Sunday, July 12, 2009

No Internet Captions? Education Suffers!

The year was 1977. Jamie's public school middle school class was assigned to watch "Roots" on television. With closed captioning on television still three years away, Jamie was not able to do the homework assignment. She was able to read the book "Roots," but missed out on the classic television miniseries and the classroom discussion. If the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2009 does not pass, it will be 1977 all over again!

Actually, we may already have returned to the past. When the National Association of the Deaf relaunched their website, it included blogs. One of the blogs drew a comment that gives added fire to the Caption Action 2 grassroots movement. On a blog by Slinkerwink, "What's the Latest with Internet Captioning," commenter Sheena wrote:
I graduated from CSUN last year and ALREADY, professors are giving online video assignments to students. I had several assignments where I was forced to find my hand in the air asking the teacher to give me a different kind due to having no cc/subtiles. That moment struck me as this will be happening more frequent as the world of Internet/online streaming media advances. The students shouldn't have to put up with this.
Also check out the NAD's vlog on the 21st Century Act, "Support the 21st Century Act" (signed, no captions, but there is accompanying text).

Parents of deaf and hard of hearing children need to throw their combined weight behind this bill, because it is their deaf and hard of hearing children's education that is going to be seriously affected if this bill does not become law!!


  1. Last semester, I took an Advanced Photoshop course at the local community college. This is a software course. The assignments were entirely all tutorials from the internet. Yes, video tutorials. Uncaptioned. This gave the teacher pause because none of them were accessible to me. She finally allowed me to research my own tutorials in many books, some I had to purchase, some from the library, and online where text did not always do well as video.

    I felt here the lack of access affected my education substantially.

  2. I feel obliged to post the classic tv moments - "Roots tv minseries -

    Robert L. Mason (RLM)