Hello, and a warm welcome to Access4All. This is the time and place, for a fully inclusive space!
This post will lay out the ground work for my newest passion project, making Mastodon as accessible of a place as possible through transcribed audio and video posts. Everyone has been giving image descriptions so much hype on Mastodon, and even though the fediverse has been around for a while, it is gaining momentum with the recent changes happening at a certain unmentionable social media platform. In any event, as a totally blind person, I love that image descriptions are given more of a priority on mastodon. I’ve been able to enjoy more cat and dog pics here than ever, and I’m loving it, but with the added attention towards image descriptions, it’s become more of a glaring issue that audio transcripts aren’t given as much love. This is the place I’ve designated to try and change that.
This is a personal blog, so if you happen to see unrelated posts on the site, that is why. I don’t have the resources to set up a public site, so we’re taking what we’ve got here and running with it. Feel free to browse the rest of my website, but be warned that those posts are based on my thoughts and interests and have nothing to do with transcripts. I’ll be posting links to the relevant categories at the bottom of this post, and I’ll be pinning a post with links to the categories on my mastodon profile. With that said, if anyone is able to set up a public database for comunity access to transcripts, I will fully support it. Anyone who wants to contribute by writing transcripts should have the space to do that, and while I can’t make the site happen, people will still have an opportunity to assist me. Keep reading to find out how you can help. Finally, if you have any suggestions, transcription advice, or any other resources that can assist with this project, please get in touch.
With the necessary intro stuff out of the way, let’s make the remainder of this post as fun and engaging as possible. Welcome to Access4All Airways. It’s a shame I can’t serve refreshments on this flight, which is a no-win for either of us, so grab your refreshment of choice, sit back and get comfy. Yeah, I’m the boring attendant who tells you to read all the safety stuff on the card in the seat pocket in front of you, but still demanding your fully and undivided attention because I’m going over all the safety procedures and demonstrations anyway. 🙂
First off, Mastodon is huge, like really, really huge. It’s immensely bigger than the bird site, in that there are many servers accessible on the fediverse. I want to be able to reach as many people as possible, but with the millions of users come trillions of posts, and I need a place to find the stuff that needs transcribing. for this reason, I’m asking that people please use the #Access4All hashtag. I did a search for the hashtag on Mastodon and noticed it hadn’t been used before. I chose it because it’s easy to remember, and short for people who may have typing and/or dexterity issues. Please note the spelling, access4all. I’ll be keeping an active search on my clients for anything posted there. If you find something on Mastodon that is not transcribed, post it, toot it, or whatever your word choice is, with #Access4All. If you want to discuss audio transcriptions, such as exchange transcription advice, or provide input on transcripts currently being worked on, use #Access4All. If I come across a boosted post containing audio that someone is requesting to be transcribed, I will do my best to accommodate, but even if you can’t help transcribe, you can do your part. Since you can’t add quotes to boosts, kindly remind the original poster that they can attach #Access4all to their post and resubmit it. If I’m not on mastodon, in another timeline, or still trying to make it through more posts, I may not see it. It would be an enormous help.
One more thing of note before we move on from the hashtag. Please discuss any general accessibility-related stuff with the #Accessibility or #A11Y hashtags. Only use #Access4All if you’re discussing audio/video transcripts, or even video descriptions if people want to talk about that as well. This is the reason I created the main access4all category, to give room for that idea should it ever come to fruition in the future. For now however, mostly audio/video transcripts will be discussed here. Keeping the hashtag limited won’t bog down me, or anyone else wishing to volunteer with transcriptions. In short, use #Access4All when necessary. I can’t stress that enough! #Access4All, it will save your lives and mine! 🙂
If you are interested in volunteering to transcribe audio/video posted to mastodon, thank you. You are another voice in a chorus of people who are aiming for full inclusivity, and it’s greatly appreciated. With the different character limits on mastodon, however, finding a place to post such transcripts will require us to post them externally, providing links to these transcripts in mastodon posts, with the #Access4All hashtag, of course. I have a couple of suggestions to make this happen. If you have a blog, I encourage you to designate a category where the transcripts can be easily found by those wishing to access them. Posting links to the individual blog posts are great, but you need a place where someone can browse through them if interested. Alternatively, you can get in touch with me, and we can arrange a way for you to send me your transcripts, which will be posted to this category. If you want to be credited for writing the transcripts, let me know. I can put a blurb about who the content is contributed by, along with a link to your mastodon profile if you’d like. If you don’t want to have your name credited for whatever reason, let me know as well, and the post will simply include that the contribution is from an anonymous user. Finally, if you’re sending me transcripts, and even if you’re doing them on your own, please, please include links to the original source, whether it’s a video, audio clip, podcast episode or whatever it may be. These links will be included so the person who is deaf, hard of hearing, hearing impaired, deafblind, or however they choose to identify can access the content and follow along if they are able. Please note that I do not possess the ability to sync transcripts with audio/video content. If you are unable to listen to the audio or video, reading the transcript should suffice in some cases, except there will be gaps in videos without descriptions available. Hopefully we can remedy this in the future. If sighted volunteers are willing to include typed descriptions along with my transcripts, then I can include a third category here for fully accessible videos. I’ll keep files of these transcripts for ease of editing if this does become a thing. Get in touch if you are willing to help. Again, thank you in advance for your kindness in reaching out to help make this a more inclusive community.
Now, it’s time to cover some basic ground rules. This will detail audio that I will not transcribe, so please keep this in mind if you are sending me transcripts specifically. Anyone else writing transcripts in their own space can write their own rules. I encourage making those rules easily available for transparency’s sake. Please note that the hashtag itself isn’t limited to these restrictions, but if you are posting sensative content, do keep in mind that content warnings are highly recommended. These are only my boundaries set forth in an attempt to keep this a safe environment.
I will not transcribe any audio or video that contains inappropriate behavior of a sexual nature. First of all, I myself have been a victim of some sexual crimes, and the inappropriate content has the potential to be triggering to myself and/or others. Second, as a person who cares about conveying the true emotion of a work, I feel only those experiencing it should be the ones to transcribe such content if they wish. the occasional innocent joke or innuendo is okay, provided it’s not horribly obvious. Entertainment meant for little ears does this all the time. We’re looking at you, Disney. 🙂
I will not transcribe audio that contains any transphobic, xenophobic, racial, or any ideology that promotes prejudice or discrimination in any way. This is a welcoming space, and I don’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable because of their race, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, disability, or anything else that may cause others to make them feel unwelcome. If, however, such content is meant for educational purpose to help prevent the spread of such hateful rhetoric, discuss it with me first and I’ll consider it.
This is a neutral space, so I will not transcribe audio from specific religious groups or belief systems. I don’t want one belief taking precedence over another. Again, if you are compelled to share content from any faith, then by all means, please feel free to post it with the #Access4All hashtag.
Finally, I will not transcribe audio that contains suggestions of dangerous activities that could harm oneself or others. I will not be responsible for someone harming themselves or others with audio that suggests dangerous acts of any kind. So, if you’re curious about someone’s experience with tasting tide pods, you’re out of luck here. Please, don’t do anything that can risk anyone’s safety. Life is precious. Take this little public service announcement as you will.
I’d love to be able to transcribe all audio across the fedeverse, but realistically we all know that’s not possible. I will do my best to transcribe anything that is suggested for community interest, and all those transcriptions will be done for free and posted on my blog. However, if there’s something you really need transcribed, or really want to have transcribed and sent to you individually, I’m also extending an offer to do individual transcriptions at a low price. Let’s say you need audio transcribed for a project you’re working on, or maybe it’s personal and might have the voices of family members. Basically, anything you’d need transcribed that is for your consumption only, I’m more than willing to offer a little bit of time a day for those transcriptions. I’m not trained as a professional transcriptionist, but I do hold a bachelor’s in creative writing, so you can assure I will do my best to make all transcripts as accurate as possible. Since we’re on the subject of school, please note that I will be designating only one community hour a day, and one personal hour a day for those who need it. I’ll be starting my master’s in special education soon, and I take care of a husband with multiple disabilities, so time is not my greatest asset.
Here’s how this will work. I’ll transcribe any audio up to thirty minutes for $5.00, and anything up to one hour for $10.00. This means that even if you have multiple audio files that add up to those times, I’ll transcribe all of them in that time block. Anything beyond an hour will need to be discussed with me on a case-by-case basis. If you are willing to pay more, I’m open to that as well, but I keep my prices affordable and reasonable for anyone that really needs that service. I can accept payments via Paypal or Venmo. Keep in mind that the restrictions mentioned above for community posts will also apply here, and I will only accept payment when the transcript is complete, in case I am unable to interpret the audio as a whole. I’ll include ways to contact me in this post if you’d like more information.
Now that we’re ready to leave the runway and let this project take flight, I’ll now post links to the categories in which you can access future transcripts and any other pertinent information related to this project.
The main category is Access4All, which will contain posts like this one, and any other tips or info related to the project for easy viewing.
You can find the access4all category here.
Next come the children categories, one for transcribed audio and one for transcribed video. These should be fairly obvious as to what posts will be included in these categories. Choose the link that leads to the content you wish to browse. Keep in mind that at the time of this post’s publication, both categories are empty. Have patience as new content is loaded sporadically, depending on community needs.
Finally, my contact info appears below if anyone wants to get ahold of me.
First, let’s address what for some may be the elephant in the room. I still have a bird site account, and in fact, wordpress is set up to post everything there automatically, so if you wish to follow me on the bird site, follow @morning_song. I will keep my account active as long as it is feasible for me to do so.
Of course, you can find me on mastodon. My main instance is at
I am also available via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I can be reached on telegram with the username musicrain27. Please do not post the content you want transcribed right into telegram in case it’s of a sensitive nature. Please send text messages, voice messages, and if necessary, links to the content that needs transcribing.
If you’ve managed to get this far, thank you. I covered a lot of ground, and I apreciate your patience while reading everything I’ve given you. Please get in touch if you need anything, and if you have any questions, refer to my pinned post on Mastodon, which technically isn’t pinned at this moment but will be short upon completion of this post. 🙂 Anyone else transcribing audio is more than welcome to use the #Access4All hashtag so everyone knows where to look. With all that said, thank you for sticking with me, and I hope you’ve enjoyed this journey. 🙂