Monday, June 7, 2010

Close Captioning is not for Me

I decided to write about this after a recent incident where I was told by a webmaster that they had provided sufficient close captioning so that a blind person could access their website easily.  This may sound like a very feasible solution but in actuality it is not.  Far from it, I humbly submit that this particular web master was way off the mark.

 

If I had wanted to be a bit condescending then I could have said to this particular webmaster that blind persons can hear so they do not need close captioning in order to help them keep up with audio portions of programs.  Believe it or not, there are many persons out there who for some unexplained reason believe that blind persons are also hard of hearing.

 

To clarify and to put things into perspective:  Close captioning is used in order to facilitate the needs of those who are hard of hearing.  Close captioning is the text that appears on screen to help those with hearing problems to keep up with the audio portion of a movie or program.  Blind persons need audio description in order to keep up with the visual portion of a movie or program.

 

The use of audio description and close captioning is becoming more common these days as movie and TV producers strive to make their films more accessible to the blind and hearing impaired.  If you would like to learn more then why not visit www.wgbh.org.  You are guaranteed to learn many new things.

 

I'm Donna J. Jodhan your friendly accessibility advocate wishing you a terrific day and asking you to go out there and help educate the rest of the world about the difference between close captioning and audio description.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my god. That webmaster needs to go back to accessibility school. Actually, he needs to go back to *school*. Screw that, he needs to watch his TV. Closed captioning for the "hearing impaired" will not help the visually impaired. My lord above.

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