Sunday, November 21, 2010

Getting Creative

As long-time readers probably know, getting captioning on school videos has been a struggle for me, (and I'm sure many other D/HoH students as well). All of my teacher have dealt with the situation differently, and sometimes I can understand the video pretty well without captions, so long as I don't have to take notes and can just concentrate on the listening part. Other times, it's some animated video narrated by an Irish guy, and I'm completely lost. In one of my classes we're watching a video that takes 3 class days to watch. It's in a two year class for freshmen and sophomores, so I had these teachers (there are 2 teachers- I have 60 kids in my class) last year. They've always been really accommodating and helpful, so they made sure to get a video with subtitles.

Well, once they went to play it, they discovered these subtitles were only available in Spanish or French. So, I got a summary of the movie, plugged my FM into the speakers, and used French subtitles. I could understand a large amount between my hearing and  French skills. It actually wasn't too confusing reading in French while listening in English, and it wasn't certainly much better than having nothing. I always thought learning French would come in handy, but being able to read French subtitles never really entered my mind!


  1. Well, I read your blog. I am amazed at how poetically you present yourself. At your age I was a hormone mess.

    Today I just sit back and know you are a really cool special kid. I also get ticked a bit at how ..... well, how you have to design your education.

    We do the same thing. My son has different stuff to deal with but you understand the hassles and you deal with it the same way Haddy does. I have a big respect for you!

    Warm wishes,


  2. Interesting. I know something is better than nothing, but do they really have to show these videos?

    I tell the teachers who have a severely deaf student in their classroom, that if the videos they are going to show in the classroom are not captioned or if they cannot provide a transcript, DON'T SHOW THEM. I have my student document when they show videos that are not captioned. It happens all of the time! Ugh. I understand that they don't have the resources, but they have to understand that they are excluding my student when they do this. There is a loophole in the IEP--it states "When available use captioning". I tried to get this changed to "When available, use captioning. If not available, do not show the video or provide transcript." But, everyone had a problem with this saying that they would be unable to provide a transcript for a long movie, and sometimes they are required to show long movies. Aargh.


  3. Your school should use DCMP

  4. That's priceless! Yeah, it's frustrating not to get the necessary accomodation, but you gotta admit that the creative problem-solving ability and French fluency totally trump whatever else it was you were supposed to learn from the movie, and will surely last much longer. School movies come and go, but brains and spirit last for a lifetime. I'm so glad you've got what really counts.

  5. My French is a bit rusty, but I believe the saying goes "Quand la vie vous donne des citrons, faire de la schweppes au citron!"

    You certainly seem to be quite the improviser :-)

  6. Mel-Trust me, I can be an emotional mess- I just don't write about those moments ;) I really appreciate the support. So many D/d/HoH teens face the same challenges, it's just silly to get into arguments over personal choices.

    e)- Yeah, it would be nice if they didn't show uncaptioned movies at all. Unfortunately, that seems to be out of my power. We also changed my IEP to rid of the "Closed captioning when available" phrasing- to "Closed captioning or notes on all videos". However, having it in writing means next to nothing. Some teachers will follow through, others will not. Last year I really tried to make sure every last thing was followed, but to be honest it just stressed me out even more worrying about the lack of accommodations. I still advocate for myself, but at this points nearly any complaint I have about accommodations is retorted with "Well, if you change to the other school that wouldn't be a problem."

    Anon- I'll check it out, thanks!

    Julia- Thank you, the compliments are much appreciated :)

    Dan- Thank you!!

    I hope that one day in the future, this won't be an issue for kids and teens going through the school system, and that captions will be absolutely required. I do believe it will happen, but until then I guess it's up to us to do what we can to get as equal access as possible!


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