Here at RedState, we have expressed our disagreements with the policies and attitudes espoused by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, U.S. representative-elect for New York’s 14th district. However, I have nothing but praise for Ocasio-Cortez’ attempt to be more accessible by adding closed-captions to her Instagram video stories.
Ocasio-Cortez recently revealed that she began using closed captions after advocates for the deaf community contacted her about tools she could use to benefit her deaf followers:
Advocates for the deaf community hit me up to connect me with tools (i.e. Clipomatic) to better serve all of us.
Thanks to them, I now caption all my IG stories so our deaf brothers and sisters can follow along too. https://t.co/WhwNNgSeHy
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) November 16, 2018
It’s certainly possible to argue that this is simply a disingenuous attempt to get good press or an extension of virtue-signaling, but I don’t think I’d care even if that were the case.
It’s commendable that Ocasio-Cortez was willing to listen to requests from the deaf community and that she followed through on the recommendations, and many deaf social media users have expressed their appreciation of Ocasio-Cortez’ willingness to try to make things easier for them.
I was surprised to learn that adding closed captions apparently required using a separate app. Instagram is owned by Facebook, which has been facing bad publicity for quite some time now. Adding an easy-to-use option for all Instagram and Facebook users to add closed captioning to their videos seems like a slam dunk decision for the company.
In the meantime, hopefully other lawmakers and public figures will quickly follow suit.
The views expressed here are those of the author and do not represent those of any other individual or entity. Follow Sarah on Twitter: @sarahmquinlan.