Ilustrasi mengenai caption pada video.

Caption on Video for Deaf

The use of video as a medium for learning has multiple roles in these day an age. With one click on a specific link, students can access videos directly from wherever they are. Unfortunately, often the video used is not accompanied by caption, both closed or open caption.

Ironically this is similar to the way some television stations are not adhering to Indonesian 2012 law number 32 on broadcasting and 2016 law number 8 about disability in relation to the right to obtain information for everyone. “Everyone” is defined as the infinite segments of viewers who watch, including those who are hearing impaired (deaf), or have other sensory disabilities with varying levels. If one covers audiences in all segments, then providing caption on each video is what must be done.

In the education sector, the use of video is directly associated with learning material. Since the Directorate General of High Education from the Ministry of Research, Technology and High Education stated that the university campus is inclusive for everyone, the existence of video as a medium of learning to distribute information is also an obligation that universities must follow through. Although in the 2016 Law number 8 it is not stated specifically that a hearing impaired student (deaf) should be provided with a sign language translator in schools or on campuses, this is an intrinsic point covered by the law.

When a sign language translator is not available in the video, then the caption in the text must explain the contents of the audio. In fact, sound effects that is not speech but related contextually to what is visually displayed must also be defined in the caption, such as the sound of wind on a video containing learning materials about meteorology and geophysics. In essence, whatever is still in the form of sound can be captioned in the video.

Closed and Open Caption

Caption is a text that appears on the screen that explains the contents of the video and also describes the voice and sound effect to provide in written form the message. Caption can also be an explanation about the identity of the speaker and an explanation of the voice that has relevance with the contents of the video. Caption synchronizes with the visual performance in the video, so that viewers can listen and read the caption at once. Thus, those with sensory disability both visually or hearing impaired (blindness and deafness) can have equal access to informations on the video.

There are two kinds of caption, which is closed caption and open caption. Open caption can not be disabled, as it is integrated and attached to the video, and it will shrink in size if the video file is compressed to a smaller shape or to another video file extension. While closed caption can be edited according to the needs of the audience. Open caption is listed in the video at the same time when the video is edited while closed caption can be installed after the video is finished processing and ready to be uploaded. The most obvious example of closed caption is the one installed on Youtube with the cc button you can chose (which is the abbreviation for closed caption). On other social media apps like Instagram and IGTV, closed caption is not provided so the video that is published on Instagram or IGTV must use closed caption.

On certain video players, to view closed caption you may needs an additional supporting player, like VLC player or GOM player. On Youtube, closed caption sometimes must be put as the setting preferred or one must not forget to turn on the cc button. On Television, closed caption needs a decoder that can read and display the text of the caption. This decoder is most often installed on the latest version of televisions such as smart Television (Smart-TV).

Installing closed caption on a video player must include how to activate the caption, whether it is through a television screen or other software. That is the reason why a lot of video viewers prefer open caption rather than closed caption. There is an assumption that open caption contains the universal design that carried the Human Rights general convention because it is beneficial not only for those who are hearing impaired (deaf), but also for foreign language audiences and people in a noisy area that does not allow a good projection of sound from the video. Unfortunately, the translation in open caption cannot be done in the same manner as closed caption. In addition to the extra features stored in open caption, there is also a flaw in its usage. Open caption is a direct part of the video, while closed caption is separate to the video format so it is more flexible to be used on various video players and does not shrink in size when the video is compressed.

With the advantages and disadvantages of the open and closed caption, it is important to evaluate the use of one’s video and how far an audience can understand it. For example, on a tutorial video aimed at those who are disabled or at a broad range of audiences or at a noisy conference, open caption might be more useful. However, this consideration must also be measured by how much the caption can be accessed when watched and edited when there is a mistake to be fixed. What is more important than the consideration outlined above is to consider the audience and the message that you want to convey from producing your specific video with either open or closed caption.

Disability data and the development agenda in Indonesia

At the heart of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is poverty reduction and improved welfare for the world’s poorest people, measurable by social statistics. However, it is increasingly clear that progress in basic services aimed at malnutrition, education and income has bypassed persons with disabilities . As a result, world leaders have reaffirmed their commitment for the post-MDG era to leave no one behind , including people with disabilities.

Indonesia’s commitment to ensure that people with disabilities are included in the country’s development is longstanding. The government ratified the Convention on the Right of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in 2011. Prior to that, it enacted Law No. 4/1997 on Disabled People and set a one per cent disability quota for companies with more than 100 employees. In 2014, Indonesia passed a law to ensure more humane treatment of people with mental illness and intellectual disabilities, outlawing the common practice of shackling . As of 2015, Indonesia has 17 laws that cite the rights of people with disabilities.

Indonesia has approached disability inclusion as a cross-sectoral issue and enacted laws through the country’s medium national development plan. This approach could be the catalyst for including people with disabilities into the national agenda and post-MDG objectives. However, a sizeable challenge remains: ensuring accurate statistics and other data on disabilities. The lack of reliable data has serious implications for how Indonesia can tackle issues of disability in the post-MDG era.

A hazy statistical picture
Indonesia probably underestimated the number of persons with disabilities in its population. Official statistics from the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) estimated that only 1.4 per cent of Indonesia’s population has a disability, but this number would appear disproportionately low compared to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) averages. For instance, Thailand and Vietnam estimate that 2.9 per cent and 7.8 per cent of their populations have a disability, respectively. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the international average regarding disabilities is around 15 per cent of the global population or one billion people. Using Thailand’s calculations as a low-end proxy would double Indonesia’s population of persons with disabilities to over seven million, while using the WHO measure would suggest that Indonesia has up to 37 million citizens with a disability. Either way, Indonesia’s official figure is dubious.

Our research for the National Program for Community Empowerment (Program Nasional Pemberdayaan Mandiri, PNPM) Special Program on Disability demonstrated that key government agencies collect data on disability using different methods and diverse disability criteria. This uneven approach affects data validity and usability. Furthermore, in general terms, people with disabilities are often omitted as respondents in population surveys. This omission happens even in many developed countries because the range of responses (based on individual disability needs and experiences) is too complex for survey researchers to collate and subsequently analyse.

Further, during our fieldwork, the staff at social services, education, health and labor bureaus in Java and eastern Indonesia stressed that inaccurate and outdated data slows their efforts to reach citizens with disabilities and improve basic services accordingly. This data weakness has undermined Indonesia’s efforts to make progress towards the MDGs in a way that includes people with disabilities. It is important to note that although the data gathered by local government and disabled persons organisations are comparatively more accurate and reliable, the central government questions its validity to justify budget decisions and needs assessments. Often, existing disability policy at the regional level must adopt and use official national data as mandated by the central government, even when that data does not reflect the real number and condition of people with disabilities at the district level.

People with disabilities slip through the gaps
If Indonesia cannot reliably count its citizens with disabilities, and let alone disaggregate that data, how can Indonesian policy makers set appropriate priorities regarding disability in national policy-making, such as those policies related to the MDGs? How can policy makers then act on those policies or measure the effects or progress of implementing such policies? These challenges become apparent when looking at the gaps around including people with disabilities in programs related to the MDGs for health and education.

The Government of Indonesia’s statistics suggest that nearly 25 per cent of people with disabilities live in extreme poverty. These individuals are more likely to experience poorer health outcomes and spend more on health care, yet they have limited access to adequate nutrition, clean water, reproductive health services, safe motherhood and general health information and services. In addition, misconceptions around disability and sexuality often lead to exclusion of people with disabilities from HIV information, prevention and testing.

Both development agencies and government increasingly recognise universal health access as an important component of improving quality of life. People with disabilities are often mentioned as a key subgroup that would benefit from such an approach given that they have historically been neglected. However, information about disability and health behaviour or health services use is scarce in Indonesia, which makes it very difficult to measure the specific experiences of people with disabilities in relation to the MDG targets.

Dibley and Budiharsana, in their article for this edition, point out that there have been improvements in child mortality figures. While these numbers are helpful for Indonesia as a whole to mark its progress towards the achievement of the MDGs, this data does not track disability. For example, it is unclear whether the marker for ‘child mortality’ includes children born with disabilities (which is then perhaps a compounding factor in their death). It is also unclear whether these figures include children who acquire disabilities at birth due to medical malpractice, or include children who acquire disabilities in early childhood due to illness or malnutrition. With regards to maternal health outcomes, there is, at present, no system that tracks mothers with disabilities. There is also no mechanism to track whether complications with pregnancy and childbirth are related to health factors faced by mothers with disabilities and/or the lack of appropriate disability-sensitive health services.

Similar gaps exist in measuring the extent to which children and youth with disabilities have had their educational rights met through the targets set for the MDG on education. According to the 2014 OECD report, Indonesia has shown a significant improvement in both education equity and performance as reflected in the Education For All strategy. Further, it has increased national spending by 20 per cent to meet the goal of universal primary education. Against the backdrop of decentralisation, the country has achieved 93 per cent literacy rate. However, the primary education attendance gap between children with disabilities and children without disabilities remains particularly wide at 60 per cent. To put this number into a perspective, a child with disability in Indonesia is seven times more likely to be absent from school.

Many children with disabilities do not attend school because of logistical (physical), financial and social barriers. What those precise barriers are and possible solutions remain little understood and under researched. Without further data on these barriers, it is impossible to develop realistic and practical strategies to ensure children with disabilities can go to school.

Considerations for the post-MDG era
In September 2012, the UN High Level Panel Committee and civil society, researchers, private sector, foundations and youth held an open dialogue to assess the progress of the MDGs and to devise a new ‘bold, visionary and courageous ’ action plan for tackling global poverty post-2015. Disability has a more noticeable presence in the post-2015 plans, but without accurate data about people with disabilities, questions still remain about the extent to which this new agenda will affect the disability sector in Indonesia.

Until now, people with disabilities have been excluded from many of the MDG-related development programs. The precise nature of that exclusion remains unclear given the hazy data that exists. Ensuring that people with disabilities have access to health and education services in Indonesia is complicated by complex administrative requirements, limited awareness, corruption, and physical and attitudinal barriers regarding disability. Resolving the finer details of these challenges will require better data determination in order to identify appropriate disability-sensitive development goals and implement appropriate mechanisms for achieving them.

Authors: Ekawati Liu and Lyla Brown

This article is originally published by Inside Indonesia

People with disability: locked out of learning?

Indonesian students with disability are challenged by inadequate support and lack of accessible teaching and learning facilities. Photo by Tommy Kristiawan Permadi.
Indonesian students with disability are challenged by inadequate support and lack of accessible teaching and learning facilities. Photo by Tommy Kristiawan Permadi.

Indonesia has made good progress towards increasing enrolment in higher education but it still has a long way to go to improve equity – especially for people with disability. Stigma, physical barriers and a lack of supportive policies and academic services continue to keep most Indonesians with disability locked out of higher education. To have any hope of earning a degree they need support from families, the community and the government – and a huge amount of personal determination.

Zilfathanah Arranury, or Ifha, is a 25-year-old teacher at a special school in Gowa in South Sulawesi, and is deaf. Of the estimated 36,000 people with disability who live in Makassar, she is one of the very few with a bachelor’s degree. Although Ifha was able to attend university, she says she was reluctant to apply because she felt embarrassed about attending classes with non-disabled peers. It was her father, a lecturer at Alauddin State Islamic University (UIN) in Makassar, who convinced her to try. After two attempts at the entrance exam, she was accepted into Makassar State University (UNM), the first ever student from her special school to make it.

Ifha’s anxiety is common among people with disability. It is an unintended consequence of the segregated special school system introduced in 1967.  Most children with disabilities go to special schools for their primary and secondary education. Although the schools were created to provide an avenue to access education, the quality of these schools is often poor, and minimal efforts are made to prepare students to study alongside non-disabled students.

Some Indonesians with disability attend state high schools. Hamzah, a 32-year-old blind activist, also from Makassar, says he often had to put up with negative comments from teachers who complained about his performance in class but never offered additional support (extra tutorials, for example) or adapted materials or equipment to help him participate. While Hamzah was tolerated in the state school system, almost no efforts were made to ensure his experience was inclusive.

Despite a lack of encouragement from his teachers, Hamzah was adamant about pursuing higher education like his non-disabled peers, and dreamt of becoming a teacher at an Islamic school. But Hamzah’s enrolment was refused in 2003 by the education (tarbiyah) faculty at Alauddin UIN. He was told that a blind man could not become a teacher and the institute could not accommodate him. He was eventually accepted into the English literature department at UNM, which Ifha also attended.

Hamzah’s experience is far too common among people with disabilities. Until last year, the National Higher Education Entrance Exam (SNMPTN) excluded participants who were deaf, blind, physically disabled or colour-blind. Following a national outcry, this was changed. Yet students with disabilities remain challenged(link is external) by inadequate support and a lack of accessible teaching and learning facilities in Indonesian higher education.

Without help from the educational sector, family support becomes critical. It played a significant role in both Hamzah’s and Ifha’s transition to higher education. Other children are not so lucky. Although attitudes are improving, many Indonesian parents consider children with disability a burden on the family. Education is not seen as a pathway for their children to participate in employment or public life.

More than a decade ago, the Indonesian government included provisions on the need for education for people with special needs in Law No. 20 of 2003 on National Education. It eventually ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2011 (through Law No. 19 of 2011). This obliges it to provide people with disability with access to education, employment and health care. It was not until the Ministry of Education and Culture published Regulation No. 46 of 2014, however, that requirements for accessible higher education were spelled out in greater detail.


UIN Sunan Kalijaga, in Yogyakarta, is a leader in inclusive education. Photo by the Centre for Disability Studies and Services
Sunan Kalijaga UIN, in Yogyakarta, is a leader in the provision of inclusive education in Indonesia. Photo by the Centre for Disability Studies and Services (PSLD), Sunan Kalijaga UIN.


Disability inclusive education in Indonesian Islamic education institutions

Contrary to popular Western belief, the Indonesia Islamic education system and its schooling institutions have remained an important counter institution to processes of colonisation, while adopting elements of western education system. Emerging in the late nineteenth century in a form of traditional institution known as Pesantren in Java and Kalimantan, Dayah in Aceh and Surau in West Sumatra, they provided a point of resistance first to local emperors, and then to the colonial Dutch educational system.