Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

I am hearing but I support Equal Communication Access

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I do not read ASL.

My late mother and my late brother were both deaf. They were not born deaf, but had a familial condition which worsened as they aged. I probably have it too, as I have tinnitus, but all that does at present is annoy me and block some high frequencies. But I appreciate how frustrating it is to be deaf. As with so many disabilities, the real problem is not the condition itself, it is the attitude of other people. Deaf people are typically treated as though they are idiots – simply becuase they have difficulty understanding what we say – even though we cover our mouths when we speak, or mumble, or turn away while speaking.

But the biggest issue that I am aware of is the lack or inadequacy of subtitles. The advent of teletext in UK transformed my mother’s life: she could now get subtitles for most tv programmes – and subtitles that she could actually read. DVDs now usually have subtitles. Digital tv can add subtitles. But they are very rare on internet videos.

I have noticed that US broadcasters and some governments at least are now providing ASL – sometimes.

Written by Stephen Rees

June 28, 2007 at 7:44 am

Posted in disability

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