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Attention Closed Captioning Advocates: Support New Bill, HR 3101

There’s a new bill in Congress, HR 3101, that if it passes, will require captioning on the Internet. The 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act was introduced in Congress on June 26, 2009 by Representative Ed Markey.

If you are a supporter, it is very important to email Congress about this bill to increase its chances of survival and passage. Use https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml to contact

Representatives and ask them to co-sponsor the bill. Captioning supporters also need a similar bill introduced in the Senate, so use http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm to contact Senators.

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7 Comments


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    Patricia J Barconey
    Posted October 26, 2009 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    I am hard of hearing and wear two hearing aids. I love to watch movies on television. However, I find that here it is 2009 and so many movies – especially the older ones shown – still are shown without Closed Captioning. I miss as much as 90% of the dialogue without Closed Captioning, and just get frustrated and change the channel – even though I wanted to watch the non-Closed Captioned film. I don’t understand why there is no law that states that all movies shown on television must have Closed Captioning for the hard of hearing and the deaf. The movie channels – like Turner Movie Classics could pay to have Closed Captioning added to older films – either that or don’t show them! I am sure that millions of viewers would appreciate Closed Captioning on all films. There is an Americans with Disabilities Act. Why doesn’t this cover Closed Captioning? All tv sets now have to have CC, but what good is that if movies (and tv shows) still don’t have it?
    Patricia Barconey
    Ephrata, PA


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      Joanna
      Posted October 28, 2009 at 5:02 am | Permalink

      Hi Patricia,
      I am sorry about your experience with the lack of closed captioning on some of the programming you are watching. The FCC DOES require closed captioning, so you have the right to file a complaint. You can file a complaint online here: http://esupport.fcc.gov/complaints.htm

      Also, for a review on what the actual law is in regard to CC, you can see it on the FCC website here: http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/closedcaption.html

      Since 2008 75% of programming that was shown before 1998 still does need to be closed captioned! You need to report your findings of programming that is not closed captioned so the station closed captions at least 75% of the their old programming. If a lot of your programming is not closed captioning, it could be a problem with your TV/Cable Box set-up and this is something you should look into to ensure that you are able to view all programming with closed captions.


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    joyce willis
    Posted January 20, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Please let me know outcome of the complaint from Ms Barcony. I am currently talking to Comcast, Netflix, and Showtime regarding the lack of captioning on dvds they provide, even on tv shows, that were captioned when shown on tv. joyce willis


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    Joanna
    Posted May 13, 2010 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Thank you, Joyce, for your diligence in making complaints. Multiple complaints is ultimately what causes change in this type of thing. Once we get any new news we will definitely be posting it.


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    Patricia J Barconey
    Posted July 25, 2010 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    Hi again! There is another problem with closed captioning on TV movies that I am finding alot lately. That is, on some cable channels, films are shown, and they have closed captioning, but the closed captioning is worthless! That is because the CC words flicker on and off the screen without giving the viewer time to read them. I mean they go on and off in a split second! Usually on these defective CC systems, you also see random letters and symbols. I don’t know the cause of these defective closed captions, but they amount to no closed captioning, as they are useless. So the bottom line is that many movies on TV and cable TV are not closed captioned, and some movies that are closed captioned have defective CC which are worthless. Does anyone out there agree with me? I will have to start writing letters to government officials, and learning more about the laws that are already on the books, as Joanna above encourages.
    Patricia Barconey
    Ephrata, PA
    7/25/2010


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    Patricia J Barconey
    Posted July 25, 2010 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Okay, so I finally read the law regarding closed captioning, which can be accessed in Joanna’s box above dated 10/28/09. In the website explaining the law, they also give you two online ways to complain – as well as an address to write to if you prefer the mail. That seems easy enough. Now what I will do is every time I see a movie that fits into the guidelines of the law that is either not closed captioned or with defective closed captioning, I will complain online. The law says that you have to complain within 30 days after the problem occurs. This is good! I should have read the law website page sooner! Maybe other people can do this too? Let’s do it!
    Patricia Barconey
    Ephrata, PA
    7/25/10


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      Joanna
      Posted July 27, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Excellent Patricia! Yes, unfortunately filing complaints is the only way we can help make a change. At least they have started to offer this great online complaint form option.

      You can file your CC complaints online here using this form:

      http://tinyurl.com/23rkr7s

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