I have a Deaf student. This post is about him.
Harold is Deaf.
So, you will understand my surprise when I found out he had been learning how to build websites by watching my coding courses on Udemy.
I was humbled to hear that he took advantage of the Closed Captions in my videos, and using his ability to read lips to follow along with what I was teaching.
When I was learning to code, I was taught to keep accessibility in mind when building websites…
What would the experience be for someone who is blind?
How would someone who is Deaf interact with your content?
But now, because of Harold, I truly realize how important it is to make content accessible
Be that a website
A video tutorial
Or a training program
Even if your accessibility efforts help just ONE person
That effort would be worth it
In fact, Harold has been wanting to turn his coding skills into something more profitable for him, and he had his eye on my new online course, Freelancing Freedom Essentials.
But something was stopping him from joining
Is the course accessible?
Will he be able to extract the same value from the course as the other hearing-abled students?
Will the way I present my content discriminate against Harold?
I’m not going to lie…
Before Harold, I never considered accessibility within my courses
In the past, I’ve been lucky, because both Udemy and YouTube automatically generate Closed Captions to my videos. So, my Udemy courses and YouTube tutorials were accessible to Harold without me having to do any extra work.
But Freelancing Freedom Essentials is not on Udemy or YouTube
And my website doesn’t automatically generate transcripts.
Which brings us back to Harold’s question…
Will this course actually help me? Or will I be held back because being Deaf is inconvenient for others?
I’m proud to say, because of Harold…
Freelancing Freedom Essentials includes full transcripts of every video
In my live freelancing workshop — while not “transcripted” (since live transcripts are hard to execute) — the 5 educational sections are presented as text-based slides, so the hard-of-hearing or Deaf can still follow along and extract at least 80% of the value as everyone else.
And as an ongoing effort, my team and I are working on closed captioning all of my other courses in order to make them accessible to people like Harold.
So, I was beyond excited to hear that not only did Harold join Freelancing Freedom Essentials, he had already achieved a huge win from the material…
So, thank you Harold. It’s an honour to have you on board.
Harold is launching a Web Design business
Where he builds accessible websites for Deaf business owners. If you’d like to get in touch with Harold, visit his Facebook page here.
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