Deaf Issues (pt 1)

There are many annoying things about being a #DeafGirl. I miss my favorite music. I miss not being able to hear new music the way it actually sounds, but only how my hearing aids interpret it. I miss being able to jump into a swimming pool without concern of destroying $5Gs worth of hardware, or being in a swimming pool and being able to follow/carry on a conversation. I miss wearing a pair of earbuds (because, let’s face it, the sound quality is so much better unless you’re wearing some big, bulky headphones designed specifically for sound quality). But there are major annoyances to being hearing impaired or deaf.

  1. Inaccurate closed captioning;
  2. People who insist on talking to you even once you’ve pointed out you’re deaf and can’t hear a word they’re saying.

The second one I’ll Random Rant on later. (Read that article here.) Today is all about inaccurate closed captioning.

Ugh. There is little that burns my ass more than close captioning (or subtitles) I clearly know are wrong, or missing huge chunks of information. How do I know they’re missing information? I still have near perfect hearing when I wear my hearing aids, or “ears” as I call them. But I enjoy having the captions on because, well hey in a few years I’m going to rely on them exclusively, ears or no ears.

I understand the limitations of closed captioning. Especially in a real-time setting like live telly. There are going to be inaccuracies, “shorthand”, and missed information. People talk on average of 110-150 wpm (words per minute); professional typists type on average of 65-75 wpm (words per minute). That’s half of the rate at which people speak. So it’s understandable that there is going to be lag in a live performance: inaccuracies, short hand, or omissions. What I’m talking about are blatant inaccuracies or omissions in recorded programs.

There isn’t anything more annoying than hearing a character in a movie or on a show say, “Hey, we’ve got something over here” and reading, “Over here”. Not to mention seeing their lips moving away at what is clearly more syllables than just “Over here”. What’s worse are when things are entirely left out and not captioned at all! Imagine watching a person’s lips moving but not getting any sound at all? Frustrating as hell! Then you spend the next five minutes of the movie trying to puzzle out what the character said based on their lip movements and you miss other parts of the movie.

Some movies and television shows take the time and spend the money to ensure accurate closed captioning or subtitles. Others don’t. All I can say to those who don’t bother, from a #DeafGirl standpoint, is:

You’re asshats.


BC Brown is the author of three novels and has participated in multiple short story anthologies. Having

committed almost every ‘bad deed’ in the book of ‘How to Be An Author’, she now strives to educate others through humor and simple instruction.

Anthologies: Fracas: A Collection of Short Friction ◘ Quixotic: Not Everyday Love Stories ◘ A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court

Coming Soon: Karaoke Jane (2016)

Twitter: @BCBrownBooks
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