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Closed-Captioning Slow to Spread to Web Video

closed captioningAs online video has exploded over the past decade, one group has been left behind: the hearing impaired. According to The New York Times, advocates like deaf actress Marlee Matlin are pushing to make closed-captioning mandatory for online video providers. In the 1990s, Congress mandated that all TV sets and TV shows have closed-captioning technology. But, legislation hasn't kept pace with technology for deaf audiences, who are rapidly moving online.

If you're hearing impaired, watching videos on the Web is hit-or-miss. For example, YouTube's voice-recognition software captions most of its library (with inconsistent results), while TV shows and news clips on CBS.com and CNN.com aren't captioned. ABC.com has captions for some of its shows, like 'Dancing With The Stars,' on which Matlin was featured, but not on others. Hulu captions some shows, and Netflix claims it is "working to fill in the library over time." WGBH's Larry Goldberg told the New York Times, "Every generation of technology that comes out seems to be a bit late on accessibility." Whether the government passes legislation to require a closed-captioning option for online video or if new technologies make it easier for content creators to add captions, we need to start somewhere soon. [From: The New York Times]

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