RE: [Videolib] Closed Captioning

Ciara Healy (
Fri, 28 Sep 2007 15:44:31 -0400

I pushed for captioned videos/DVDs in my collection at my last job but
there was no way we could retrofit the whole collection for CC. If it is
you state's policy to CC and I were a producer/distributor I would want
to jump on a freebie too. Perhaps they can be encouraged to reproduce
sell the CC'd version with a little quid pro quo. If you agree to pay to
CC one item (in my experience the cost is appx. $10 per minute of film)
they would be obliged to make that available for purchase. Their cost
would be in duplication for future buyers. That might even out
eventually and perhaps even cost them more after a long time, depending
on how well the title sells. They can also pat themselves on the back
for doing the right thing by offering the deaf and hard of hearing the
benefit of their precious, protected content.

Also, with this drive to accommodate the deaf and hard of hearing
student.. I know it is not that same as captions, but will subtitled
media not suffice? Also, some hard of hearing students can be offered
the options of watching the item in the library at a listening station
with headphones on so that they can really crank the sound. That
solution wouldn't work in a classroom like captions or subtitles.

At my last job, I found that the Disability Services office was hard
core about "universal access" but when it came to the minutia (e.g.
sending me a list of every instructor who had a deaf or hard of hearing
student in their class that semester so I could write to them and offer
that instructor captioned options for every single media item they
intended to show that semester) they didn't always follow through. My
point is that perhaps the institutional policy was the real goal, so in
practice the collection may look almost exactly the same as it does now.
Reasonable accommodation doesn't require, even according to the ADA,
captioning every single item in case a deaf person may want to view it.
Your media collection won't get the same use as a building so you don't
need a ramp for access, "just in case." Get the numbers form the
disability services office and get a sense of exactly how many deaf and
hard of hearing students may need accommodation - perhaps correlated to
the programs they are enrolled in and start with those titles.

Another option: Offer to caption on a case-by-case basis, based on
actual deaf and hard of hearing students enrolled in actual classes that
are actually showing media that semester (as shown on the syllabus.) The
cost may be much less and you may feel better about letting the rights
holders get a free ride on a fraction of the titles that might need

VIDEOLIB is intended to encourage the broad and lively discussion of issues relating to the selection, evaluation, acquisition,bibliographic control, preservation, and use of current and evolving video formats in libraries and related institutions. It is hoped that the list will serve as an effective working tool for video librarians, as well as a channel of communication between libraries,educational institutions, and video producers and distributors.