Why Accessibility Matters For Those With Hearing Loss
Imagine sitting in a conference or watching a webinar and not being able to hear what the presenter is saying.
For people with hearing loss, it’s an everyday reality. Simple things such as placing an order at a restaurant, enjoying a lecture at a museum, or attending a training for work pose unique challenges.
People with hearing loss should not have to miss out on web-based training, conferences, public meetings or read lips to follow along. Captioning is another tool to enhance accessibility and comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Captioning provides instantaneous speech-to-text and accessibility both in real-time and for replay later.
Making events, programs, and websites accessible for those with hearing loss matters for a variety of reasons:
- Provides equal access to learning opportunities in school
- Promotes inclusion and engagement at conferences and meetings
- Reduces social isolation and feelings of frustration or depression
- Allows them to know what is going on in their local communities and governmental meetings
- Enables them to enjoy lectures, theater programs, museums and garden tours
- Makes videos, event webcasts, webinars, and social media live-streaming accessible for hearing-impaired fans and followers on digital devices
An estimated 48 million Americans have some form of hearing loss, and many are in school or working. There are varying degrees of auditory impairments that can be caused by aging, illness, an accident, a work environment, or heredity.
- Deafness, or the inability to understand speech even with amplification.
- Hearing impairment, or diminished ability to understand auditory speech.
- Deaf-blindness, or the combined inability to see and hear.
Auditory impairment impacts all ages, but it is more common with age. Older adults and even hearing-impaired children miss more content as multimedia, podcasts, audio, and video become more common.
American Sign Language is often used to promote accessibility and meet ADA requirements, but it is not the best method for:
- Digital devices and online platforms
- People whose first language is not American Sign Language
- Those learning English as a Second Language
- Individuals with other learning disabilities or visual learners
- People who want to take notes in class or at a conference or reread material later
Schools, businesses, and public agencies have a responsibility to make sure hearing-impaired individuals feel included and make programs and training accessible for all. Captioning opens the door to understanding and removes hearing and learning barriers for all attendees.
Any event that requires auditory processing can benefit from captioning:
- Botanical gardens and museums
- Large theaters
- Conferences and conventions
- Business meetings
- Educational classes for K-12 and post-secondary settings
- Weddings, funerals, church services and more
Whether it is in a convention center, a classroom, a boardroom, a museum or city hall, Caption Pros provides professional and accurate captioning services:
- On-site event captioning: Words can be projected on a screen alone or open-captioned with video
- CART Captioning: Streams words directly to the internet for instant reading on a mobile device, laptop or tablet.
- Instant transcription: Translates spoken words using computer-aided transcription. This is great for news conferences
- Webcasting: Realtime speech-to-text translation for webcasts, webinars, and social media live streams
- Broadcast captioning: Provides captioning for local and national news programs, conferences, government and city council meetings, and athletic events
Visit Caption Pros to learn more about our award-winning captioners and make your next event accessible to all participants by adding real-time captioning.