Rikki Poynter’s #NoMoreCRAPtions Movement
No more CRAPtions. You heard her right, no more low quality captions — or even worse — content without captions. If a conversation is happening about online accessibility, or lack thereof, you can expect to find Rikki Poynter involved in some capacity. Rikki is a well-known advocate, bringing awareness to important issues related to online accessibility, captions, and mental health. Get to know her in our Q&A below, or even better, catch up with her twice weekly on her YouTube channel where she shares her personal perspective on these topics and more.
At Rev, we’re big fans of Rikki and the work that she’s doing to improve online accessibility for all. We were excited to spend some time getting to know Rikki and learn more about the inspiration behind her #NoMoreCRAPtions movement.
Like Sara’s shirt? Us too. Rikki has a new shirt campaign launching on July 16th. That’s also her bday — happy early birthday, Rikki!
Here’s more from our Q&A with Rikki.
Question: You started out as a beauty vlogger, how did your channel evolve into what it is today?
Rikki: Basically, I grew bored of makeup. Not only that but having a beauty channel is extremely expensive with all the new products coming out and having to keep up with them, you know? My creativity was also not there. I didn’t want to do makeup on YouTube anymore, but I didn’t want to stop YouTube altogether as it was all that I had. So, I was thinking about what else I could do. What else was there about me that I could make into content?
Well, I didn’t see a lot of deaf people like me. There were deaf ASL signers, sure, but I didn’t know ASL at the time. We were deaf, but we didn’t have the same upbringing, the same language, etc. I was looking for people like me, but couldn’t really find them. So, I decided to be the person who I was looking for.
What sparked the idea for the #NoMoreCRAPtions movement?
I wanted to continue the same talk about proper captions, but I wanted to add a fancy name to it so that people would remember it more easily.
We agree that they are, but want to hear it from you — why are quality captions so important?
Without captions, we miss out on important information, whether that be from educational videos or news reports or scripted fun shows like Gilmore Girls.
A good example would be weather reports. Live news broadcasts can be pretty hit-and-miss with captions. And there’s no sign language interpretation that I’ve seen on my channels. Without things like captions and ASL translations, how will those who need that get the information they need to know? What if they don’t know all the information about getting to safety? That puts their lives at risk.
And for more fun stuff, it’s hard to keep up with conversations sometimes about the newest trending video when you don’t know what’s going on because you couldn’t understand everything that was said and what was happening.
What are some of the current accessibility issues at the top of your mind?
Captions, of course. As well as image descriptions. Audio description is something that I have started learning about, but that is something more difficult for me to do on my end due to the whole hearing thing. There’s also stuff going on outside of the Internet like people parking in disabled spaces, getting their cars in the way in the sidewalk, and most recently, the plastic straw ban.
In addition to watching your channel, how can people stay better informed on these issues?
Watch the channels, read the articles, tweets, etc. of other deaf and disabled creators, activists, etc. Read books on these issues. Watch any documentaries that you may find. And most importantly, listen to those who need the accessibility. We know what we need.
What do you hope that viewers will take away from your videos?
That deaf, disabled, mentally ill, etc. people are not a monolith. That proper accessibility, everything from captions to space for wheelchairs, and more, are important and necessary.
What companies or creators are getting accessibility right?
Honestly? I don’t think anyone will ever get it “right”, not 100%. So many people require different things, even if they’re from the same group. Accessibility can get really, really complicated. I think that so many creators are doing their best to be as inclusive as possible, and we are always learning. And if you’re always learning, then that’s something you’re doing right.
You’re a Rev customer, and we’re glad. Why Rev?
When I need captions in a certain timeframe, Rev is usually the fastest. It’s also the most affordable right now.
How did you add captions prior to using Rev?
When I had better hearing during my earlier YouTube years, I did it myself. Struggled, but I did it. When I’m not using Rev, I’m using Ai-Media or if it’s an ASL video or scripted, I add them myself.
How do you stay inspired?
The most important thing is that I don’t stick with talking about one thing. If I only talked about deafness forever, it’d be a boring channel (because I would be bored of talking about only that) and I would burn out quick (which has happened).
I’ve had a bit happen in my life: child abuse, mental health, chronic pain, and more, so it helps to think of things to talk about from all of that. I also take a look at what my friends are posting about or what’s going on in current events. I also ask viewers for any video requests and then I pick which ones I can make a video or write a post about.
What do you wish you had known when you started out?
Don’t read the comments on any platform that isn’t your own. I may get comments that are pretty horrible on my own platform from time to time, but I can at least monitor what goes on my channels. Comments on other Facebook pages, articles, etc., are things that I can’t control. So it’s best to not read them.
Do you have any key advice for YouTubers who are just getting started?
One, know that your first video is likely gonna suck. Ours did. Unless you’re used to being in front of the camera because of past projects or you’re just confident enough, it’s likely going to be awkward. Just keep at it.
As a YouTuber, what’s your favorite YouTube channel to watch?
Heh, this is hard since I haven’t been watching a lot of YouTube this year. But whenever Kat Blaque puts a video up, I’m watching it. Oh, and Roberto Blake.
What other projects are you working on now/have in store for the future?
At the moment, I’m just working on trying to write more on Medium and get more public speaking opportunities.