oh for the love of…

Well, there’s the good news and the bad news 🙂

First the wonderful news: it looks like all the pressure on the FCC is paying off. They have granted more reasonable blocks of time to prepare objections to the requested exemptions; previously it looked like the FCC was going to simply railroad things through by virtue of no time at all to assemble the objections. So this is good, although we are not yet out of the woods. Further info here.

In addition, these were nice bits of news to see. The NFL Network will now be captioned, because someone wrote in and requested that. Also, because someone filed a complaint, WTTG-TV will be fined and change their procedures to accommodate deaf people during natural disasters and other emergencies.

The overall message in these achievements is clear: stand up and be counted! We can indeed effect necessary change if we put our minds and effort to it.

We can also take steps beyond this. I find this endeavor very interesting. Not only does this provide us with a pool of videos we can watch, it saves us the hassle of searching for such content online. Perhaps as important or moreso, we can cite this collection when pressuring for more online video to be captioned. (“That’s too hard to do; no one does that!” “Oh really? Take a look at this archive, then.”) Banjo also lists DVD’s that caption the extra material besides the main feature; his list can be used in a similar way. We can also use such collections and lists in writing to our congress critters to urge improvement of the ADA or actual enforcement of the same.

The tools are there — we can grab them and use them. Sure, this stuff should already be accessible to us. But if the hearing people are lazy or uncaring, that’s no reflection on us, but on them. Bring on the pitchforks! 🙂

Oh, and the bad news. Almost forgot. In reading through this thread it appears that HDTV’s may or may not display the captions or subtitles on DVD’s! Broadcast HDTV also appears to have some wibbles with captions. So we may need to raise these issues somewhere as well — with the FCC and the various manufacturers of the HDTV’s, I would think. It’s always something.

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