Earbud Love 2 by Dan McKay, under a Creative Commons licence
An email arrived in the SPL’s inbox the other day.
‘I’m deaf person and can’t listen to podcasts. Are there transcripts available? They look great.’
Funnily enough, we have been thinking of doing this. For the past couple of years, we’ve been working with Creative Scotland on something called the Promoting Equalities Programme (PEP for short – and, yes, we’ve made every pun you can think of using ‘pep’). During our monthly PEP talks (told you), we’ve mapped out ‘a programme of change’ focussed on how we work with and serve different groups and different needs. We’ve occasionally blogged about how we’re getting on integrating PEP into how we work now.
One group we’ve worked with are the deaf and those with hearing difficulties. Early into PEP, we visited the deaf-led charity Deaf Action where we learned that there are 10 million people in the UK who are deaf or who have a hearing loss. It’s the impairment that the greatest number of British people suffer from, roughly one in six of us, a greater number than those who have learning difficulties, loss of vision, and mobility issues.
We were also involved in the making of a short film about Gerry Hughes, the first profoundly deaf man to sail single-handedly around the world. The British Sign Language poet Gary Quinn wrote a poem in his honour, which was turned into a film that has kinetic captions as well as a translation by Edinburgh Makar Christine De Luca. You can see it here:
PEP is coming to a close, but the lessons we’ve learned from it continue to influence and inspire us. Which is why we’re keen to transcribe a portion of our podcasts. People with a hearing loss would benefit, but so might scholars who want to study the texts rather than listen to them. It will, however, take a bit of work. Which is why we’re wondering if there’s anyone out there who’d be willing to donate some of their time to transcribing podcasts? Anyone interested would be welcome to do the transcriptions in the Library itself (while we’re still open) or from home. We’re flexible if you are!
If you would like to help, email us at email@example.com or call us on 0131-557-2876.