So, I figured it was about time that I, a hearing person who works with deaf and hard of hearing kids daily and tell them to advocate for themselves daily, should put myself in their shoes.. Sure, I could stuff cotton in my ears, go to a restaurant and sign,etc.. I have been there/done that. I decided,instead, to use a caption machine. I have heard about them,seen them here and there, but I have never used one. I think one I saw friend use years ago was hooked to the back of the seat in front of them.
I asked the ticket gal if she had a device for captioning a movie-way to do my research ahead of time; I didn't even know the name of the thing~ It was a sudden,last minute decision. The ticket girl did not bat an eyelash and went to get me one. I was quite impressed she did not say,"Really, you need one?" or "Are you Deaf or something?" She just handed it to me. She even asked if I needed the device that would make the sound louder. I declined that-I have uber sensitive hearing and I thought that Oz, The Great and Powerful might blow my eardrums if it was amplified. I said, "I have never used this before. Can you please tell me how it works." Again, I was most impressed that she very carefully explained it-not in a slow voice/or exaggerated..just talked to me.
I was not worried what people would think about me, but rather if I was going to be in anyone's way. I did not know how high it would sit in front of me. The only information the gal gave me was it sat into the cup holder. The arm on the device twists and turns, so I was able to bend it to a comfortable level. I decided to sit next to the wall,so I was not in anyone's way. After I was set up, I realized that it seemed to be lower than my head,so none behind me would be bothered.
I enjoyed it immensely. A deaf friend of mine asked after if I thought it would be too much visually with 3D and the captioning. I thought it would . The show alone was an overload on the eyes. I loved having the captioning. I thought I would like to ask for it all the time,but then I don't know how many of them there are. I would hate to be the reason that a person who truly needed it would not have one.
Please share below your experiences with a captioning device like the one above, open captioning, closed captioning at home. Some people love it; some people hate it. What do YOU think?
Allison Schley has been in the field of deaf and hard of hearing education for 20 years. She founded a nonprofit for families with hearing loss. She most recently wrote a children's book, entitled Forever Friends. This book shows the how a deaf dog and deaf boy teach the world that all kids are good and being deaf is okay.