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Media Accessibility Information, Guidelines and Research

Final Report: Caption Speed and Viewer Comprehension of Television Programs

Dr. Carl Jensema and Dr. Robb Burch examine speed rate and viewer understanding of closed-captioned TV programs in this 1999 research paper. Third in a study of caption rates (first one in 1996 showed medium caption rate to be 141 wpm; second one in 1998 showed rate increased to 145 wpm), this study shows that the reading rate which persons who are deaf or hard of hearing are most comfortable with is 220 wpm. Asks two questions for the basis of this research: "What caption speeds are likely to lead to the highest understanding and retention of information?" and "How do these optimal caption speeds vary with age, sex, degree of hearing loss, education, household size, and frequency of caption viewing?" Includes tables and figures.

Tags: research, captioning

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