TV - Archive

Better TV Sound for Those With Hearing Loss

August 31, 2016 in Hearing Aids, Technology, Wearables

 

Could a sound bar speaker or the right pair of headphones help you hear the dialogue on your TV again?

Not long ago, a reader wrote to us asking for help with a common problem: Due to hearing loss, she was having a hard time watching television. Even with the volume at maximum level, she couldn’t quite make out the dialogue. What could she do?

For me, the issue hit close to home.

In the later years of his life, my dad struggled to understand what was being said on TV shows. When I called or visited him, the TV was often at full blast. And yet, he complained, that really didn’t help him follow the on-screen conversations. It simply added another layer of commotion.

Read more  . . . TV sound

Life Without Captions By Gael Hannan

August 25, 2016 in Community News

 

 

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

‘DOCTOR WHO’ writer – talks creating deaf characters on television

October 13, 2015 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness

 

 

‘Doctor Who’ writer Toby Whithouse talks creating deaf characters on television

Entertainment Weekly
BY KELLY CONNOLLY
October 12, 2015

In a season packed with two-part episodes, Doctor Who just concluded a notable one. Thriller “Under the Lake”/ “Before the Flood” sent the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and Clara (Jenna Coleman) to an underwater mining facility run by the no-nonsense Cass, played by deaf actress Sophie Stone. At New York Comic Con on Saturday, writer Toby Whithouse (Being Human) told EW that he’s been “delighted” by fans’ response to both Stone and her character.

Read more . . . ‘Doctor Who’ writer Toby Whithouse talks 

Read interview with actress Sophie Stone, Oct. 5,2015 – Tech Times
‘Doctor Who Extra’ Features Sophie Stone Discussing Role On Series

HLAA-Let the FCC Know Your Experience with Local News Captioning!

August 27, 2015 in Community News

 

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:
https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/0MMTT

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!

America’s Next Top Model’s First Deaf Contestant

August 12, 2015 in Community News

 

 

America’s Next Top Model‘s First Deaf Contestant: ‘I Want to Change the World’s Perspective on Deafness’

People 
BY GABRIELLE OLYA
08/11/2015

Nyle DiMarco fits the bill of an America’s Next Top Model contestant – he’s gorgeous, tall and knows how to pose for the camera – but unlike the other contestants competing for the title on cycle 22, he’s Deaf.

“Being Deaf did not give me any hesitation to be a part of the show,” he tells PEOPLE. “In fact, I was thrilled. I saw it as an opportunity to not only become a supermodel, but to change the world’s perspective on Deafness.”

Growing up, DiMarco, 25, says he was “teased a little bit” for his inability to hear.

Read more and see pictures  . . . . Top Model‘s

 

Update: Many Children’s Television Programs Now Accessible

March 25, 2015 in Community News

 

 

Disability.gov Update: Many Children’s Television Programs Now Accessible for Students with Visual or Hearing Disabilities

Many Children’s Television Programs Now Accessible for Students with Visual or Hearing Disabilities

The U.S. Department of Education has made dozens of children’s television programs available online for students who are blind, visually impaired, deaf or hard of hearing. The shows include closed captioning and video descriptions and can be viewed for free through the Department’s Accessible Television Portal project. Available shows include “Magic School Bus” and “Bill Nye the Science Guy.” This project is part of the Described and Captioned Media Program.

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

 

 

FCC Establishes Quality Standards for TV Closed Captioning

November 18, 2014 in Captioning / Relay, Community News, Technology

 

 

FCC ESTABLISHES QUALITY STANDARDS FOR TELEVISION CLOSED CAPTIONING, SEEKS COMMENT ON FURTHER RULE CHANGES

The FCC recently adopted new rules regarding closed captioning quality for television programming. The new rules establish four “non-quantitative” quality standards for closed captioning, requiring captions to be (1) accurate, (2) synchronous, (3) complete, and (4) properly placed. Rules requiring compliance with these standards will take effect on January 15, 2015. The FCC also adopted new rules addressing a number of related issues, including new requirements for broadcast stations using Electronic Newsroom Technique (“ENT”). The new ENT requirements, which require broadcasters to comply with a prescribed set of ENT Best Practices, will take effect on June 30, 2014. New monitoring requirements for equipment used to provide closed captioning will take effect on April 30, 2014, and a related set of recordkeeping requirements will take effect on January 15, 2015.

See the entire Report & Order here:

http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-14 -12A1.doc

In Pennsylvania, some candidates don’t have all the voters’ ears

October 2, 2014 in Captioning / Relay, Community News

 

 

SUNLIGHT Foundation
by Kathy Kiely
SEPT. 24, 2014

In the Philadelphia area, most candidates and campaign committees trying to woo voters with TV ads this election season are going out of their way to reach out to those with hearing difficulties, but there are some notable exceptions.

Republican Gov. Tom Corbett’s campaign for re-election is most prominent of the political committees advertising on Philadelphia-area TV this fall without closed captioning, written transcripts of a broadcasts’ spoken words that can be activated on most TVs.

The omission isn’t partisan however: The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, which has bought ads opposing Corbett, also fails to provide the captions. So does the campaign of Tom MacArthur, a Republican running for an open congressional seat in south Jersey.

The findings were unearthed as part of the Philly Political Media Watch, a pilot research project by the Internet Archive, the Sunlight Foundation, the Committee of Seventy and local scholars to catalogue political communications and trace funding for them to the source.

Our initial efforts focus on advertising in one of the nation’s largest TV markets during the 2014 campaign. The Internet Archive, which is capturing Philadelphia TV broadcasts on servers housed at the University of Pennsylvania’s Linguistics Data Consortium, noticed the omitted captions because the Archive uses them to index the TV data.

While the Federal Communications Commission requires closed captioning on most television programming, advertisements are generally exempt. Most advertisers provide the captions, however, to expand their market reach. In a December 2010 memo to members, the Association of National Advertisers extolled the benefits of closed captioning, noting that the “cost . . . is minimal” and that it would enable advertisers to reach an estimated 36 million Americans who suffer from hearing loss (low, according to Johns Hopkins University, which puts the number at 48 million).

Read More  . . .

The FCC May Redefine ‘Television’ to Include the Internet

September 30, 2014 in Technology

 

 

The proposal could create new competition to cable providers like Comcast.

The Federal Communications Commission is considering whether to treat certain online video services the same way it treats cable and satellite TV providers.The move would help the online services get cheaper access to major network programming and could allow them to become stronger competitors to the dominant pay-TV providers like Comcast.

The Sorry State of Closed Captioning

July 15, 2014 in Advocacy & Access, Captioning / Relay, Technology

Streaming video now must provide subtitles for the hearing impaired. There’s no guarantee of accuracy, though. One solution: crowdsourcing.

The Atlantic
    

Article Source 

Imagine sitting down to watch an episode of Game of Thrones—and hardly being able to understand anything. That’s the case for non-native English speakers or any of the 36 million deaf or hard-of-hearing Americans. HBO doesn’t expect its viewers to have a knowledge of High Valyrian; that’s why it takes care to offer subtitles to viewers understand exactly how Daenerys intends to free the slaves of Essos.

If only most online streaming companies took as much care in everyday captioning.

Machine translation is responsible for much of today’s closed-captioning and subtitling of broadcast and online streaming video. It can’t register sarcasm, context, or word emphasis. It can’t capture the cacophonous sounds of multiple voices speaking at once, essential for understand the voice of an angry crowd of protestors or a cheering crowd. It just types what it registers. Imagine watching classic baseball comedy Major League and only hearing the sound of one fan shouting from the stands. Or only hearing every other line of lightning-fast dialogue when watching reruns of the now-classic sitcom 30 Rock.

As of April 30, streaming video companies are now required to provide closed captioning. On all programming. There’s no doubt that we’re in a better place than we were even five years ago, when streaming video companies weren’t required to closed-caption any of its content.  But, there still is a long way to go in improving the accuracy of subtitles. Netflix and Amazon Prime users have bemoaned the quality of the streaming companies’ closed captions, citing nonsense words, transcription errors, and endless “fails.” These companies blame the studios for not wanting to pay for accurate translations but excuses aren’t flying with paying streaming video subscribers.\

Marlee Matlin, the Oscar-winning actress and longtime advocate for better closed captions for the deaf and hard of hearing, recently mentioned . . .

Read more  . . .

 

{CCAC} Captioned Web TV page on Facebook

May 29, 2014 in Community News

 

Caption Action 2 has launched a Facebook page for Captioned Web TV as a way to reach out to producers and also to demonstrate demand for captions.

https://www.facebook.com/captionedwebtv

News and commentary about captioned web television programs. A web television program is original programming produced exclusively for the Internet.

 

Disability.gov Update: New FCC Rules to Improve Quality of TV Closed Captioning

February 25, 2014 in Captioning / Relay

disability-gov-email-bulletin-header_original

New FCC Rules to Improve Quality of TV Closed CaptioningThe Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved new rules for TV closed captioning that will ensure that people who are deaf or hard of hearing have full access to television programming. The new rules state that all television programming with closed captions must accurately convey dialogue and sounds in the program. Captions must also be timed so that they do not lag behind the program’s dialogue and must not block important information on the screen.

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.


 

 

 

Gallaudet Football on the verge of first ever NCAA playoff berth (Captioned Video)

November 7, 2013 in Captioning / Relay, Community News

WASHINGTON (WUSA) — The beating of the drum is a practical tradition at Gallaudet University . It signals the start of footballpractice.Players who are deaf or hard of hearing can ‘feel’ the reverberations.

But there’s another sound echoing throughout campus.
The buzz is about the teams undefeated season, 8-0 with just two more games to play. Game number eight last weekend was an unbelievably dramatic win against Becker. The Bison blocked a field goal and returned it 79 yards for a touchdown.

Read more watch video  . . . . .

NVRC – Winter Weather Information

January 25, 2013 in Community News, Emergency Preparedness, NVRC Announcements

Finding Weather Information on the Web:
The Weather Channel  www.weather.com
Enter your zip code in the box at the top of the page to get a forecast for your area.

Local TV stations (videos are not captioned)::
www.wusa9.com (WUSA 9)
http://www.wjla.com/ (WJLA)
http://www.nbcwashington.com/ (WRC 4)
http://www.myfoxdc.com/ (WTTG5)

weather Icon*********************************************************************** 

Winter Weather Watches, Warnings and Advisories- What do they all Mean?

The National Weather Service uses specific winter weather terms to ensure that people know what to expect in the coming days and hours . A Winter Storm Watch means that severe winter conditions, such as heavy snow and/or ice, may affect your area, but its occurrence, location and timing are still uncertain. A winter storm watch is issued to provide 12 to 36 hours notice of the possibility of severe winter weather. A winter storm watch is intended to provide enough lead time so those who need to set plans in motion can do so. A watch is upgraded to a Winter Storm Warning when 4 or more inches of snow or sleet is expected in the next 12 hours, or 6 or more inches in 24 hours, or 1/4 inch or more of ice accumulation is expected. Winter Weather Advisories inform you that winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences that may be hazardous. If caution is exercised, advisory situations should not become life-threatening. A Blizzard Warning means that snow and strong winds will combine to produce a blinding snow (near zero visibility), deep drifts, and life-threatening wind chill. Be sure to listen carefully to the radio, television, and NOAA Weather Radio for the latest winter storm watches, warnings, and advisories. For additional information, visit the Winter Weather Awareness web page at: http://www.weather.gov/om/winter

Read more . . . →

Netflix Charged With Discriminating Against the Deaf

October 17, 2011 in Technology

NVRC Note: This lawsuit is discussed at http://www.hackingnetflix.com/2011/10/netflix-other-companies-face-yet-another-lawsuit-over-captions.html

Some of the comments are very harsh.PRLog (Press Release) – Oct 4, 2011 – Netflix and four other high tech corporations have been charged with violating human rights in a formal legal complaint which alleges that willfully refusing to provide closed captioning on most of the programs it transmits over the Internet constitutes illegal discrimination against the handicapped by denying the deaf “full and equal enjoyment” of its goods and/or services in violation of the D.C. Human Rights Act, the toughest anti-discrimination law in the U.S.

If convicted, Netflix would have to add closed captioning to virtually all of the movies, TV shows, and the other programming it provides over the Internet to customers; a tremendous benefit not only to the deaf, but also to the much larger number of customers who are older or otherwise simply hard of hearing, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf, who has filed more than 100 successful complaints against discrimination based upon race, sex, country of origin, and disability.

Netflix — and Apple, Panasonic, Tivo, and Toshiba, which have been charged with “aiding and abetting” for providing and modifying their devices to facilitate Netflix’s Internet transmissions — could also face penalties for every day and to every person who has been subjected to this discrimination, as well being forced to pay attorney fees.

The complaint recites that Netflix has assured deaf organizations, as well as deaf individuals who have complained about the discrimination, that there is no technical reason why the closed captioning information — which is allegedly already available in most of the source material Netflix uses to transmit the programming, including even in the DVDs which it provides to customers — cannot be transmitted over the Internet, and Netflix has repeatedly promised to do so.

Netflix’s “willfully, maliciously, and unfairly refusing to provide closed captioning services for the programming it transmits to customers through the Internet,” and its continued refusal to meet the legitimate needs of their deaf, hearing impaired, and hard of hearing customers, is the basis of this legal action, says Banzhaf, who helped establish the National Center for Law and the Deaf, require the open captioning of information in emergency messages broadcast by TV stations, get deaf students admitted to law schools, and caused Congress to invite the first deaf person to testify on deaf-related issues before a congressional committee.

Many courts have held that even providing the same services to everyone may nevertheless illegally discriminate against one group as compared with another if that service has the effect or consequence of adversely affecting one group. For example, a university which provides uniforms and equipment to its university athletes, but doesn’t provide protective cups and/or jock straps, obviously has the effect or consequence of discriminating against the male athletes, even though the female athletes are likewise denied these same items.

Two U.S. Court of Appeals decisions make this point very clearly. In the first, the Sixth Circuit court held that even providing identical restroom facilities to males and females may constitute illegal sex discrimination against women because their needs are very different. In that case the facilities were filthy, which presented a far more serious health problem to women since men don’t have to sit to urinate. The court held “anatomical differences between men and women are ‘immutable characteristics,’ just as race, color and national origin are” – and, of course, as deafness is.

Similarly, in another case, where both male and female workers were equally required to urinate outdoors in the open, the court held that the requirement constituted “sexual harassment” of female employees because the same act of urination was both more difficult and more embarrassing for women than for men

This legal proceeding against Netflix is also similar to two other discrimination complaints brought against eHarmony, a match-making Internet website.  Both charged that although the company provided the same service to everyone — help in finding a person of the opposite sex who might be compatible — it nevertheless discriminated on the basis of the prohibited basis of sexual orientation since the service was virtually useless to homosexuals — just as a movie-via-Internet service without captions is virtually useless to the deaf.

eHarmony was ordered to pay $55,000 in one case, and to settle for $2 million in the other.

Ironically, deaf people may sign up to receive DVDs in the mail from Netflix containing many of the same programs they can also receive over the Internet, and which have closed captions which they can turn on so that they can understand and fully enjoy the programming.  However, they cannot get this same closed captioning if they obtain their programming from Netflix over the Internet.

As a result, the deaf are denied the full and equal enjoyment of the Netflix Internet service since, with the DVD delivery-by-mail service:
■ they have to order the programming days in advance and cannot be spontaneous, entertain visitors with different tastes who suddenly drop in, etc.;
■  they must wait several days before they can watch the programming they desire;
■  they are limited — by the number of DVDs they can have out at any one time — in terms of how many programs they can watch in a given time span;
■  they must put up with the inconvenience of opening and repacking the mailing envelopes, finding and then putting them back into a mailbox, etc.

Banzhaf, who has been a leader in using legal action as a weapon against the problems of the deaf, just as he has also done with the problems of smoking, obesity, and sex discrimination, says that finally the silent minority may be heard, and be able to enjoy — even if they cannot hear — the movies and TV programs everyone else takes for granted.

JOHN F. BANZHAF III, B.S.E.E., J.D., Sc.D.
Professor of Public Interest Law
George Washington University Law School,
FAMRI Dr. William Cahan Distinguished Professor,
Fellow, World Technology Network,
Founder, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)
Creator, Banzhaf Index of Voting Power
2000 H Street, NW, Suite S402
Washington, DC 20052, USA
(202) 994-7229 // (703) 527-8418
http://banzhaf.net/