Nov 2020 moms.com
One influencer who is hard of hearing is advocating for more inclusion on social media after she noticed that it is still not where it should be. Social media is a big part of everyone’s lives, and they use it almost daily. They use it to connect with their friends and family, to connect with current issues in the world and sometimes they use it just for fun. However, there are some large barriers for those who are hard of hearing and are just trying to use these apps like everyone else. Scarlet Waters is a teen who is hard of hearing and she's using her platform to show the world how hard it can be to navigate apps when you cannot hear.
Scarlet specifically speaks about the app TikTok, because it is based solely on music and sound, and when she sits down to scroll through it at the end of the day, she can’t hear anything that is happening. Some users do provide closed captioning to their videos, but others do not. Scarlet has a large following on her app –about 3.6 million followers– and she posts an array of videos to attract the attention of the viewer.
Scarlet is deaf, and she has a cochlear implant to help her hear, and she is speaking up about it using her platform. Scarlet posted a video in November that has since gone viral and it was titled Deaf Ears In A Hearing World. It has over 30 million views on the app. The short clip gives everyone a look into her day as she tries to navigate the world as someone who cannot hear what is going on around them. The video has no sound and shows how she struggles to hear those around her and when she asks for clarification, she is waved off.
Those in the comments appreciated the video and said how much it opened their eyes to the struggles facing the hard of hearing community. Scarlet, who lives in Florida, said that she had the idea to share because she was frustrated that people didn’t see the need to make the world more accessible for members of the community. She said that she doesn’t believe that people really understand what it means to live in a world where you cannot hear anything, and how much it can impact your life. Scarlet wants social media apps to do more to make sure their apps are accessible for those who cannot hear. YouTube has automatic captions that are not very good, according to Social Media Today. Instagram only recently provided captioning on their IGTV videos. TikTok, the most popular app right now, has absolutely nothing.