What is the Lipreading Mom Internet Captions Campaign?
Thanks to the Collaboration for Communication Access via Captioning (CCAC) and volunteers for their time and efforts with the Lipreading Mom Internet Captions Campaign. This initiative has involved intentional contact with various television networks regarding lack of captions on their network Website videos.
Let Your Voice Be Heard!
Send a complaint to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) about any network that does not caption its programming. Click here to send a message to the FCC.
Update 1.28.13 – Be sure to visit Captioned Web TV, the international place to find closed captioned web television programs.
Update 1.28.13: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) outlined its mandates for Internet captioning. Read the mandates here.
How to Become Involved with the Campaign
1) Copy and paste into a Word document or email the Lipreading Mom Campaign Letter (see letter below).
2) Email the letter to one, some, or all of the networks listed on this page under Networks Contacted.
3) Network contact info is available simply by clicking on each network name below. You will be asked to email each network using its automated Feedback Page. This is where you will “paste” the Campaign Letter and press “Send.”
Dear Network Site Management,
As followers with hearing loss, we are writing to express our concern about the lack of captions with your online videos.
On several occasions, we and friends with hearing loss have wanted to watch online broadcasts on your Websites, only to be unable to understand the information you present due to lack of captions.
With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting that 34 million U.S. adults have hearing loss, it would be in your network’s best interest to provide captioned streaming as a way to appeal to this large group of potential viewers. Imagine the level of support and PR your network and site would receive if you launched captioned Internet broadcasts to appeal to this large portion of the U.S. population.
We welcome your thoughts and will be following up with you on behalf of the millions of Americans with hearing loss.
Lipreading Mom Internet Captions Campaign
It has been was noted by several LipreadingMom.com followers that Netflix had suddenly reduced its captioned programming, with no explanation from the company. Lipreading Mom urges followers to bombard Netflix with requests for more captions. Responses from Netflix will be posted on this page.
OWNTV.com/The Oprah Winfrey Network
On January 19, 2012, Campaign Volunteer Russ Kane received the following response from OWN TV’s online management regarding his concerns with the site’s lack of video captions:
“Our network is compliant with the current Federal Communications Commission requirements to broadcast 100 percent closed captioning on our U.S. networks, which is at least 20 hours per day. If you need information on a specific program, consult the program schedules on this web site, where closed-captioned programs are indicated by “CC”. If for some reason you are not receiving closed-captioning, please visit http://www.oprah.com/own/viewer_relations.html.”
Update (2.6.12): A judge in California upholds a lawsuit brought about against CNN and its parent company, Time Warner, regarding accessibility issues and lack of online captions. Read the article here.
On January 10, a letter was sent regarding lack of video captions on the CNN.com homepage.
A letter was sent to email@example.com regarding lack of online video captions with its 2012 U.S. presidential primary coverage in New Hampshire.
An email was sent to MSNBC.com and parent company NBC urging for captioned video content. This comes in response to CCAC Member Pearl Feder attempting to watch the online video, “Not Your Father’s Golden Years,” and not being able to due to lack of captions.
Several letters have been sent to ABC and Disney, parent company of ABC. View ABC’s response at the “Advocacy” category on this page. The letters to Disney were sent directly to two executives: the director of Internet media and the director of ABC programming. Waiting for Disney to respond.
The700Club.com/Christian Broadcasting Network
A request for Internet captions was sent, and a response was received by Christian Broadcasting Network, parent company of The700Club.com. Click on “Advocacy” to the right of this page for details.
TheWeatherChannel.com (Click on “Contact Us”)
Volunteer Bill Holman led efforts to contact TWC. No response at present date.
British Broadcasting Corp/BBC.com
BBC responded January 11, 2012, by stating that BBC iPlayer captions 90 percent of its online videos. However, these videos are only accessible to UK residents. Read more, along with BBC’s response, here.
This was the first network contacted through our campaign. At present, no response has been received, other than an automated message.
History of Internet Captioning Advocacy
For those of you as passionate about Internet captions as Lipreading Mom is, we have some powerful fans on our side. Memorize these names: U.S. Representative Edward Markey (Massachusetts) and U.S. Congressman Mark Pryor (Arkansas).
Rep. Markey and Congressman Pryor authored the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010. This legislation is the cornerstone of seeing that previously televised videos posted on the Internet be captioned.
On January 10, 2012, Markey and Pryor wrote the FCC, emphasizing the importance of making sure previously broadcast TV videos that were captioned on television also be captioned on the Internet. This is due in part to, as their letter stated:
- Increasing numbers of people in the U.S. are watching programming on the Internet.
- Many of these people prefer Internet over TV broadcasting as their source for news, sports, entertainment, and other information.
- Without regulation of whether videos on the Internet are captioned, a broad base of viewers wouldn’t be guaranteed the ability to understand the videos (i.e., the deaf and hearing loss populations).
To read the January 10th letter to the FCC, click here.
To thank U.S. Rep. Markey and follow his efforts, click here.
To thank and follow U.S. Congressman Pryor’s work, click here.
Your Help Is Needed
Let Lipreading Mom know if you would like to participate in this campaign and also if you have network Web sites you wish to be contacted. Also, consider becoming a member of the CCAC captioning organization through the link above. It’s free and represents a growing group of volunteers passionate about making universal captions a reality.
You CAN make a difference for the hearing loss community!