Captioning is not Just for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. “Captions not only provide access to Deaf and hard of hearing people, but provides young people with the foundations of literacy”
Last night, I was sitting in front of the telly, watching some programme. Probably one of those comedy ones that they have on Wednesday night. I remember this because my son, Gabe and I were sitting there laughing together.
Then it occurred to me that I should ask him about his views on captions and whether it bothered him.
“Gabe, do the captions bother you?”
– no, they are useful because if people mumble, I know what is being said.
“Why do you think people complain about the captions?”
– because they aren’t used to them.
“do you read the captions when you are watching TV?”
So I started thinking… one of the reasons people aren’t used to captions is because they aren’t on TV often enough. If they were on TV everywhere, like in pubs and public places that have captions, then people would get used to them.
After his last comment about reading captions on TV, I started thinking about his literacy levels. He reads at an advanced age, he is well above his reading and spelling age. He has an eloquent grasp of the English language. I attribute this to his exposure to captions from the day he was born.
May I present to you evidence of his language skills. He wrote this when he was 12, and entered a poetry competition, where he came 3rd.
New Zealand Reflection
Blood among chocolate bark
The soul of the Pohutukawa lives ever long.
Icy sheets consume frozen rivers,
forming great alpine ice cubes.
Dusk sets the sky ablaze though night plunges us into darkness and cold.
Nature’s automatic air conditioner.
Windswept plains carved like the wool of a sheep are sheared by the rain.
The squash of peat in a bog disturbs the Pukeko’s hunt.
Sweat beads, turning pink skin red, down sunburnt faces
Relaxing in hot springs,
Plumes of smoke arise from a crater,
spewing ash and molten rock.
Fury of the mountain.
Rocky alps transform into flat, grassy plains.
Land of the Long White Cloud.
If this is not evidence that captions not only provide access to Deaf and hard of hearing people, but provides young people with the foundations of literacy, then I don’t know what is.
So, come on, caption it, not only for the Deaf, hard of hearing or speakers of a foreign language – do it for the kids!
by Kellye Bensley