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More and Better Captioning
Oregon's Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (ODHHS)-Technical Assistance Center
ODHHS Information and Technical Assistance Series
More and Better Captioning:
You Can Make it Happen!
(Source: Caption Center)
No one could have predicted ten years ago how much captioning would grow. Today, viewers have more options than ever before. The Television Decoder Act is now in effect, requiring all televisions with screens 13 inches or larger manufactured for sale in the United States to have built-in decoder circuitry. Captions now have the potential to reach millions of deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers as well as the hearing audience, people who are learning to read, and people learning English as a second language.
The educational benefits of television will be enhanced as families begin to "read" television together. Captions will also be beneficial in public places such as airports or bars, where television audio is difficult to hear.
Currently, almost everything in prime time (nightly between 8:00 and 11:00p.m.) on the commercial networks and PBS is captioned, but many daytime, cable, and syndicated programs remain uncaptioned. The Caption Center at WGBH encourages viewers to become involved. Your opinions count more than you may realize.
If you want to work for the future of captioning, we suggest you get involved in these ways:
  1. Ask for more captioned TV programs.
  2. Spread the word about captioning.
  3. Show your appreciation.
Ask for More Captioned TV
Write to networks, producers, cable companies, and captioning agencies (see addresses at the end of this document). Thank them for the programs that are captioned and tell them which new programs you would like to see captioned.
Remember to send copies of your letters to the national networks in addition to your local TV station or cable company. Send copies of your letters to The Caption Center as well.
Ask video stores to print a list of captioned tapes they rent and sell. Ask them to encourage videotape distributors to label each box as closed captioned (or CC). Suggest that the stores get a decoder or a caption-capable TV set, show captioned tapes, and provide information about captioning. We will be happy to send you brochures about captioning and a list of places that sell decoders.
Write to videotape distributors and producers. Ask for more captioned tapes, and explain the importance of labeling the tape as captioned.
Spread the Word
If you own a caption decoder or a television with built-in decoder circuitry, invite friends and family to watch your favorite programs with you. Tell them how captioning has made a difference for you. You could open up a new world for someone.
If a store sells decoders and decoder-equipped television sets, ask them to demonstrate captioning in the store. Many people know someone who could benefit from captioning, but they don't know it until they've seen it.
Encourage public places to get a decoder or a decoder-equipped television and use it. Inform people that television sets with this new technology are in stores now, and explain that these sets, as well as decoders, provide equal access and can provide a community service. It's an ideal way to make the public aware of captioning.
Stay informed about local and national legislation that affects captioning and access to television. Let your elected representatives know your opinions and ask them to keep you informed. Give out sample letters with legislators' addresses so other people can send letters too.
Many local agencies, clubs, self-help groups and service providers to deaf and hard-of-hearing people have up-to-date information about decoders, related legislation and advocacy efforts. Ask them to keep you informed. Volunteer to help.
Show Your Appreciation
If you enjoy a specific captioned program, let the people who pay for the captioning know. Write and tell the funders that you appreciate their support and want to see it continue. If you want addresses or information, we will be glad to help. Or if you send a letter to The Caption Center, we will be sure to deliver it to the right place.
If you buy products because you learned about them through a captioned commercial, by all means let the advertisers know! You have purchasing power and companies like to know that their commercials are effective. Let captioning agencies know how you feel about their captioning services. If you share your ideas and comments, criticisms and compliments, it will help them to serve you better. The Caption Center has a Captionwatcher form for viewers' feedback. Let us know if you would like one.
Television Networks
30 West 67th Street
New York, NY 10023
(212) 887-2425
Fox Broadcasting Company
10201 West Pico Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90035
(213) 203-3266
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10112
(212) 664-4444
51 West 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019
(212) 975-4321
1320 Braddock Place
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 739-5000
National Organizations Serving Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing People
Alexander Graham Bell
Association for the Deaf
3417 Volta Place, NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 337-5220 voice/TTY
Association of
Late-Deafened Adults
P.O. Box 641763
Chicago, IL 60664-1763
(815) 459-5741 TTY
National Association of the Deaf
814 Thayer Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(301) 587-1788 voice/TTY
National Fraternal Society
of the Deaf
1300 W. Northwest Highway
Mt. Prospect, IL 60056
(708) 392-9282 voice/TTY
Self Help for Hard of Hearing
7910 Woodmont Avenue, Suite 1200
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 657-2248 voice
(301) 657-2249 TTY
Home Video Distributors
Buena Vista Home Video
500 S. Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521
(800) 723-4763
CBS/Fox Video
1211 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036
(212) 819-3200
Columbia TriStar Home Video
3400 Riverside Drive
Burbank, CA 91505-4627
(818) 972-8686
MCA/Universal Home Video
70 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608
(818) 777-4300
MGM/UA Home Video, Inc.
10000 Washington Boulevard
Culver City, CA 90232-2728
(310) 280-6000
Paramount Home Video
Paramount Communications, Inc.
5555 Melrose Avenue
Hollywood, CA 90038-3197
(213) 956-5000
Touchstone Home Video
500 S. Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521
(800) 723-4763
Warner Home Video, Inc.
4000 Warner Boulevard
Burbank, CA 91522
(818) 954-6000
Cable Networks
A&E Network
235 E. 45th Street
New York, NY 10017
(212) 661-4500
American Movie Classics
150 Crossways Park West
Woodbury, NY 11797
(516) 364-2222
Black Entertainment Television (BET)
1232 31st Street, NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 337-5260
150 Crossways Park West
Woodbury, NY 11797
(516) 364-2222
CNBC, Consumer News
and Business Channel
2200 Fletcher Avenue
Fort Lee, NJ 07024
(201) 585-CNBC
One CNN Center
Box 105366
Atlanta, GA 30348-5366
(404) 827-1500
The Cartoon Network
Box 105264
1050 Techwood Drive, NW
Atlanta, GA 30318
(404) 827-1717
Country Music Television (CMT)
2806 Opryland Drive
Nashville, TN 37213
(615) 871-5830
Comedy Central
1775 Broadway
New York, NY 10019
(212) 767-8600
Courtroom Television Network
600 Third Avenue, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10016
(212) 973-2800
The Discovery Channel
7700 Wisconsin Avenue
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 986-0444
The Disney Channel
3800 W. Alameda Avenue
Burbank, CA 91505
(818) 569-7500
E! Entertainment Television
5670 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90036-3709
(213) 954-2400
935 Middle Street, ESPN Plaza
Bristol, CT 06010
(203) 585-2000
Family Channel
1000 Centerville Turnpike
Virginia Beach, VA 23463
(804) 523-7301
10201 W. Pico Blvd., Suite 761
Los Angeles, CA 90035
(310) 203-3874
Headline News
One CNN Center, Box 105366
Atlanta, GA 30348
(404) 827-1500
Home Box Office
1100 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036
(212) 512-1000
The Learning Channel
7700 Wisconsin Avenue
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 986-0444
Lifetime Television
309 W. 49th Street
New York, NY 10036
(212) 424-7000
1515 Broadway
New York, NY 10036
(212) 258-8000
Mind Extension University
Jones International Ltd.
9697 E. Mineral Avenue
Englewood, CO 80155-3309
(303) 792-3111
The Nashville Network
2806 Opryland Drive
Nashville, TN 37214
(625) 889-6840
1515 Broadway
New York, NY 10036
(212) 258-8000
Nostalgia Television
3575 Cahuenga Blvd. West, Suite 495
Los Angeles, CA 90068
(213) 850-3000
Sci-Fi Channel
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
(212) 408-9100
1633 Broadway, 37th Floor
New York, NY 10019
(212) 708-1600
TNN: The Nashville Network
(Group W Satellite Communications)
Box 10210, 250 Harbor Plaza Drive
Stamford, CT 06904-2210
(203) 965-6000
Television Food Network
1177 Avenue of the Americas, 31st Fl.
New York, NY 10036
(212) 398-8836
The Travel Channel
2690 Cumberland Parkway, Suite 500
Atlanta, GA 30339
(404) 801-2400
Turner Entertainment Networks
1050 Techwood Drive, NW
Atlanta, GA 30348-5264
(404) 827-1717
USA Networks
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
(212) 408-9100
1515 Broadway
New York, NY 10036
(212) 258-8000
The Weather Channel
2600 Cumberland Parkway
Atlanta, GA 30339
(404) 434-6800