It’s time to make a change.
For the last two years, I’ve dedicated a large amount of my life to spreading closed captioning awareness, deaf awareness, and sharing my story about growing up as a mainstreamed, oral deaf kid and learning of and moving into Deaf culture as an adult.
I like to think I’ve made a lot of progress in two years, though that progress has had its ups and downs.
More YouTubers know about captioning now and why it’s important. YouTubers, both big and small, have started captioning. Tyler Oakley and Lilly Singh are two of the biggest YouTubers I can think of and they’ve kept on going for over a year. Some big YouTubers started and kept it going for a little while, but then dropped the ball and stopped captioning their videos after a few months.
On September 25th, 2016, I ran a successful (I mean, when you think about how small my channel is and how this topic isn’t as thought about as others) campaign called #NoMoreCraptions, where I and around 40 YouTubers made videos talking about why using automatic captions and/or allowing viewers to submit captions with jokes, irrelevant commentary, etc. was a bad thing to do.
In two years, I have been written about on Huffington Post multiple times, ABC News, BBC News, Mic, Upworthy, Mashable, and more. I’ve been on news websites written in foreign languages. I was one of UNICEF’s Digital Champions 2016. I’ve hosted my Lights, Camera, Caption! campaign and workshop two years in a row at VidCon. I premiered videos at Buffer Festival two years in a row. I’ve stood on the same stage as Google at the Disabilities conference at CSUN. I was part of the first Accessibility summit at YouTube Space LA.
Spreading awareness on YouTube has done a lot of good, but for me, it hasn’t been enough. It hasn’t changed enough for people like me who have trouble watching YouTube videos or have to deal with ignorance from people who know little to nothing about being deaf. It also hasn’t been enough for me, business wise.
By quitting the makeup community on YouTube and moving to the vlogging, lifestyle, and activism community, YouTube went from being a hobby to becoming a career. It gave me hope because finding a “regular” job as a deaf person isn’t easy. Not only did I get opportunities to go to events, but it got me my job at a news station made by d/Deaf and hard of hearing people for d/Deaf and hard of hearing people. It created a public speaking career for me that I am currently working on getting started.
If you really want to make a difference in the world, just being on YouTube isn’t enough. You cannot grow if you’re only on YouTube. You cannot reach out to everyone if you’re only in one spot. Not everyone watches or visit the same places. You have to branch out to reach as many people as possible and build your career.
That’s why I created Deaf Poynters. (Yes, like Deaf Pointers it’s punnier with my name.) I wanted another way to spread awareness. I wanted another way to promote my campaigns. I wanted to reach out to the market that has people preferring to read rather than watch. I wanted to talk about more subjects, subjects that are better off written than spoken about in a video.
On Deaf Poynters, I plan to talk about a variety of subjects:
- Closed Captioning Awareness
- Deaf Awareness
- My Deaf Culture Story
- Disability Awareness
- Public Speaking
This is just a few topics that I plan on talk about on here. When something big happens or when something piques my interest and I feel like I need to talk about it, I’m going to.
I’m very excited about this new part of my journey and I hope you are too. Let’s work together.