Recently I have seen degradation in caption quality as many providers have sought ways to cut costs, oftentimes through the use of unqualified captioners and inferior technologies.
The only way to reverse this trend and ensure quality captioning into the future is to establish a minimum captioning standard.
As the population in our country ages, the need for captions will become increasingly important for those over 65 who may develop hearing loss.
We are a nation of immigrants, foreigners, and naturalized citizens who rely on captions to communicate and receive vital information.
A significant portion of the population, perhaps as high as eight percent, is hard-of-hearing or functionally deaf.
Captions are used by school-age children to help bolster reading skills.
Many restaurants, motels, and public places display captions as part of the ambience of the establishment.
As a result, captions play an important role in the lives of many. They are vital for disseminating information related to news, weather, sports, entertainment, and national security. Captions enable hearing-challenged individuals to live a healthy lifestyle.
We need a minimum standard to ensure that quality captions are not compromised by inferior methods, technical issues, or incompetent providers that undermine the integrity of the American with Disabilities Act.
I ask that you seriously consider signing this petition which I started to ask the Federal Communications Commission to establish a minimum captioning standard. The petition requests the FCC require all live local programming to meet a standard of 97.5 percent and 99 percent accuracy for national and international programming. Please click on the link and it will take you to the site where you can add your name to the petition. It only takes seconds. Promote Caption Standard for Television Programming.
You can view this petition at: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/3/so-that-the-deaf-may-hear-it-is-written/.
In addition to preserving caption quality, you will also save the jobs of highly-skilled captioners (like myself) who are at risk of being replaced by voice-recognition computers that deliver an inferior product to the end user; and who knows, but that end user someday may be you or someone you love.