There has been a storm brewing on Twitter regarding in-flight captioning, with the latest bombshell being by Nyle DiMarco about American Airlines’ challenges in ensuring accessibility for the deaf and hard of hearing community. Nyle DiMarco is an American actor and model. He is the first and only deaf contestant to appear on America’s Next Top Model, a popular TV show.
American Airlines responded in three different tweets to Nyle.
At the time of this post, 92 people voted in the CSD Twitter poll, with an overwhelming 95% in favor of airlines providing captions as a standard feature on all in-flight videos.
While dated, but very much relevant to this developing situation, U.S. Senator Harkin commented in the pastsaying “I have been trying for some time to get the airlines to provide closed captions on the movies on their airplanes. I can’t understand why they don’t do it. It doesn’t cost anything,” after the Senate Appropriations Committee voted to send the measure to the full of the floor Senate.
Last week, I flew from San Jose, California, to Ottawa, Ontario, a three-flight trip that was scheduled to take 10 hours. But because of one delayed departure, the journey ultimately included the three flights, an unexpected hotel layover, lost luggage, a few tears and a total of 28 hours. And if that’s not bad enough, I also broke a lot of my own communication rules along the way.
My first clue that the trip might be jinxed might have been realizing, as it went through the security scanner, that I’d put the $60 gift bottle of wine in my carry-on bag. (This has nothing to do with my hearing loss, just to my stupidity.) Upon confiscation, I suggested they drink it with some nice cheese and crackers because this was no ordinary bottle of plonk.
And so began my day from hell. There’s no reason to detail the long list of late flights, missed connections, staff that were rude, helpful, bewildered or simply unavailable, or the disappearance of my lovely suede duffel bag into the black hole of LaGuardia airport. Suffice to say that I spent four hours ping-ponging between three different baggage claim areas, airline counters and many phone calls, trying to find my bag and to get out of New York, neither of which happened that night. By the time I checked into a nearby hotel for a few hours’ sleep, I was resigned that my bag and I might never meet again.
NEWPORT BEACH: Southwest Airlines will be among the first carriers in the United States to introduce closed captioning to its wireless video entertainment product when the low-cost giant rolls out CC in early 2014.
The move will come as welcome news to the many deaf and hard of hearing (HoH) passengers who have been calling on airlines here and abroad to offer CC on in-seat and wireless IFE systems.
Airlines that have been slow to offer CC – together with content creators and suppliers – may feel further pressure to take action because Southwest is taking the lead on the wireless front. United Airlines in 2011 announced availability of CC on the live television systems installed on its Continental Airlines Boeing fleet.
“We’re working with Major League Baseball Advanced Media, which delivers our TV and video to the aircraft and they have to implement [CC] on their end. They’ll do all our video, both live and cached,” Southwest manager inflight product development Angela Vargo told Runway Girl Network today on the sidelines of the APEX Technology Committee conference in Newport Beach, California.
ADA, Air Carriers Access Act Amendments Introduced by Senator Harkin;
Would Require Captions, Video Description in Movie Theaters, on Flights
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), long-time champion of the rights of people with disabilities and author of the Americans with Disabilities Act, has introduced new amendments to the ADA and to the Air Carriers Access Act to expand access to media.
These new bills promise to fully include people with sensory disabilities in two key venues for entertainment and information: movie theaters and airlines. They require captions and video description in movie theaters as well as in-flight entertainment, and include provisions for making seat-back touch-screens accessible on airlines.
Continental Offers Closed Captioning on In-Flight TV
From TravellPulse.com, November 30, 2011
Continental Airlines is introducing closed captioning on its in-flight entertainment systems. LiveTV is providing the technology for the service, which benefits passengers with hearing disabilities. The closed captioning enhancement will initially be offered to passengers on all LTV3-equipped Boeing 737NG aircraft operated by Continental Airlines. Continental will be the first airline in the world to provide this feature to its passengers.