You may wonder why The UpTake posts transcripts of so many of the debates it covers. Yes, sometimes it is more desirable to read a debate than watch the video. But it also allows us to close caption videos of those debates, opening them up to a segment of the audience that normally would not be able to watch.
According to the Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans, hearing loss is believed to affect up to 20 percent of Minnesota voters. Even when you take into account unregistered voters and non-participating voters, five to ten percent represents a significant number of votes.
For viewers who rely on closed captioning, auto-generated captions leave a lot to be desired. Text is missing. Spelling is butchered. The meaning of what is said can change dramatically.
This is not the first election cycle that The UpTake has provided this service. For captioning candidate ads and debates in 2010, The UpTake was received an Accessible News Outlet Media Excellence Award from the Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans.
You can see the debates that are captioned (and a few that are not) on our debates page www.theuptake.org/debates