Action Alert! Improve the Quality of Live TV Captions —Your Comments Needed by September 13!

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Consumer Groups and Researchers Call on the FCC to Improve the Quality of Live Captions

On July 31, Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. (TDI), the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), the Association of Late-Deafened Adults (ALDA), the Cerebral Palsy and Deaf Organization (CPADO), Deaf Seniors of America (DSA), the Deaf/Hard of Hearing Technology Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (DHH-RERC), the Twenty-First Century Captioning Disability and Rehabilitation Research Project (Captioning DRRP), the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Universal Interface & Information Technology Access (IT-RERC), and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf petitioned the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to address long-standing quality problems with captioning for live television programming. The petition was supported by the American Association of the DeafBlind (AADB).

As the petition explains, consumers routinely report serious problems with the accuracy, timing, completeness, and placement of captions on live programming, including local news, sports, and weather. The petition asks the FCC to build on its existing standards for the quality of captions by setting metrics for acceptable quality of live captions. The petition also urges the FCC to provide guidance for new captioning systems that use automatic speech recognition, which have the potential to provide captions with improved timing and lower cost but also routinely cause significant accuracy problems. Consumer groups and researchers also will be submitting additional feedback to the FCC, including an analysis of hundreds of consumer responses gathered by HLAA in a recent survey.

We need your help! The FCC has asked for comments from the public about the petition, and it’s important that they hear from deaf and hard of hearing consumers. If you’ve had experiences with captions for live TV programming that you’re willing to share with the FCC, you can do so online.

Submit your comments to the FCC by September 13:

  1. Read the petition at: https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filing/10801131063733
  2. Enter your comments online and remember to enter 05-231 in the “Proceeding(s)” field to make sure that your comment is added to the record. Go to: https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filings/express

Questions?  Contact advocacy@hearingloss.org