How many of us are there? The U.S. Census Bureau’s 2009-2011 American Community Survey asked how many people felt that they had a hearing difficulty. In Washington State, the estimate was at least 250,000 people. Greater than four percent of the WA population reported hearing difficulties. Many of these people have very severe losses.
Simply speaking, EVERYONE benefits from our work! In noisy environments – sporting events, airports, convention halls, musical and theatrical shows – speech comprehension is reduced. Therefore we all benefit from captions.
Further, the more significant someone’s hearing loss, captions become more important. With significant hearing loss, audio assistive devices become less helpful.
Without captions, many of us respond by staying home, avoiding communication or using strategies that further isolate us. Worse yet, many of us don’t stay home alone – our spouses, children, friends and companions often compromise the quality of their lives, too, by staying home with us.
Captioning as an accommodation helps us participate in the hearing world, reconnecting or connecting for the first time.