WE NEED TO UN­DER­STAND

The Tribune (NZ) - - CONVERSATIONS -

As a so­ci­ety we need read­ily avail­able in­for­ma­tion to ad­dress our con­cerns that be­come raised when we learn about emer­gen­cies and si­t­u­a­tions such as ter­ror­ist at­tacks.

Re­cently, our lev­els of con­cern were raised and we needed fur­ther in­for­ma­tion to en­sure we could un­der­stand the evolv­ing sit­u­a­tion in Lon­don.

But, when we turned on our tele­vi­sions the only cap­tioned in­for­ma­tion avail­able in the break­fast news pro­grammes on any New Zealand tele­vi­sion chan­nel was a sin­gle head­line say­ing ‘‘ter­ror at­tack at the UK Par­lia­ment’’ and once again, New Zealan­ders who are hard of hear­ing and deaf were left in the dark.

Cap­tions show us what other view­ers can hear. Cap­tions in­clude text for sound ef­fects like ‘‘door slam­ming’’ or song lyrics, or sim­ply say ‘‘si­lence’’ when there is no sound at all. With­out them, TV is a series of mov­ing pic­tures and guess­work.

We need to be able to watch what we want, when we want and how we want – just like our hear­ing able fam­ily mem­bers, friends and col­leagues.

We want to be part of the con­ver­sa­tion.

Louise Car­roll, Na­tional Foun­da­tion for the Deaf

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