Captioning. A Cochlear Implant Users Perspective. “Without Captions on TV We Understand Less than Half of what is Said”

I have had a Cochlear Implant for 15 years and I must say it has improved my life in many ways! Communication is so much easier – may it be at work or at family gatherings.

However, it is not all a bed of rose. Using the phone can be fantastic – but depending on quality of sound and for example accents can be a nightmare. Background noise can be so very hard for us Cochlear Implant users. I still very much rely on lip reading.

Lets talk about TV, DVDs and Cinema movies. My husband (who also has a Cochlear Implant) and I love movies. Having a Cochlear Implant does NOT stop us using Captions. We NEED them! We LIVE for them! If something of interest is not captioned we will not watch it. It is simply too hard to constantly have to concentrate and not being able to relax.

We recently tried watching the TV series “Outlander” on Lightbox (online screening). I have read all the Outlander books at least twice and was so excited when I heard they are making the series. Then it came to NZ via Lightbox – which means we need to pay monthly for this service, yet it isn’t captioned! We took out their free one month trial on to give it a go. It’s really hard work to watch, and the main character having a Scottish accent did not help. We understood less than half of what is was said. It was definitely not easy, and therefore not enjoyable.

So, YES we need and love captions – may it be the news, TV-series, films or cinema movies.

Going to the DVD shop to get DVDs out these days seems a bit harder now as not all DVDs are captioned like they used to be. Why I wonder?

We have two children aged 9 and 7. Their spelling and reading levels are much better than their age level. My boy is 7 and has the reading ability of a 9 year old. They have been brought up seeing captions on TV – their minds making the connection seeing the text and hearing the spoken words. This is the best education available.

Viola Caption cartoon

There are so many benefits of captioning. There are many who need visual text to help them understand! Deaf, hard of hearing, elderly, and even people for whom English is a second language.

Lets get all TV programmes and Cinema movies captioned – it benefits us all!

Thanks for Listening.

V Trotman

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  1. linda gregg September 16, 2014 | Reply
    I also have. Choclear implants the baha and also rely 100% on caption on tv.

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