Civic Sense Blog

An open, ongoing conversation about the accessibility of political and news media Web sites.
This blog is part of the WXXI Overcoming Barriers to Civic Participation Project.
Meet the Bloggers

Access to Candidates information

Hello;

I agree with Bob in saying that if it (TV ads or Website video Blurb) is not captioned it is a slap in our faces. I have been following this problem for several years and I remember those who do caption their TV ads or Website Video Blurb when we go to the voting booths.

What I cannot track is what is broad casted on the radio because they are not captioned, but they do carry (repeat) it on the websites. I wish the radio stations would post the text of what was broad casted. Some do and others do not. Granted this is not the issue with the candidates as much as the Broadcasters. If it were posted in TEXT then I would be able to read what the candidates said over the airwaves. This is also true for the video broadcaster (Local and National News).

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Captioning and the Election

Candidates running for public office should be aware of the importance of captioning any material that they put on TV or on Video. There are 90,000 deaf and hard of hearing people in Monroe County and we vote. However, when a candidate does not even bother to caption their commercials or other audio-visual material it sends a negative message to us that the candidate is both insensitive to our needs and does not care.

All candidates, no matter what office they are running for should caption whatever they put on TV or on their personal web site with videos. Hillary Clinton has been very good at doing that and we appreciate these efforts, to do otherwise is a slap in the face to the deaf and hard of hearing community in Monroe County.

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Introduction

I was asked to comment on access to our candidates specifically to their websites. For several weeks I have been browsing their websites. My specific area of interest lies with Captions as I am Deaf.

In general the websites are interesting and sometimes I wish there was more. For example and this applies to all of them thus far, There is a button to change to Espanol and none to add Captions. It is easy to add a button that would be more accessible rather than searching for it. I have not easily been able to find Video with Captions on any of the websites. I have received Links to those that are captioned and they are at their websites.

I will be reviewing one candidate at a time and commenting on their own websites and links.

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Access to Voting Machines for those who are deaf or deaf blind

It seems that the Monroe County Board of Election is insensitive to the needs of the more than 90,000 deaf and hard of hearing people in this area. My experience at a demonstration of the new voting machines was nothing but negative and left me with the feeling that the Board of Election does not understand our needs. This also made me fear that many people who are deaf or deaf blind will not participate in the election in November.

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Using Your Civic Sense

Whether Barack Obama wins the Presidency or not, he has already made history.

On February 10th of 2007, Barack Obama announced his campaign for the Presidency. He was speaking before a crowd in Springfield, Illinois. But thanks to 21st Century technology, the entire nation can watch the full speech - unfiltered by the news media or pundits - simply by logging on to Obama's Web site. This includes citizens who are deaf and hard-of-hearing, since the speech is closed-captioned.

Obama was the first Presidential candidate to caption videos on his Web site.

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Another one... will this work, too?

I hope this works, too! could be good!

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Test Group Blog Entry #1

woo hoo, this is a test.

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