Webcomics and Ism-fails: One Way to Get It Right

(Please note that I make no guarantees about the progressiveness of this comic; they generally try, but I'd not be surprised to find things they've done which are of a privilege-blind nature1 type which suggest they could examine their privilege more closely. The point of the article is about their response to my pointing out something of that type.)

One of the webcomics I enjoy is Darths and Droids - a set of screencaps from the Star Wars movies, re-imagined as a roleplaying game with characters of gaming archetypes (the minmaxer/munchkin, the roleplayer, the rules lawyer, et c.).

One of the little things I've liked about the series is that they've provided transcripts from the beginning, for every comic they post, so that being able to view the image-heavy comic isn't a necessity to take part. But there was also a little piece that rankled: the transcript was labeled "Vision-impaired transcript". Leaving aside the different respectful labeling conventions adhered to in the US and UK ("People-first" is a more US-centred concept, and isn't as widespread in the UK), it really doesn't need to be labeled beyond "transcript" at all - anyone most people can read the transcript or have it read to them2, or might need to, whatever their visual sense ability.

After letting my privilege make me ignore it for a while, the idea clicked with me that I could find a teaspoon opportunity here, and I tried to write an e-mail to the creators. Not finding one (because I didn't look in the obvious place, not any failure on their part), I wrote a message on Facebook (and the wrong Facebook, at that).

I posted about it at my public LJ, here. And before very long at all, who shows up in my comment thread but David Morgan-Mar, one of the webcomic's creators:
Hi, I've made the change you suggest. Thanks for expressing your concern. Truthfully, I'd been thinking the same thing for some time, but was too lazy to change it until now.
No fuss, no defensiveness, just "Oh! Right, I'd meant to and forgot, thanks for the reminder!"

That's the way to respond to the criticism that something you're doing might be causing someone else pain/anxiety/unhappiness that you didn't mean/want to create. Like stepping on someone's toe: you don't defend your right to step on people's toes! You say sorry, if you didn't mean it.

If you did mean it, of course, then it would be appropriate to become defensive and angry at someone suggesting that you did a bad thing, because...wait, that's not appropriate either!

But I'm sure we can't think of anyone who'd respond like that.

1 Wow, that was bad ableism - my apologies, and thanks to Shaker KA101 for pointing it out to me.

2 Sorry for this one too (the italics in that phrase indicate edits) - it's ableist to be so cavalier about "anyone" being able to read it, as there are many reasons why someone might not be able to read a transcript either, running from differing visual abilities to dyslexia to not reading colloquial English well, or being at work with images blocked.

I'm sorry for my errors, and any othering I caused.

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