Wednesday, February 18, 2004

We Know What's Best For You

Meredith covered this already, but it's insulting enough that it deserves a little extra coverage.

Say, you're deaf. You're deaf and you want to watch television. You're deaf and you want to watch Malcolm in the Middle, being, in my humble opinion, one of the most creative and entertaining half-hour sitcoms ever made. (And let me just say that I'm not a big, big TV fan, but I do know what's funny. And you know what? Malcolm in the Middle is funny.) Well, sorry deafy, you're out of luck. No closed-captioning for you.

Well, that's okay, you figure. Because you're kind of a geek and you like to watch cartoons and the Powerpuff Girls are on over at the Cartoon Network. You flip over and oh, gee, no closed-captioning over there either. Huh. Well still, with cartoons on the brain, you figure you'll take in a Simpsons re-run because, you know, for a good six or seven years it was actually funny different. But hey, no closed-captioning for the Simpsons either! I guess being the longest running sitcom in the galaxy doesn't mean deaf people should be able to enjoy it.

You flip through the channels a little more, skipping over Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie because a) they're lousy shows, and b) there's no closed-captioning for them either, and you figure you'll settle for some Major League Baseball. You always enjoy a good baseball game, and that commentary is just so colorful and entertaining! Except Major League Baseball has also been disapproved by the US Department of Education to receive captioning support.

So what can you watch? Well, um, Business Week. And CNN Student News. Oh, hey, Barney and Friends!

For the full list of what you get to enjoy on television when you're deaf, check out the list at theNational Association of the Deaf website. NAD is encouraging folks to contact Congressional members and Department of Education officials to let their opinions be known on why deaf people should be able to watch television, just like the real people do, by contacting them here.

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