Joe Clark: Media access

You are here: joeclark.orgCaptioning and media access
Qualifications & expertise

Updated 2002.05.11

Qualifications & expertise

It is not an exaggeration to say that no one else on the face of the planet can boast my encyclopedic knowledge of accessible media.

The basics   ¶   Current projects   ¶   Availability

The basics

  • Featured in a profile in the Atlantic Monthly (September 2001) entitled “The King of Closed Captions
  • Described by Silent News (February 2002; not online) as “the Ralph Nader of the captioning industry” (and also “considered by many as one of the captioning industry’s pests”; I prefer the term gadfly)
  • Dubbed “the eccentric self-appointed guru of closed captioning” by Saturday Night (May 2002; not online)
  • Regular source for other journalists covering media access, e.g.:
    • Featured in a Toronto Star profile (2002.06.15) on motion-picture accessibility
    • “Problems with real-time captioning” (Playback, 2001.05.28)
    • “Amazon Access: How Accessible?” (Wired News, 2001.12.20)
    • Flash News Flash: It’s Accessible”
  • All-round media-access knowledge:
    • Advanced expertise in captioning and audio description
    • Excellent knowledge of Web accessibility (enough to write a book about it)
    • Good command of subtitling and dubbing
  • Watched, followed, written and lectured about, and obsessed and hectored over captioning and media access since 1976, predating closed captioning
  • Author of more than a dozen articles on captioning, audio description, and related issues
  • Presentation experience:
    • Captioning typography for HDTV
    • Requirements for captioning in the Broadcasting Act (circa 1990)
  • Frequent source for other journalists and developers on media-access issues
  • Combined humanities–technical education, with a B.A. in linguistics and a diploma in engineering (a junior degree)
  • Thorough online experience and knowhow:
  • Author of the forthcoming book Building Accessible Websites on Web accessibility (New Riders, Winter 2001)
  • Experienced journalist (390 published articles) and editor (of books, articles, manuscripts, theses, and Web sites) with unerring knowledge of the right way to render the English language in all its forms
  • Followed typography and graphic design for two decades; worked in the type trade; extensive portfolio of design criticism
  • Volunteer and professional experience in the fields of accessibility and disability generally

Current projects

Some of these projects are unannounced but in operation nonetheless. The fact that I can’t cite the client or link to the appropriate site is merely a consequence of this irony.

  1. Online video accessibility (project completed but unannounced)
  2. Standards and training development (two university partners lined up; funding in progress)
  3. Web accessibility book
  4. Web accessibility retrofit (numerous volunteer and paid projects completed)


I’m available for the following consulting services:

  • Getting started in media access: Needs assessment, technology briefings, how-to training
  • DVD accessibility (conventional and advanced)
  • Cinema access
  • Quality control and standards development (especially of captioning and audio description)
  • Web accessibility, including online multimedia

That’s not an exhaustive list. If you have any questions or doubts about how to deal with accessible media in any way, chances are my decades of experience will provide an answer. Drop me a line and tell me what you need.