By Russ Kane, Volunteer with the Lipreading Mom Internet Captions Campaign
Suze Orman is one of the most prominent financial writers and TV personalities in our American society. She has sold millions of books and she has so many fans. She first started as a waitress in Berkeley, California and became a financial adviser for Merrill Lynch. She worked her way up to vice president at Prudential Bache Securities in 1983 and founded the Suze Orman Financial Group in 1987. She got her first TV big break as a guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 2008 after hosting her show, “Can I Afford It?” (which later became a staple of her TV show, “The Suze Orman Show,” which is still running on CNBC to spectacular ratings). She now writes columns about money for O Magazine and is a regular columnist for The Costco Connection and many other newspapers.
In January of 2012, Suze debuted a new six-episode show called “America’s Money Class with Suze Orman” on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). The draw to this show is the grand prize of $50,000 after her viewers take the final exam. Now, this is a wonderful opportunity for people to learn more about finances and how to save for retirement. Alas, deaf viewers are unable to partake in this contest unless they subscribe to an upgrade in their cable company. For example, I would have to pay an extra $35 a month to be able to watch OWN on my Time Warner account. So, I decided to downgrade to basic cable because many channels are not captioning their programs. However, since I do not have OWN, the only way I can watch Suze’s show is on OWN’s website, but they refuse to caption her show.
What can you do to speak up about this travesty? Go to her Website to email her. Or go to her Facebook page (Suze Orman) and write on her wall like I did. She has told me that she will not be able to caption her show. With the new FCC rules coming out this summer, she will have to.
Join the Lipreading Mom Captions Campaign, and find out how to advocate for online captions, like Russ did.