Global media giant shares views on expletives and accessibility

Earlier this week, Larry Goldberg, Senior Director and Head of Accessibility at Verizon Media discussed his views on accessibility in our free Accessibility Insights webinar.

In May's Accessibility Insights webinar its guests Jennison Asuncion and Joe Devon asked Larry: What are your thoughts on auto captioning technology and in particular, the habit of censoring out content like swear words?

Larry responded this week: "We who caption have absolutely no role to feel like we somehow have to protect deaf and hard of hearing people who rely on captions. If you can hear it, you should see it. It might be a little more stark when you see that profanity in text but we're just trying to translate what's heard." 

Robin Christopherson and Larry Goldberg

In the session, hosted by Robin Christopherson MBE, AbilityNet's Head of Digital Inclusion, Larry also discussed other topics including:

  • How technologies can both enable yet also create barriers for people with disabilities
  • How to support the next generation of accessibility professionals
  • Digital accessibility trends
  • Pushing the frontiers of future, inclusive experiences through virtual events
  • How the last year has seen hybrid events at the forefront of a business strategy

Watch the session recording below:

You can also download the transcript and listen back to the session via our podcast.

This session is part of our free Accessibility Insights webinar series which features individuals who are each working to improve digital accessibility and digital inclusion. 

Automated audio description

Attendees also posed questions to Larry and Robin during the webinar. One attendees' question was: Do you think there is possible future for automated Audio Description (AD)?

"I do believe that automated AD will be making progress over the next few years, with many assistive and mainstream applications looking for such solutions. I envision interesting experiments and proofs of concept over the next decade as image recognition begins to take on the challenges of dynamic (vs. static) imagery, context, emotion, intent and meaning," Larry said.

"I wouldn't dare make a timeline prediction as even automatic speech recognition (ASR) for captioning needs a more rapid growth curve to achieve the quality we need and should expect, and automated AD is perhaps where ASR was 20 years ago," Larry continued.

"But with advances in AI and massive databases of video with existing high-quality, human-created AD now available, automated AD progress should have a steeper curve than the early days of ASR for closed captions (CC)," Larry said.

TechShare Pro accessibility and inclusion conference

Larry also spoke in the webinar about his positive experiences meeting other influential practitioners in the accessibility world at our TechShare Pro conference back in 2019.

"It was a fantastic gathering of people... to meet a cohort of people from all over the world. Those relationships were lasting and they really did open our eyes to a whole different community." At the 2019 event, Larry spoke about Accessible Immersive Experiences - watch the session playback.

Larry Goldberg speaking at TechShare Pro conference onstage as part of a panel with 3 other people sat in a line

TechShare Pro 2021 logo
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Further resources

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