Turn on the Words!: Deaf Audiences, Captions, and the Long Struggle for Access (Paperback)

Turn on the Words!: Deaf Audiences, Captions, and the Long Struggle for Access By Harry G. Lang, Ernest E. Hairston (Foreword by), Jason Stark (Afterword by) Cover Image
By Harry G. Lang, Ernest E. Hairston (Foreword by), Jason Stark (Afterword by)
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The story of how captioning came into the lives of deaf and hard of hearing people has not been told with any detail, though captions are one of the greatest technological advancements in the effort to improve access to films, television, and other video content for both deaf and hearing audiences. In Turn on the Words!, Harry G. Lang documents the struggles and strategies over nearly a century to make spoken communication accessible through the use of captioning technology.

       Lang describes the legislation, programs, and people who contributed great ingenuity and passion over decades to realize widespread access to captions, one breakthrough at a time. He also chronicles the resistance to captioned films from Hollywood studios and others, and the Deaf and hearing activists who championed the right to access. Deaf, hard of hearing, disabled, and English-as-a-second-language audiences now experience improved access to the educational, occupational, and cultural benefits of film and television programming. The struggle continues as deaf audiences advocate for equal access in a variety of settings such as movie theaters and online video-sharing platforms. This is a history of technological innovation, as well as a testament to the contributions of the Deaf community to the benefit of society as a whole.

About the Author

Harry G. Lang is Professor Emeritus, National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology. His previous books include Fighting in the Shadows: Untold Stories of Deaf People in the Civil War and A Phone of Our Own: The Deaf Insurrection Against Ma Bell. He is a recipient of the Dr. John S. and Dr. Betty J. Schuchman Deaf History Award for excellence in the field of Deaf history.

Praise For…

"Lang does a great job of explaining all that took place for us to be able to watch captioned films for both education and entertainment. Today, we may take for granted that most TV shows and video-streamed movies are captioned, unlike years ago ... People who went through periods of no captions or the beginning of captions will especially appreciate and enjoy this book. They may also recognize the names of people and organizations that were quite active with captioning and the captioning movement. For other people who have frequently had access to captions, they will also appreciate and enjoy the rich historical information about the struggles, successes, and caution about the politics of captions so that we can all always 'turn on the words!'"
— Cheryl L. Shahan

Product Details
ISBN: 9781944838843
ISBN-10: 1944838848
Publisher: Gallaudet University Press
Publication Date: December 14th, 2021
Pages: 328
Language: English