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Captioned Films

Since the release of The Jazz Singer in 1927, music and sound have played an important role in the development of film. For the deaf and hearing-impaired, today's movies remain silent.

If you or someone you know has trouble hearing, there are resources that can help. The Captioned Media Program, funded by the U.S. Department of Education and sponsored by the National Association for the Deaf, provides free rentals of open-captioned educational and general-interest videos to the hearing impaired, their families and educators.

"Probably the most popular feature of our site has been using the online catalog and placing orders electronically," said Jason Stark, the company's distribution and IS manager.

It's also become easier to purchase captioned videos. LibraryVideo.com offers this list of their available closed-captioned videos.

Despite the availability of captioned classics, one of the biggest fights among the hearing impaired community, including the National Association for the Deaf and its partner organizations, has been to make first-run films available with captions. Read the NAD's statement on captioning here. You can join more than 22,000 who have signed a petition for open-captioned films at the Closed Captioning Web.




Deaf and hearing-impaired New Yorkers can check out the Film Society of Lincoln Center's Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program. To find a captioned film showing near you, check the Loews Cineplex Entertainment page, which lists when the films will be released at Loews theaters across the U.S.

For more information on captioning and its legal ramifications, check out this reprint from MC Journal: The Journal of Academic Media Librarianship.

   --- M. Magnarelli

 
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