NAD Applauds NCD Opposition To Captioning Censorship
The NAD applauds National Council on Disabilities (NCD) Chair Lex Frieden for taking decisive action to urge Department of Education Secretary Roderick Page to reverse censorship of captioned television programs.
On October 2, 2003, the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) urged President Bush to overturn a recent decision by the Department to declare almost 200 television shows inappropriate for captioning, effective October 1, 2003.
The NCD received Congressional and public inquiries about this matter after the NAD brought the captioning censorship issue to the public's attention and urged active advocacy. The NAD explained to the NCD that the Department, without public input or an announced definition, narrowed captioned programming based on feedback from a panel. The NCD also learned that the panelists had no idea that they were being used for the purpose of captioning censorship.
In addition, the Department pointed to FCC regulations to excuse its actions but NCD countered that those regulations only apply to new programming and will be fully effective in 2006. "It is strongly recommended that Department expeditiously act to reverse its determination," said Frieden.
Frieden explains that,"This decision by Department not only unnecessarily excludes 28 million deaf and hard of hearing people from accessing programming that is available to the general public, but it also will adversely impact millions of other Americans, including those who utilize captions to learn English; children who are learning to speak; as well as public establishments such as restaurants and health clubs across the United States whose patrons use captioning in noise-filled environments."
"The NAD applauds the strong stand by the NCD. We hope that the Department realizes that its actions run counter to the Bush Adm