When you start to break down the numbers, a huge of number of Americans suffer from some level of hearing impairment. About one million Americans are functionally deaf, with about half of those being senior citizens. It’s a huge number to be sure. That being said, more than 30 million Americans suffer from some sort of hearing impairment. That’s about 10% or so, and it’s a significant portion of the American population. When you think about how important your hearing is to your daily life, it really makes you think about what life must be like for people who can’t hear at all or who can’t hear very well. All sorts of things are made more difficult, from the conversations you have with friends to trying to hear the news on the television.
Fortunately for those television lovers out there, there’s a thing called closed captioning. Pretty much anyone who’s ever watched more than a few hours of TV in their life, which is pretty much every single person in the country, knows about closed captioning. It’s those words that you see running across the screen that are the typed out version of what’s being said on the television. Closed captioning is most commonly used in places of business, restaurants, bars, and doctors offices so that the sound on the television can be off but people can still know what’s going on with the speakers. It allows people to know what’s going on without having to actually turn the sound up, and it’s a great invention for those suffering from any level of hearing impairment.
When you have a hard time hearing, watching television without closed captioning isn’t any fun at all. You can’t really enjoy a movie if you can’t hear what’s being said, unless it’s a pure action flick with very little talking. You can’t watch the news and know what’s going on in your local area, in the country, or around the world if you can’t hear what the anchors are saying. What about watching your favorite sitcom? Forget about it if you can’t hear what the people are saying. This is where closed captioning comes in. It allows anyone to know what’s going on because every single thing that the people on the screen are saying is being typed out for anyone to read. For some shows, like the news, the company providing the closed captioning services to the station will type out the words live. As they hear what the person is saying they’ll type it out, so you can read exactly what’s being said. For other shows, the captions are done before the show ever airs, so they run perfectly in tune with the people as they’re talking.
Whatever way it’s done for a show, the fact remains that the closed captioning provided by companies like Audio Eyes makes it possible for people who can’t hear to know exactly what’s going on on their favorite shows. Even for those with great hearing, when they reach their seventies and eighties, they’ll be glad closed captioning exists.