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A few weeks ago I sat down with Erin Poudrier, ASL interpreter, and we discussed about podcast accessibility. Erin is a huge fan of podcasts, especially those posted by the CBC.


The transcript of our conversation, as it has been posted on YouTube follows: 

[Reporter] Can you please tell me why do you think podcasts should be captioned and transcribed?
[Erin] I think that podcasts should be made accessible to the Deaf community because so many times I have been listening… I do a lot of listening to podcasts myself, specifically CBC documentaries podcasts and so many times I’m listening to these podcasts and these stories, and I think “Oh, my deaf friend or the deaf person that I’ve been working with would be so interested in this topic and I can’t even forward the story to them like I would any kind of other story. And it’s… I feel the frustration, and, actually,  most of the time they’re unaware of what they’re missing. 

[Reporter] So what do you think is the best solution to serve the Deaf community when it comes to making podcasts more accessible?
[Erin] I think that having an interpreter… interpreted story would be the best way of actually offering full accessibility because in stories, you have… it’s not… stories are not linear. Stories are complicated, they’re layered, they’re rich, they’re full of different… kind of ideas. When it’s translated into an English captioning or transcripts, it’s not the same feel from them, you can’t relate to it as much when you have this kind of barrier of language. When it’s produced in their natural language, it’s more dynamic, it’s more tangible, it’s more relatable, all of the goals to which a storyline is trying to develop with their reader or with their audience. So I really do believe that it should be provided
in ASL interpretation. 

[Reporter] But what about the costs? ’Cause I believe ASL interpretation is not a cheap service, isn’t it? So, if you have to think about the costs that producers of podcasts
have to take into consideration, is that something that they can really go for or is this just wishful thinking?
[Erin] I think that it comes down to values, to what audience are you valuing: are you valuing just only one type of audience, or do you want to be inclusive of everyone… kind of… in Canada. It’s really… for me it comes down to human rights. and so are you going to kind of ignore one population and say that they are not
valued enough to provide this when you’re choosing to maybe use your money elsewhere I think it comes down to prioritizing and when there’s a will, there’s a way.
[Reporter] Thank you.