Greetings to All ~
As the Contest Coordinator of the Equal Communication Access Vlogging/Blogging Contest, I now stand humbly before all of you to say that perhaps I didn’t think this whole thing through carefully before I set it up. Maybe I was being a tad naive – thinking it would be a nice and simple fun contest, where people would be able to submit their blogs, vlogs or videos expressing their thoughts and feelings on what Equal Communication Access means to them, and then the best entries would be selected by a panel of judges.
I should have known better. Equal Communication Access is anything but simple! If it was that easy, we would have achieved it a long time ago, instead of continually fighting to gain such access in a world that often doesn’t understand, and sometimes seems to not even care.
But the thing I can always count on is feedback from the Deaf Community, and for that I am thankful. I would like to take this moment to express my appreciation to all of you who shared with me your thoughts and provided valuable input and feedback which helped me to see where perhaps the contest could be improved.
It is through this “intelligent discourse” that we can learn to work together as a community on a common goal. Regardless of our individual differences of opinion, I believe that we can all agree that Equal Communication Access is important to each and every one of us, and by working together we can make it a reality.
It is my hope that this contest is just the beginning…and that the Equal Communication Access Campaign can continue to grow – with your support. If you can give any time to help us, please do so…we will especially be seeking volunteers who can help with the translation services which will be necessary in order to achieve the desired full equality that is an important aspect of this campaign.
Once again, thank you…and I look forward to talking with many of you once I get back from my trip – I will be gone until the first week of September…let’s hope I don’t melt in this horrendous heatwave we are having in this part of the country!
So without any further ado…..here are the revised rules!
Because the Equal Communication Access Campaign strongly endorses equal access for ALL, it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that if possible, participants please submit their entries in BOTH ASL and English. This will allow as many entries as possible to be accessible to the greatest number of individuals – both deaf and hearing. English can be presented via a written blog/transcript or by including captions/subtitles. Since ASL is a visual language, it would need to be presented via the use of video. Participants are encouraged to work with others in their communities to meet this recommendation (assistance with English translations, borrowing technical equipment, helping with an ASL translation, etc.)
If for whatever reason an individual is unable to provide either an English or an ASL version of their entry, they may still submit their entry. The ECA Campaign will make every effort to locate volunteers who have the skills, equipment, and time to assist in making appropriate translations available where necessary; however, due to limited resources it cannot be guaranteed this will always be possible. It will depend to a large extent on the availability of needed services as mentioned.
In keeping with the spirit of Equal Communication Access, every effort will be made to assure that the winning entries ARE presented in both English and ASL, in order to demonstrate support for the concept of Equal Communication Access for all. However, the Contest Coordinator must acknowledge her own limited skill, time, and resources which could impact the ability to successfully accomplish this task, and thus asks that those who can assist in achieving this goal to please contact her. This will be a priority for the contest, but it will need the support of everyone to make it happen!
The Equal Communication Access Campaign is staffed by volunteers who give generously of their time, assistance, and support as possible. We welcome volunteers willing to help us with captioning, ASL vlogging translations, English written translations, and other possible tasks that might come up. Such assistance will greatly help us in achieving our goal of true Equal Communication Access for all. If you would like to help out, please feel free to contact Contest Coordinator Virginia L. Beach (Ocean) at firstname.lastname@example.org or ECA Campaign Chairperson Deaf Pundit at email@example.com
Equal Communication Access is an important goal for all of us, regardless of what it means to each of us individually. By working together to help educate and advocate, we can make this goal a reality.
Here are the revised categories. If you have already submitted an entry, or if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Virginia or Deaf Pundit.
(Note: Please be aware that Virginia is out of town on a trip until the first week of September, so please contact Deaf Pundit for any information for the rest of the month of August)
Best ECA Entry - This can be either a blog or vlog submitted by a deaf or hard of hearing person sharing thoughts, etc. on ECA. Blogs must be written in English, and can include pictures, etc. While most vlogs are signed in ASL, the vlogger is free to use whatever communication method desired (signing, cueing, verbal speech, etc.) As noted above, we encourage entries to be submitted utilizing both written English and ASL. Written English can be either via an included transcript or the inclusion of captions – either is acceptable.
Best “Friend of ECA” Entry – This is a blog or vlog created by a hearing individual, sharing thoughts, etc. on ECA. A blog entry needs to be written in English. If your entry is a vlog, you are free to use whatever communication method desired. As noted above, we encourage entries to be submitted utilizing both written English and ASL. Written English can be via an included transcript or the inclusion of captions – either is acceptable.
Best International Entry - We wish to encourage participation on an international level, and thus we encourage blogs/vlogs from deaf and hard of hearing individuals in other countries, where the concept of Equal Communication Access might be different from America. If you are from a country outside of the USA, we encourage you to submit an entry! While you may write your blog in your native language, please also include an English translation within the blog itself. If you wish to make a vlog using your own language (manual or spoken), please feel free to do so, but the vlog will need to include English captions or an included English transcript.
Best Video Entry – Perhaps you want to get a bit more creative and develop a video…sort of like a short movie clip. (click here to see the ECA video as an example). This category is for you! Videos can be submitted by deaf, hard of hearing, or hearing individuals from either here in America or from other countries. Again, the video needs use whatever methods possible so it can be understood by the majority of viewers, both deaf and hearing.
NOTE: The schedule for the contest will remain as previously posted (click here) – the deadline being Saturday, September 22nd. I would like to stick with this schedule if possible, since we have already extended it for the sake of both participants and judges. If it becomes obvious that the revised rules require a change in the schedule, we can examine that…but for now, let’s try to stick with the current schedule as posted, okay?