Words! – Why Captioning is Needed! “It has always been a struggle to follow the storyline on television programmes and DVDs without captions”
My name is Robert and I’m profoundly Deaf but have a cochlear implant, which has been very successful. I have been married for 10 years to Holly and I also run a successful business.
It has always been a struggle to follow the storyline on television programmes and DVDs without captions – the voices are not always clear, the storyline typically changes quite quickly, and don’t get me started on the foreign accents! It is also very tiring having to concentrate when you are already struggling to hear. If a programme is without captions, I avoid watching it which means that Holly has to check if something has captioning first, or watch it alone. This has caused a few tensions in our household!
We have three beautiful children – Oliver (7), Harmony (5) and Alfie (2). Oliver has a moderate hearing loss and is on the autism spectrum. For Oliver, the message is clear – every time we put on a DVD, and while setting it up, I get told multiple times “words!”. He will watch a DVD without captioning but we notice he can get distracted more easily and frequently. This is caused by noisy siblings and the effects of autism. His concentration levels increase with captioning, which obviously supports the need for it. On TV, we turn the captioning on for the children’s programmes but we notice there are frequent gaps in the schedule with no captions.
For us, the simple phrase is “words!” and that is why we support this 100% captioning campaign.
President Deaf Aotearoa
Note: Robert’s Experiences support the findings of UK researcher Judith Garman who has published an article that provides insight into the positive impacts of captions and audio description on people in the autism spectrum. By combining the visuals and audio, they can help create a complete picture for people who have autism, Aspergers, monotropism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and dyslexia.