Oct 20 2015

A push for closed captioning in the digital age

Published by at 1:40 am under Open Chat Night,Recycled Blog Topics

Many in the deaf and hard of hearing community continue to rely on subtitles and captioning to some degree.  Several weeks ago during our Open Chat Night we opened the topic of providing captioning at churches.

I personally find captioning quite helpful in situations where I can’t turn up the volume (e.g., it would disturb hearing people in the area).  Sometimes, however, I have difficulty keeping up with the captions.  I tend to focus more on what’s happening in the show, so the captions often disappear before I can catch certain words.  Does anyone else have a similar problem?  I’ve also noticed that sometimes the captions’ timing is a little off; they appear before or after the person speaks.  On some of these occasions, I’ve had to rewind or fast-forward to catch up, and that can become annoying.  I would think the television companies could easily make more improvements in this digital age to resolve these issues.

Additionally, I have noticed that YouTube videos don’t always providing captioning.  I also noticed certain sites such as CNN posting videos as well doesn’t always show captions.  Imagine with a population of 48 million people with some degree of hearing loss and many of them can’t benefit from watching these videos online!  They are neglecting the use of this technology that we can make it possible.  We obviously know it’s either the budget, time, or effort they’re neglecting to get this accomplished.

Tell us about your experience with using subtitles or captions at this Wednesday’s Open Chat Night.  It can be for anything from a TV screen to a movie theater to a church projector—anything.  What are the advantages and drawbacks?  Do you know of any other technology that might be useful?

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