Lately there has been a massive surge in online classes and workshops being released on the web by various well-known artists and some not so well-known artists; all of whom are offering to share the fruits of their knowledge, ranging from mixed media to art journalling techniques.
These classes all offer a fantastic learning experience, particularly for those of us who don’t have that luxury of being able to attend a real life class because they live in the middle of nowhere or for those who have a hectic lifestyle or heavy work schedules. You can follow an online class at your own self pace, and best of all most classes are available *forever* so its kind of like buying into a visual art techniques book full of videos and tutorials.
That is the happy positive side of online classes, what of the negatives?
Well obviously I can only speak for myself on this subject; as a profoundly deaf adult who can’t understand a single word that is being spoken on the art technique video’s I always feel completely left out of the loop.
Which makes me ask myself this question; why should I pay full price for an online class when that teacher has made no special provisions for me?
If they havent captioned (subtitled) the video’s or at least offered a written transcript of the video technique, then I have no way of understanding what the class subject matter is about, or if there is a class assignment that I have to do?
If you’re not going to give us complete full access by way of captions on videos or transcripts then at the very least you could consider a disabled concession rate on the prices of the classes to compensate this.
I recently signed up for an online class in lettering, initially I loved the class, but after a few days of video lessons where I simply just couldn’t follow the videos properly because there were no captions, I kinda became disheartened, left out and gave up on it. As an online teacher offering this service then surely it is their job to make sure all of their students can understand fully what the class is teaching us?
Captions/Subtitles would also benefit students whose first language isn’t English as they too would be able to follow the classes better so it’s not just deaf students who would benefit from this.
I get really fed up of moaning about the lack of captions on art videos in the art world, art dvds are exactly the same – no captions, I’ve been saying this for years and still there are no changes.
Surely in this day an age where we have to make sure that public buildings and businesses have wheelchair access by law; we should also be making sure that deaf people are also included with the help of captioning and subtitles and given full access too?
I’ll get off my soapbox now…