How Many People Would Benefit from Captioning in New Zealand? Statistics vary across the world but it is commonly thought that 1 in 6 has a degree of hearing loss.

We’ve been asked this a lot recently so here are some stats. As this campaign is run purely on a voluntary basis so no flashy infographics from us sorry….

• NZ Stats say 380,000 New Zealanders are Deaf/HOH – 8.5 % of the population.

• 1 in 3 people over the age of 65 are affected by disabling hearing loss. In 2009, 13% of the NZ population was over the age of 65, by 2031 this will be 21%

• New Zealand Sign Language is the natural language of the Deaf community and is used by more than 24,000 people every day in New Zealand.

• Statistics vary across the world but it is commonly thought that 1 in 6 people have a degree of hearing loss, and as population ages, it is increasing to 1 in 4 by 2050

The Action on Hearing Loss/Royal National Institute for the Deaf in the UK and the Deafness Forum in Australia both state that 1 in 6 people have some type of hearing loss, and, as populations age, and infection and noise damage continues WHO predicts it will increase to 1 in 4 by 2050.

• The National Foundation for the Deaf applies this statistic and states that over 700,000 New Zealanders have some type of hearing loss. WHO believe 1:19 people have severe hearing loss

Captioning can also help….

Literacy – There are 760,000 children at school in New Zealand (excluding early childhood centres)

English as a second language – 25.2% of New Zealanders were born overseas. A significant percentage of these speak English as a second language

Many with alternative learning styles – including people with autism, dyslexia etc.

Research conducted by Ofcom, the UK Office of Communication, showed that 80% of the people using captions were not Deaf or Hard of Hearing.

Search Engines – Captioning helps search engines find content too by enabling them to look at all of the words in a video file and not just the name of the video. It’s good business sense!

New Zealand and New Zealanders of all ages benefit from captioning – On TV, On Demand, Online. Good broadcasters, media companies and video producers caption by choice, for the rest, we need legislation!


2013 Disability Survey

Action on Hearing Loss, United Kingdom

World Health Organisation

Deaf Aotearoa

National Foundation for the Deaf

Census New Zealand

Ministry of Social Development


Ofcom Study

3 Comments Added

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  1. Kleinboy March 6, 2015 | Reply
    Subtitles option is great. What YouTube need to do more is to inorfm viewers better that there are subtitles for choosen video. Small "CC" box shortly appearing in the right corner, at the start of video, is good notification but people don't know what is that "CC"; there should be something more understandable like "Choose Subtitles" or "Choose Captions".Also, there should be option that user can translate the video of other users. There are great videos but maybe authors are not interested to upload the subtitles.Also we need the option to correct "YouTube Translate Beta" translations, like on Google Translate; to have a option to suggest or correct wrong translated words or sentances. Thanks for the innovations, especially for "Translate Beta" option, it makes life easier now :)
  2. Pingback: I'm signing the Captioning Petition Because.... | We Need Words November 3, 2015

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