Did you know, according to a study by Verizon Media, 80% of people who use captions are not deaf or hard of hearing? Another similar study conducted by Ofcom (the Office of Communications), the United Kingdom’s regulatory body for broadcasting, found that 7.5 million people in the UK (18% of the population) use closed captions or subtitles, as they are called in the UK. However, of that 705 million, only 1.5 million were (d)Deaf or hard of hearing. This implies that 805 television viewers who used closed captions are not (d)Deaf or hard of hearing.
Let us discuss some more facts before we dwell on the reasons.
Captioning % expected by consumers based on content type –
Image credit: Verizon Media
Why are captions famous among abled audiences?
In a nutshell, the answer to this question was answered in the Ofcom study, where people admitted that captions/subtitles are generally very effective in making programs understood.
Studies have also proved that adding captions or subtitles to videos improves memory, comprehension, and attention to videos for audiences across ages, from children to adults. Closed captions have benefitted everyone, from students to moviegoers, even if they are not (d)Deaf or hard of hearing.
Who are the not hard of hearing users using closed captions –
These are just a few reasons why many viewers prefer closed captions even if they are not (d)Deaf or hard of hearing. Not to mention, sometimes having closed captions is too much fun; remember the Stranger Things season 4 finale?
Whatever the reason, closed captions are a tool that is leveraged by more than those who require them for accessibility.
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