A Hearing Person, “but hey, I need captioning”

December 7, 2011 § 1 Comment

The CCAC membership online is having a fantastic discussion about “who needs captioning” related to various good statistics abouut how many people have a hearing loss or deafness, and various ways this is reported, used in research, etc. Importantly, whatever the actual numbers are (and they are huge without exaggeration), captioning inclusion benefits so many more thousands if not millions with different language and learning needs, and also is of high value to businesses online (for search engine optimizaation). Other blogs here outline the many benefits in some more details. New input welcome all the time from any and all readers too :-).

Thanks to Bill and Karen for the essay and sentiments below!! copied from the blog at this url: http://speechtextaccess.wordpress.com/2011/11/22/im-a-hearing-person-but-hey-i-need-captioning/

It’s a relatively new blog for a new project called speechtextaccess – please learn about that too.

I’m a Hearing Person but Hey, I Need Captioning

Think that captioning is just for deaf people? Think again. There are countless people in the general population who want captions in view 24/7. Take my wife, please. And she’s taken away my blog to tell you herself…
KAREN GRAHAM: I’m a hearing person. At least to the world at large I look like a hearing person. I’ve been a classical musician, trained at a prestigious university in musical performance. I’ve been a sign language interpreter, a psychotherapist with a largely hearing caseload, a boss of many hearing people. I talk to the waitress, the store clerk, the mailman. My speech and voice are almost fully recognizable as a person with normal hearing.
Except that I’m not. When I was 9 years old I contracted the mumps (I’m old enough to be pre-mumps vaccinations). After the swelling and the sweating and the days on the couch with mumps I woke one morning to a snap, crackle, and pop, which instead of being on my breakfast plate was actually in my left ear. And that was that. I no longer had any hearing whatsoever in that ear. The first doctor my mother took me to said that I had sensorineural deafness and would never hear a whit out of that orifice and to just forget about it. Aside from getting a good front row seat in class there was nothing much to be done.  Case closed.
Not one to be deterred by a semi-disability I did go on to study music and live a life dependent on hearing things and people. I understand binaural hearing is a nice thing. It apparently rounds out the auditory world. Stereo is somehow more beautiful and rich than the one-eared thing I experience. Whatever. As I became older I developed an autoimmune disease that plays a bit of havoc with what’s left of my hearing. So on a good day I’m half deaf and then some.
I live in a house with captioning on all the time due to my husband’s total deafness. Imagine my surprise to learn about noises and dialog that I didn’t even know happened. He said that? A dog barked? Really? I didn’t know what I was missing until I could actually read it in the captioning. Now I’m a captioning addict. I can barely understand the television or a movie without some words scrolling on the bottom of the screen. I’ve come to rely on the words–it’s either that or turn up the volume to a level that vibrates wall hangings. I had no idea!!! And now I have a long term love affair with closed captions (CC).
Even slightly mangled captioning is such a pleasure when compared with trying to “hear” the muffled mess that comes out of most people’s mouths. When did actors stop pronouncing words? What ever happened to articulation? Well, no matter because someone is sitting in their office somewhere making the words magically appear on my screen day in and day out. I go into a slight blue funk when something I like isn’t captioned. I chuckle at the caption bloopers. I go into a hotel and immediately find the CC button on the television. Whew, I’ll know what’s going on. My addiction is safe and right at the end of my fingertips. I’m in love.
KG and CC forever.


Provide communication access for everybody through SpeechText Access. Let’s talk. info@speechtextaccess.com


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