Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Not a Sunny Day Online for Deaf Kids

Can you tell me how to get...
How to get to Sesame Street?

40 years ago two deaf five year olds could not watch Sesame Street because closed captioning did not exist yet. Today it is 40 years later and today's deaf five year olds can not watch Sesame Street online. How do you think Bert and Ernie feel about that? The Cookie Monster would probably chomp up the page in frustration.

The Sesame Street website at PBS does not have captions on its videos for children. See for yourself at http://pbskids.org/sesame/#/videos. Ironic isn't it? A show that purports to be open and accessible to all children regardless of race or disability does not caption its online videos.

Forty years later, Sesame Street should be ashamed of itself. Get HR 3101 passed so another generation of deaf and hard of hearing kids does not have to miss out on Big Bird, Ernie, and Oscar online!


  1. You know, I even gave them the captions for the Marlee Matlin/Billy Joel video that I captioned, but they did not add them.

    I often submit captions back to video owners to give them the chance to get the captioned views. An exception is a new movie co-starring Shoshannah Stern - http://youtube.com/adventuresofpower - they have accepted several, and put them on their videos.

  2. I agree that PBS should provide captions, but I am sure Sesame Workshop is not responsible for how their shows are formatted on the corporate website. It is a service provided by the parent corporation. Sesame Street has a remarkable history of embracing and showing love for the deaf community; attacking one of your best allies is not a great way to win support for a very important change.

  3. Hello. I'm looking into whether it's possible create captions for online video automatically.


    Would welcome your comments. Do you think it's worth looking into?


    P.S. Can't copy/paste in your comment edit box for some reason...