By Sarah Nowshiravan
As a college student aspiring to be a news reporter, I was
interested in learning the ways the deaf and hard of hearing
individuals would be able to rely on television and radio then only
According to Jamie Berke, author of an article titled "Deaf History
- History of Closed Captioning" (Berke, 2008), individuals who are
deaf and hard of hearing had very few options before closed
captioning took effect. One show that I found to be very interesting
and incorporated news reporting was an Emmy-winning production made
by the Gallaudet University. The Gallaudet University is a liberal
arts university for the deaf and hard of hearing and made this
well-liked production in the 80's and 90's. The name of this piece
was called Deaf Mosaic and Gil Eastman and Mary Lou Novitsky were
the hosts. Deaf Mosaic would send its reporters and producers all
over the world and interview different sides of the deaf society. A
few examples of the stories were a deaf firefighter, a few
international deaf artists and deaf child inventers. If interested
in watching a few episodes of Deaf Mosaics visited
As I mentioned before, prior to closed captioning, there were a
minimal shows that accommodated for the deaf and hard of hearing.
Although after January 1, 1998 according to the National Association
of the Deaf, slowly by the year 2006, 100% of the new programming
had to be captioned. Now that we are coming to the last month of
2008, I can reassure that closed captioning does consist on majority
of television stations except there are few exceptions according to
the Federal Communications Commission. The first one is commercial
advertisements that are no longer then five minutes do not have to
include closed captioning. Although we all know advertising
companies hope to reach anyone and everyone, we can usually see that
it is included. The second exclusion of closed captioning according
to NAD is televised symphonies and ballet performances. The last
exception is allowing new networks four years to operate and form
before giving them the closed captioning requirement.
As I was researching, I was amazed to run across an article having
to do with the 2008 Presidential Election. The title of the article
was "Captioned Radio Broadcast to Enable Millions of Deaf and
Hard-of-Hearing to Experience (Newswire, 2008). NPR's Live
Coverage of Presidential Election for the First Time." I was
surprised to see how radio was going to allow deaf and hard of
hearing the chance to hear the coverage, and the second was that how
long it took for this to become possible. This was made possible
using the latest technology to allow the deaf community to
experience NPR's election on coverage through HD-Radio. The
reporting will be done by live radio content on special equipped
coverage through receivers according to Public Radio Newswire.
According to NPR, practically seven million individuals in the
United States are either deaf or hard of hearing and an additional
28 million have issues with hearing, Gallaudet University reports.
By starting out with just a minimum of two or three television
series in the nation, to the NAD making requirements that all
networks had to offer the choice of closed captioning showed
progress. Lastly to make radio coverage even possible for the deaf
and hard of hearing, we can see that the deaf community is rising
and will continue to rise in the upcoming years.
Berke, Jamie. "Deaf History - History of Closed Captioning."
About.com Deafness. 27 Nov. 2007. 28 Nov. 2008 .
Newswire, 2008. Captioned Radio Broadcast to Enable Millions of Deaf
and Hard-of-Hearing to Experience NPR's Live Coverage of
Presidential Election for the First Time". PR Newswire. .
FindArticles.com. 28 Nov. 2008. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m4PRN/is_2008_Oct_21/ai_n30916766
TV Captioning." National Association of the Deaf. 28 Nov. 2008 <