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Better Hearing Consumer
By Gael Hannan

Do you use captioning?  On TV, perhaps, or in the theater, or on internet videos?  Perhaps you enjoy CART (Communication Access RealtimeTranslation) at live events?

It’s not easy to explain the simple power of turning the captions “ON” for people who have difficulty hearing the spoken word. It’s the difference between dark and light, confusion and clarity, misinterpretation and understanding. Instead of being locked outside in a storm, we’re chatting with friends around a fire.

In whatever form we use it, captioning brings the spoken word to life. It turns blah-de-blah-de-ya-da into meaningful conversation. It gives us access to people, and that’s what we’re all here for, right? So what happens when we lose the words, when there’s no captioning to fill in the blanks?

Read More  . . . Captions


The online conference is planned for days in August 2016: Monday, August 1st, and Tuesday, August 2nd. A face-to-face conference for two days in late July, 2017, at Western Oregon University. For more information, follow this link.

The online conference will take place from noon through 5 pm PST on both days. Registration (free) will be required in order to participate. This will help us better organize and respond in the future as well as give us a sense of the community participation.

Conference’s Purpose

Having spoken with many people as the conference organization has gone forward, it’s clear that the captioning community is positive, engaged, and constructive. Rather than lament the flood of bad captions or the dearth of quality captions, we want to promote what is health, interesting, strong, and engaging in the captioning community. This means having time to share and connect with people from different parts of the captioning community.

Read more  . . .



Never miss a word of an important conference call again!

New to Virginia Relay users, Remote Conference Captioning (RCC) allows people who have difficulty hearing what’s said during conference calls to have a clearer understanding of the conversation and participate in the call more effectively. Using Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) service to convert speech to text as it is spoken, RCC delivers word- for-word captions over the Internet while you listen over the telephone.

To use RCC, you will need access to a conference bridge to allow the certified captionist to listen to the audio portion of the call. You will also need access to an Internet-connected computer, tablet, or smartphone. There is no software to download, just a link to follow to view captions!

DOWNLOAD the RCC flyer



Published on Dec 29, 2014

Youtube videos are not accessible to everyone, adding closed captions to videos will make them accessible to millions of more people. Share this video on social media, tag your favorite creator and help make your favorite videos enjoyable for everyone! #withcaptions

Thank you to everyone that participated:
Rikki Poynter -
Jason Listman -
Jules Dameron -
Nyle DiMarco
Sandra Frank
Amber Zion
Laurel Silverstein
Dickie Hearts
Leila Hanaumi
Daniel Durant
Sean Forbes -
Treshelle Edmond
Amelia Hensley
Heidi Branch -
Erik Wittborg -
Joshua Castille

Keep up with us:
Download Glide -


The Old Greenbelt Theatre in Greenbelt, Md., offers open captioned films on Sunday afternoons.

Brooklyn is playing on Sunday, November 29, at 1 p.m.

Check their website and get your name on their mailing list to be informed about upcoming films.  Look for the "OC" designation for the film on Sundays.
Check out thier website at    

There is also a farmer's market next to the theatre on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 25 Crescent Road, Greenbelt, Md.

Courtesy of Jackie Mann
Maryland Deaf Seniors -



Lawsuit against Harvard and MIT over free online courses is ongoing.

 Ars Technica
by  Joe Mullin
Oct 14, 2015

A deaf rights group that sued Netflix to compel it to caption all its video programming has reached a similar deal with Amazon over its streaming video.

Unlike the Netflix settlement, the deal between Amazon and the National Association for the Deaf was negotiated without litigation.

Amazon has already captioned 100 percent of the video it offers through its Prime Video and has agreed to continue to do so. Under the deal with NAD, Amazon will move through its back-catalog content, captioning an additional 190,000 titles which weren't given captions by the content creators.

For videos that have been viewed more than 10 times in the past 90 days, Amazon will get 90 percent of them captioned by the end of this year and 100 percent of them captioned by the end of 2016.

"The NAD is thus thrilled by Amazon’s decision to make its online entertainment experience more accessible to deaf and hard of hearing customers who also look to Amazon to fulfill their needs for comprehensive goods and services," said Howard Rosenblum, CEO of the NAD.

Read more . . . deaf rights



Boston Globe
by Hiawatha Bray

According to the World Health Organization, a billion people worldwide have some form of disability. The giant Internet service Yahoo wants to deliver information and entertainment to every one of them, not just because it’s good business, but also because it’s the right thing to do.

On Tuesday, Yahoo showed off an “accessibility lab” at its Boston facility in Downtown Crossing. Yahoo will use the lab to test the closed captions it attaches to its online video content, to ensure that deaf viewers can enjoy the shows.

Yahoo includes such captions on nearly all its video content, but must carefully tailor the captions for multiple devices. The same video might be viewed on a laptop, a tablet, a smartphone or a videogame console. The Boston accessibility lab will ensure that captions are modified as needed, so they’re correctly rendered on each device.

“The more we can both prove the financial value and the social value, hooray! What a double win that is!” said Larry Goldberg, Yahoo’s director of accessible media and manager of the Boston lab, one of two run by the company. Goldberg spent nearly 30 years at Boston public television station WGBH, where he led the National Center for Accessible Media, a pioneer in the use of closed captions and descriptive audio for people with vision problems.

See original article

Hiawatha Bray is a technology reporter for the Boston Globe.


Do you watch your local news with captions? If so, we need your input! It’ll take just a few minutes and will help guide the future of national accessibility laws for closed captioning.

As part of its landmark closed caption quality initiative, the Federal Communications Commission is examining the quality of closed captions for live news programming in local markets, particularly in smaller markets that use the Electronic Newsroom Technique (ENT) for captions. HLAA in collaboration with the FCC, the National Association of Broadcasters, and TDI (Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing) and NAD (National Association of the Deaf) is launching a consumer survey to examine the quality of ENT captioning on local news programming.

If you watch local news with captions, please take 10 minutes to fill out the following survey:

The results will be included as part of a report to the FCC that will factor into possible changes around the legal rules for news captioning.

We'd be grateful for your support if you could take the survey and share your experience with us; it will help us in our efforts in working with FCC to improve local news captioning!

If you have any questions, please feel free to email us!



Huff Post - The Blog
By Janice S. Lintz
July 6, 2015

Dear Donald Trump:

People who are deaf and hard of hearing need to thank you. Years ago, I contacted you about the horrific captions on the The Apprentice. My daughter, who is hard of hearing, was learning poor spelling and getting confusing input when she watched your show. For example, "Bordeaux" (you know, the small French region where wine is made) was spelled like two animals: "boar" and "doe."

Your office staff didn't care when I contacted them, nor did your production team, Mark Burnett Productions. In fact, I learned that the Burnett team never reviewed the captions. The woman whose job it was to do this told me that I was "stressing her out" by complaining.

So, I contacted Bob Wright, the then-chairman of NBC. Thankfully, he cared--his personal experience  . . . .

Read more  . . . Trump



Times Colonist
The Canadian Press
May 27, 2015

OTTAWA - Deaf and hard-of-hearing Canadians fear their needs as voting citizens might be lost in the shuffle in the coming election campaign as the federal parties squabble over the formats and hosts of the leaders' debates.

The proposal by the major TV networks, put to the federal parties, includes closed captioning in both French and English — as has been the case in previous debates.

However, the Conservative Party of Canada has rejected the proposal from the so-called broadcast consortium, which includes CBC/Radio-Canada, Global News and CTV.

As a result, the televised debates are in limbo; it's not clear whether the opposition parties would bother with a faceoff that doesn't include the prime minister.

The Conservatives have emphasized their desire for different formats, citing the fact many Canadians no longer watch traditional TV. But broadcasters are required by regulation to include closed captioning with their programming, even during commercials.

Will new debate proposals from Maclean's magazine, the Globe and Mail/Google Canada, the Munk Debates and others include services for the hearing impaired?

Read more . . . Canadians captions



Kickstarter now has a captions and subtitles feature for videos!
Nitsuh Abebe · 

Creativity is for everyone. That belief’s central to what we do here at Kickstarter — we want to make it easier for more people to connect and get involved in creative projects, big or small. And part of living up to that goal is making sure our website is for everyone, too.

Today, we’re happy to announce a new feature that makes Kickstarter even more accessible to our huge, global community. This community spans hundreds of nations and territories, all seven continents, countless languages, and individuals at all different levels of hearing. When a creator reaches out to that community to share a new idea, we want all those people to have access to what they’re saying. So we’ve added captioning and subtitles to videos, to make sure they can be understood by everyone who watches — whatever their language, and whatever their hearing level.

Watch Video and read more  . . .


HHF March E-News

Where in the World are my Closed Captions?

Have you noticed the recent buzz about closed-captioning? Just last week, the FCC introduced quality rules for closed captions (CC) on television: TV broadcasters and other video programming distributors now must ensure that captions meet the following quality standards:

  • Accuracy: Captions must be grammatically correct and provide essential non-verbal information.
  • Synchronicity: Captions must coincide as closely as possible with the audio.
  • Completeness: The entire program should be captioned.
  • Placement: Captions should be viewable, legible and not block important on-screen information.

While a great step forward for TV, the Internet still lags behind. In a recent Time article, Steve Friess a hearing impaired journalist wrote a complaint against the Internet's inaccessibility for the deaf and hard of hearing. As Steve watched the live-stream unveiling of the new Apple Watch, he realized there were no captions and was frustrated because Apple is often admired for creating devices that break down barriers for people with disabilities. By not providing CC, millions of people with hearing loss could not watch the event in real-time. Next month, HHF is meeting with Apple executives to discuss ways they can offer support for people with hearing loss and promote prevention. If you have a message you would like us to share directly with Apple, please email us.

Similarly, The New York Times thinks requesting CC for's videos is "an extremely reasonable request" and plans to roll out CC in the coming months. To read about one person's recent challenge with CC at the movies, check out a blog post
written by HHF Board Chair, Shari Eberts.

Other Articles In This Issue of HHF March E-News

The "Designer" Mouse
Where are my Closed Captions?
Make Listening Safe
HRP Transitions into Phase II
Use It Or Lose it!
Kidneys and Hearing Health






AFI Silver Theatre provides open captioning for select films.

Catch these Oscar Noms before “Oscar Sunday” on February 22:

Open Captioned Screenings for Sunday, Feb. 15:


  • BIRDMAN (OC) 7:05



Check for upcoming Open Caption Screenings!

AFI Silver Theatre is located at 8633 Colesville Rd., near the intersection of Colesville Rd. and Georgia Ave.  For daily listings call 301-495-6700

(!)  Pass Restricted

Mary Dalto | Theater Manager & Events | AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center | American Film Institute
8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, MD 20910 | P: 301.495.6748 | F: 301.495.6777 |



The National Association of the Deaf (NAD), a non-profit civil rights organization of, by, and for deaf and hard of hearing individuals, and VUDU, Inc., a wholly owned streaming entertainment subsidiary of Walmart, have reached an agreement for VUDU to caption 100% of programming content streamed through VUDU’s Video on Demand Service.

The agreement indicates the parties’ mutual intent to increase access for people who are deaf and hard of hearing to movies and television streamed on the Internet. VUDU has ensured that as of January 16, 2015, every title listed in its catalog is closed-captioned or subtitled. In addition, VUDU has committed to captioning all newly-acquired content as soon as that content is made available to the public.

Howard A. Rosenblum, CEO of NAD, said, “Online streaming entertainment has become one of the most popular methods of viewing movies and television shows. The National Association of the Deaf is thrilled to announce that 48 million deaf and hard of hearing people will be able to fully access VUDU’s Video on Demand services.”

“We are grateful for NAD’s guidance and are excited to be offering VUDU’s entire library of HD movies and TV to customers who are deaf and hard of hearing,” said Jeremy Verba, General Manager, VUDU.

“Streaming entertainment is reshaping how people watch television and movies. VUDU has ensured that its deaf and hard of hearing customers have that same access to this new entertainment delivery system,” said Arlene Mayerson, Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund’s Directing Attorney. “DREDF urges other streaming entertainment providers to incorporate access to deaf and hard of hearing individuals at the outset rather than as an afterthought. It’s a sound business practice that’s also the right thing to do.”

“By ensuring 100% closed captions on all of its streaming titles, VUDU has demonstrated that it is an industry leader, setting the standards for an open Internet,” said Bill Lann Lee, an attorney at Lewis, Feinberg, Lee, Renaker & Jackson, P.C.

The Settlement Agreement (PDF) between NAD and VUDU is available here.