June 8, 2012

Response from Amazon (to My Reason for Closing Associates Account)

*Update: Amazon started providing closed captions for their online videos from Video on Demand. 

Nice response from an Amazon.com Associates Program representative (note the highlighted portion at bottom of response):


Thank you for writing to Amazon Associates. All we require to close an Associates account is the request to close it from the Primary account holder.

As you requested to close the account, I've gone ahead and closed your Associates account for you. If there becomes an opportunity where you would want to be an Amazon Associate again, we'd be happy to reinstate your account.

Your payment for the balance of your Associates account's advertising fee will be sent as a direct deposit in late August 2012.

You will still be able to access Associates Central to view any historical account information, but your account has been closed and you are no longer earning any referrals. Also, you'll continue to receive monthly payment reports and occasional announcements regarding policies, tools, and features for up to 60 days.
Please know that your voice has been heard and I have brought this situation to the attention of the appropriate persons in our company. I hope in the future we will be offering close-captioning services for Amazon Video on Demand and you will be in a better position to once again pursue Amazon Associates as a business endeavor.

June 7, 2012

Letter to Classroom Teachers: Please Use Captioned Media

Below is a letter I sent out to teachers for a deaf student who requires captioned media.

*Names have been changed for privacy reasons.

Dear Teachers,

For John Smith, please try to remember that if you are going to show any videos or multimedia work that involves listening, use closed-captions or subtitles (if possible). If there are no subtitles or closed-captions, provide a transcript for John to help him follow along or simply don't show the video or multimedia work.

John has a profound hearing loss in both ears. Without his hearing aids, he is unable to hear speech sounds. With his hearing aids, he has a moderate-severe hearing loss; he will have difficulty hearing most speech sounds and soft and high pitch sounds. John relies on lip reading and seeing the speaker's face to understand what is being said.

He will have trouble understanding dialogue in videos unless it is captioned or subtitled. For example: if a person in a video says, "Hello, my name is Mister Smith." John may hear, "-ello my -ame i- Mi---- -m---." Without his hearing aids, he would not understand what is being said, unless he can see the speaker. If he can see the speaker he may catch most of what was said, that is if he concentrates really hard. This is extremely frustrating and tiring as you can imagine.

Closed-captions or subtitles will allow John to watch the videos with less difficulty and to be included like everyone else. He should have the opportunity to have full access to the materials being taught in class.

There is a site called Described Caption and Media Program. It includes a media library where you can access 4,000 free-loan described and captioned videos available, if you register as a Level 2 member. You can watch the media online or order a DVD.

I thought you could use this site if you want to show any educational videos in class. They will include closed-captions or subtitles which would be necessary for John.

Here is the link to the website: http://www.dcmp.org/Catalog/Default.aspx

There are other online educational sites that provide captioned media as well. Please contact me and I can show you what is available and how to find captioned online videos.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Deaf/HH Services