Closed Captioning for Hearing-Impaired Sports Enthusiasts

closed captioning for hearing impaired sports enthusiasts

Closed captions are one of the effective ways through which hearing impaired or deaf can fully experience and enjoy entertainment or broadcast events. Nowadays, almost all the broadcasted events have closed captioning allowing deaf or hard of hearing fully enjoy their favorite programs. Sports stadiums used to be a place where these individuals were often neglected. Deaf or hard of hearing fans often found it disappointing as they’re not able to follow commentary, announcements or music that are played in the loudspeakers. Closed captioning on the giant screens is the only way to make sports more accessible for these individuals who enjoy watching sports from stadiums.

The Washington Redskins is a popular professional American Football Team. In 2006, three hearing-impaired ardent sports enthusiasts filed a lawsuit against the Washington Redskins as they were not able to follow announcements, public service spots and advertisements played on midfield giant screens. They demanded closed captioning on the screen every time something is played including music lyrics or any announcements.

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act; District Judge, Alexander Williams Jr., ruled that running closed captions on the stadium screen is no more an option, but an obligation.

The hearing-impaired sports fans felt that they used to struggle to follow the action when they first started going to games many years ago. It was difficult for them to enjoy the game as they were not able to follow why the penalties were awarded and who all were the players. With the help of closed captions, they are able to experience the games the similar way as the other fans.