New Audio => Steve O’Keefe on the Staunton Media Lab


We are pleased to bring you this edited audio and transcript from the Staunton Media Lab. This four-minute audio file was edited down from a one-hour session at the Media Lab on May 13, 2015. The audio features SML Founder, Steve O’Keefe, interviewed by Audio Engineer Coley Evans about the origins of the Lab.

The Staunton Media Lab meets every Wednesday afternoon and broadcasts live at 2:00 p.m. ET on YouNow and YouTube. Edited video and audio from those sessions is available at YouTube, YouNow, and Soundcloud.

Transcript of Staunton Media Lab recorded May 13, 2015
Featuring an Interview with SML Founder, Steve O’Keefe
Concerning the Origins of the Staunton Media Lab
Edited by SML Audio Engineer, Coley Evans

Steve: Hi this is Steve O’Keefe with the Staunton Media Lab.

Coley: This is Coley also with the Staunton Media Lab.

Steve: So I’ve asked Coley if he could interview me about the Staunton Media Lab.

Coley: Alright. I suppose the first question would be, what is the goal of the Staunton Media Lab?

Steve: The attempt is to build a vocational training program in video editing and audio editing for the visually impaired, the hearing impaired, and the cognitively impaired.

Coley: Where did you get the inspiration for this?

Steve: It was a series of insights that lead to the Staunton Media Lab or the attempt to form the Staunton Media Lab, and one of those was working with a hearing impaired apprentice for many years in video production and video editing. When a hearing person is behind the camera, they tend to adjust the camera according to what the person is saying. Whereas when a deaf person is working the camera, they adjust the camera based on a display of emotion. And it almost results in a video that is more, “Here’s who I am.” Not, “Here’s who I say I am” but, “Here’s who I am.”

Coley: Now you said that you’ve had experience with a hearing impaired video editor. Beside yours truly, have you had any experience with a visually impaired audio editor?

Steve: No I have not, until now. When I started volunteering at the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind, I thought that they were going to pair me with hearing impaired students to work on teaching them skills in videography and video editing. But much to my surprise, they paired me with vision impaired students to help them work on getting more out of their computers. This has opened up a new world for me, working with the vision impaired, because then I was able to convincingly find evidence that these so-called disabilities actually result in above average capabilities in different areas. Those who are blind from birth have their visual cortex taken over and colonized by their hearing. So they have much more brain real estate to devoted to the hearing mechanism than a seeing person. And their brain does in fact use that extra space to re-wire the hearing in somewhat amazing ways.

Coley: One more question I had for you. Was it your intention to have blind audio editors and hearing impaired video editors working at this single facility? Will there be any communication problems?

Steve: In the case of video editing, it is one case where the blind and the deaf bring advantages that strengthen the final video. And I think that’s part of the important discovery here that the Lab is based on, is that I’m not seeking out disabled people so that I can help them. I’m seeking out disabled people because they have super powers that can help me. It’s a completely different approach than has been used before with the deaf and the blind, which is that those things have been seen as disabilities not advantages.

Coley: This has been a production of the Staunton Media Lab. Copyright free, feel free to use this file any way you please.

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