V-Logs Animate the Deaf Community

Uploaded by NEAarts on 19.01.2011

I'm Ben Lewis, and I grew up with a deaf family. I went to a deaf residential school, and I
came to Gallaudet University already being fluent in American Sign Language. But V-log
has really given me an opportunity to share my message through a medium that allows me
to use my native language, instead of writing in English, which can be twisted and turned
into something that I didn't really mean. That direct communication gives me the opportunity
to share my personal experience with my community and the rest of the world.
We've had an impact in many different ways. We can have an impact on the political front,
in different entertainment venues. V-loggers play a very big role in the deaf community.
Not as much in the past, but we are really growing in numbers. We are adding a new dimension,
and I see it continuing in the future.
Offscreen: I did a little bit of research on video logs, vlogs in the deaf community,
and I didn't see a lot of them with closed captioning, so I didn't know what they were
talking about. Is that something that the v-log deaf community wants, to share their
message with the larger community? You know, where is the conversation? Is it an internal
conversation, or do you want it to be external?
Oh, that's a very good question. There are definitely some factors and barriers involved
in applying closed caption. First of all, deaf people want to put closed captioning,
but maybe their computer software is limited and doesn't have the capability to edit. They
may just in themselves be limited in their own skills and just know how to basically
press play and stop, and get their message out that way. So that's one of the barriers
of why we don't have closed captioning. Sometimes the v-loggers will videotape themselves and
then type what they wrote in English. And then, being that English isn't their native
language, there are some grammatical errors that can really make people misunderstand
the message.
And then finally, there are v-loggers who are pretty adamant about wanting the message
to stay within the community. And they may have different reasons behind that. Or they
may have a specific message that they want to add captioning because it is directed at
hearing people. Some v-loggers will employ hearing people who know sign language to help
them write an English text. Different v-loggers find their solution in different ways.
But I think that we should be inclusive for all audiences because we need to incorporate
everyone's point of view. If we incorporate everyone's point of view then that just leads
to a much richer discussion. How do we grow, how do we expand our thoughts and minds as
a community if we stay unto it ourselves.