Can Captions Help Our Kids Learn?

As the mom of three young children, I am concerned about the programs they watch on TV and the Internet. While there are parental controls for what they view on television, there is no control over whether or not the programs they watch via computer are captioned.

I partnered with the Collaboration for Communication Access via Captioning (CCAC) on the Lipreading Mom Internet Captions Campaign to bring awareness to the need for more captioned Web content.

The lack of such content impacts every person’s quality of life, not just a person with hearing loss.

My son, who is 4, picks up on the subtitles flashing across the TV screen and monitor. He is very visual and learns vocabulary this way.

My daughter and oldest son, ages 7 and 11 respectively, like music videos, and there are many on the Internet for them to watch—without captions.

Several companies and networks have been contacted through the Captions Campaign, including Netflix, AbcNews, BBC, and Disney.com. The goal is to inform them that captions are necessary for all people—hearing, hard of hearing, deaf, children, parents, teenagers, senior adults.

If you would like to join me in this campaign, click on Lipreading Mom Captions Campaign.

We *can* make a difference, but only if we let our voices be heard by the networks.

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5 thoughts on “Can Captions Help Our Kids Learn?

  1. The way I figure it, If one raise the kids to believe and respect what you want them to believe and respect, You won’t have any problems.

    Raising three of our own children (Now one just turn Adult) They are good kids and they stay out of trouble. Don’t worry about what’s is on television or computer.. Talk to your children about what is right or wrong and how to respect women and men as a person.

    They will see things that you don’t want them to see and there isn’t anything you can do about it. If you are up front and honest with them and you tell them your view and live by your standard… They will understand. Try to hide something… YOU ARE IN BIG TROUBLE!

    All of our three kids grew up with captioning and they are GREAT readers… Head of their class in reading.

  2. I’m a little confused about understanding how captions may protect our kids. Are you thinking perhaps that those web-based videos that are captioned need parental controls? 🙂 I guess I was confused about the title as I’m not sure that something is captioned provides any kind of parental control over what they are watching. I do know that YouTube and other sites that allow *almost* anything can be locked out and have parental controls. I think that Netflix has overall controls in that you have to have a password to *stream* video to your computer or t.v. So this would mean these programs would have to be approved by a parent before viewing. Not all of these programs have captioning, however.

    I think children do pick up vocabulary by having captions on all the time. My children both have normal hearing and really have trouble watching television without captioning b/c it is all they’ve known. I have noticed (as have they – good readers that they are now), that if a movie is on television and “revised” as to language so that it can air on t.v., that the captions still show the harsh language. In live television that is captioned, if a person’s voice is “bleeped” out because of harsh language, the captionist doing the live caption may actually type *bleep* – which I think is just too cute! LOL!

    So anyway – I don’t think captions provide protection so much as they allow a learning opportunity to improve reading skills and vocabulary. When I think of protection in regards to this topic I think more of the fact that we are working towards protection of our right as people with hearing loss to *hear* via captions all the things available to those with normal hearing on the net, movie theaters, television, and so on.

  3. David and Denise – Thank you for your comments. I agree with you both. Captioning has exposed my children to reading and understanding the English language at a young age. So, perhaps a better title for this blog post could be: “Can Captions Help Our Kids Learn?” I will change it to avoid any further confusion. Blessings to you.

  4. Both of my children say FREQUENTLY they are the excellent readers they are because of captions. The are 21 and *almost* 22 now. I think for them both HEARING how language is used, and SEEING how it is used really worked together to cement new vocabulary and language skills.

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