and consider a larger audience that may not share the same physical abilities. If a game requires pointing a nerf gun at other players, how can you adapt the game (or can you?) for people who can’t point a nerf gun?

Also, proper accessibility for games requires not just that people with disabilities are able to participate, but that they can participate fully. In other words, in games with a Dungeon Master or Gamemaster, people with disabilities need to be able to take those roles as much as any other player of the game might. Game accessibility includes the ability to be the GM.

Captchas: The Bain of everyone’s Existence

So the question is how do you make a captcha accessible, without making it solvable by spam bots? There are actually many options. The current audio captchas include, typing in a set of numbers that you hear, and typing words that you hear. The draw back to both of these is that they can be difficult to hear, or too challenging. I often have to listen at least 2 to 3 times and then I still worry that I’ll get it wrong, but at least this option gives me the potential of being able to submit the form. Another option, and one of my favorites is to make the captcha a question that you have to solve, such as, “what is 2 plus four?” This is a simple math problem that most people should be able to solve, but it isn’t something a computer can solve. Finally, there soon will be a new option thanks to the work of the NFB and Townson University. They’re new system will use pictures of familiar objects and sounds that correspond to the pictures. If you are listening, the answer to the captcha is whatever the sound corresponds to. So for example the image may be of a lion, and the sound would be a lion roaring. The answer to the captcha is lion.

In the news:
New Grants Aim To Get More Disabled People Volunteering [UK]

Organisations can apply for grants between £250 and £5,000, which can be used to help overcome barriers that stop disabled people volunteering, such as specific equipment, a lack of suitable access and understanding of disability issues.

These grants are part of the £2 million ‘Access to Volunteering Fund’, which was developed by the Office of the Third Sector as a pilot scheme in Greater London, the West Midlands and the North West.

Please note: I’m in thesis crunch time now, so don’t hesitate to send me links to your own stuff, to other people’s stuff, or to the news, because my reading time on the internet is getting more and more limited. anna@disabledfeminists.com

8 Comments

  1. YouTube’s auto-captioning is one of those things that sounds utterly amazing in theory, but… isn’t quite so good in practice.

    Case in point: in one video I tried it on, it transcribed “we’re doing rock climbing as well as table tennis” as “for doing what I mean as well as democrats.” (Here’s a screenshot for proof!) And in another video, “terraforming Mars” became “terror for Myanmar’s,” which differs quite drastically in meaning.

  2. Yeah, that’s what I feared would happen. Do you mind if I link to your picture?

  3. @Anna: Go ahead! I put it out there on Twitpic publicly for a reason. 😀

  4. Oh gods, that first link is just… *cries*

  5. …yeah, I was always leery of ABA from what I’d heard of it but I didn’t know it was like. That. My heart, it is breaking over here. D:

  6. Hope to be ADHD PhD

    The Wizards of the Coast online forums had a really interesting discussion recently about how to make D&D more accessible to the blind. A lot of people shared stories and ideas about adapting D&D.

    Here is a link to the post:
    http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19701658/Blind_Guy_Wants_to_Play

    I have ADHD and I love to GM roleplaying games, but I’ve moved away from rules-heavy games such as D&D because I find all the stats and numbers difficult to keep track of. (It helped that the people I play with mostly liked being their characters, and didn’t care about fighting.)

  7. Exactly. It’s horrifying! It’s motivated me to work towards working with disabled children, specifically children with learning disorders/ASD/ developmental delay. Not quite sure how I’ll do it, but the first step is getting my diploma then I can look at specialised studies.

  8. hi, I wrote the “They hate you. Yes, you” post and I wasn’t trying to make a point about ABA. ABA is just a method and it’s (in my opinion) a really effective way to teach people with autism. You can use any method to do unethical things. You don’t have to decide that you’re going to try to train a kid not to stim; that’s the decision of the individual teacher or group of teachers.

    I was more trying to address the argument that “higher-functioning” ASD people shouldn’t be able to talk about abusive tactics because we supposedly don’t know what “real autism” is like, and people with “real autism” actually need to be treated with those tactics. At that school I saw that a)lots of “high-functioning”-looking people were being treated in a way that I thought was unethical, and b)even when the person being treated unethically seemed very different from me, that wasn’t necessarily related to the way they were being treated.

    Obviously it is not appropriate to treat anyone unethically, but I guess I had developed some hesitation about holding/expressing strong convictions because I thought I didn’t have a right to them because I didn’t know enough or have enough experience.

    Anyway, I wasn’t trying to write about ABA really. I mean this stuff does happen and I think it’s really wrong, but that isn’t really innately ABA; I think ABA can be, and sometimes is, done in a non-ableist way.