Saturday, January 05, 2008

Non-Fiction, Non-Captioned Movies


The oldest son has a few extra credit projects that include watching non-fiction movies from the library. The few movies that I found aren't captioned, and have no English subtitles.

I'm off to browse the Described and Captioned Media Program list to see what they have on there.

We have encountered this same issue in the schools. I do wish that we could make it mandatory that all educational materials be captioned so we wouldn't have to deal with trying to substitute movies or change the curriculum.

When my oldest was in middle school, they showed several movies without captions. It wasn't until about the fourth movie that my son finally mentioned it to me. We had a meeting at the school and I made it clear that they needed to provide every movie with captions. The team agreed.

When Lauren entered middle school, the vice-principal called me to the school to inform me that the science teacher had a movie that wasn't captioned. They couldn't find a comparable movie that was captioned. The movie covered lab safety, the same movie that my oldest son previously sat through with an interpreter before we enforced the captioning issue. My daughter doesn't use an interpreter. What could they do?

Well, one option was to hire a CART interpreter at the tune of $90 to $119 per hour with a minimum of two hours. His jaw dropped. Or, ship the movie out to be captioned, which could cost a pretty penny. His jaw dropped more.

In the end, the teacher created a powerpoint instead and showed that to the class instead of using the movie. The school is now in the process of going through all of their DVDs and identifying the ones without captions and looking to replace them with captioned versions.

If we could just pass a simple law requiring all DVDs to be captioned or subtitled, think of the energy we'd save.

After all, as Larry Siegel says, "The importance of communication and language for deaf and hard of hearing children is so basic as to be beyond debate."


Anna said...

I am going to admit that I'm surprised all DVDs don't have captions. That is important, and basic. Sometimes people just have to be educated, because we don't think of the obvious when it doesn't directly affect us.

Rini said...

Amen! I've gone through similar things in school. It is a nightmare to deal with school when it comes to movies that aren't captioned. I too, agree that there should be a simple law that all movies, past or current, needs to be captioned in a school setting or everywhere for that matter. Great job of you for fighting to get things changed!

Nita said...

I noticed that any movies/documentaries produced by A & E company are almost NEVER captioned or subtitled!! It is really frustrating because they usually provide good movies. One would think that in this modern day and times, practically all DVDs should be captioned by now but it isn't.

You said your daughter doesn't use an interpreter. Does it mean she understands the teacher only with the use of her aids?

Ancilla said...

hi again :)

honestly, i dont know that not all DVD has caption. it is different here, in Indonesia, but it may because of English is not the primary language here.

however, the condition you face there is much better. at least there is a compromise and the school and teachers have willingness to deal with it.

it still not happens here and i guess in other developing countries...

Val said...

GOOD FOR YOU!! My son is now six and has become a very good reader in general. We are starting to use captions some, he didn't like the idea at first, but I think once he gets used to it, he'll love it.

Dianrez said...

Ask Jamie Berke at about the lists of captioning services willing to work for schools and nonprofit agencies for less than charged by the larger captioning companies.

With more small businesses getting into this field, it is possible to find very competitive rates.

Karen said...

Nita wrote:
"You said your daughter doesn't use an interpreter. Does it mean she understands the teacher only with the use of her aids?"

Nita, yes my daughter has pretty good use of her residual hearing. She's pretty agressive about raising her hand and getting the information she needs. At some point, I would like her to use CART so we have it in the IEP for major school events.

Karen said...

Dianrez, thanks for the tip!

Heather said...

I know this blog has been up here for awhile but I just found it while doing some research about DVDs without captions. I have a severe hearing impairment and need captions as well. I struggled through a college biology class that was taught strictly through films without subtitles, even after I explained this to my professor! I just started a Facebook group to voice my discontent with films that fail to include captions. It's "Citizens Against Films without Captions for the Hearing Impaired."