Having lost my hearing as an adult, I found myself withdrawing from watching television shows, going to movies, etc. until the ADA was passed and captioning begin appearing in limited places. Each time it appeared made me more excited and determined that it continue to expand.
By the early 1990s, I discovered that many TV programs and movie rentals were captioned. It wasn’t until 1999 when I attended my first HLAA convention that I discovered how truly special captioning was…every session was captioned and oh the empowerment I felt.
I have repeatedly tried to manage without captioning, but in larger meetings, at special events and watching any television programs I simply cannot function without it. Since movie theaters now have digital systems and offer captioning it has allowed me to attend a movie if I want to, understand and enjoy it. At work I use a captioned telephone and it has made me feel much more confident when making calls and in answering them. At church, I can enjoy the entire service because we are one of the few churches with captioning in Chattanooga. When there is a special local televised event that would otherwise not be captioned, I and several of my HOH friends petition the station to request captioning. Local news has become accessible. As the trend to provide more and more captioning continues, it is my hope that captioning will be soon be available on all Internet clips and streams.
Captioning matters to the more than 48 million people with hearing loss. I am but one.