By Beth Haller | September 30th, 2007
A really important story that few in the news media are covering is the growing inaccessibility of the digital world for people who need closed captioning. With so much news and entertainment content now on the Internet in an online video format and problems with high definition TV carrying captions, many deaf and hearing impaired Americans are suddenly losing access to lots of content. An estimated 23 Americans are deaf or hearing impaired and need closed captioning to watch TV.
The Federal Communications Commission requires broadcast and cable content be captioned, but its rules don’t apply to Internet streaming or digital downloads. So it will be up to media corporations whether they caption online video. Here’s hoping that these corporations remember that a large segment of the audience needs captioning to enjoy their content. Also, captioning is not just used by deaf people, but many hearing people use captioning in loud environments and many non-English speaking viewers use captioning to learn the language.
One publication that has covered this issue is TV Week. Here’s the link to its story: