Joe Clark: Accessibility | Design | Writing

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Updated 2001.08.07

See also: Anti-censorship policy

Media-access mailing list

What’s it all about?

You can now subscribe to an Internet mailing list dedicated to closed-captioning; audio description; subtitling and dubbing; Web, CD-ROM, and multimedia access; and other topics related to making media of information accessible to people with disabilities and others. The Media Access list will entertain all manner of discussion related to those topics, including:

  • Reports of good – and bad – captioning (e.g., you can write in to report some particularly skilful or inept captioning you saw, to report captioning outrages, to discuss the merits of a captioning company’s style, and the like)
  • Research
  • New technology, like high-definition TV
  • Nuts-and-bolts questions: How do I listen to Descriptive Video? Where do I buy a caption decoder?
  • Why is the subtitling on <insert name of movie> so bad?

In short, anything you want to talk about on any topic related to making media accessible to people with disabilities, and others, is OK. Of course, you don’t have to be blind, visually-impaired, low-vision, deaf, or hard-of-hearing to participate. The mailing list is unmoderated; no one will censor what you say, though everyone has the right of reply.

The list does not concern itself with adaptive technology per se; this is not the place to ask how to tweak your OutSpoken settings to get it to work. We would, however, welcome questions or comments on designing information (like Web sites) to work with screen readers like OutSpoken. The list is not concerned with general disability news, either, or with TDDs and relay services.

Change in focus and other lists

In August 2001, it became apparent that the list had evolved into a kind of industry focus, with a lot of postings by people actually working in the accessibility fields.

  • Looking for a consumer-oriented list? We do cover consumer-level issues, but not very much. Try the Captioning mailing list over at Yahoo.
  • Looking for an audio-description list? We talk about that, too, but not very much, either. There actually is a dedicated list: AudioDescL.

Subscription and posting instructions

To subscribe, send a message containing the words subscribe access Firstname Lastname in the body of a message to Fill in your own real Firstname and Lastname. You could also try selecting this link, which for most browsers will start a new message for you with most of the information filled in.

To unsubscribe, send a message containing the words signoff access Firstname Lastname in the body of a message to (or try this link). Fill in your own real Firstname and Lastname.

There’s another way: Try sending mail to (or use this link).

To send a message to the list so that everyone can read it, mail your message once only to

Note that the addresses for posting to the list and for subscribing and unsubscribing are different.

If you want to receive Media Access as a digest (all the day’s messages assembled into one big message), subscribe first, then send the command set access digest to (or try this link).

Journalism, articles, book Graphic and industrial design Media access (captioning, Web accessibility, etc.)