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Media Accessibility Information, Guidelines and Research

Line 21: Closed Captioning of Television Programs

A Progress Report: A Paper Presented At The 1978 Symposium On Research And Utilization Of Educational Media For Teaching The Deaf

David Sillman was Manager of Engineering Planning at the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) where his prime responsibility was development of closed-captioning technology. He overviews the events leading to the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare's (HEW) interest in funding the development of such technology. PBS has contracted for the development of a commercial decoder suitable for mass production that could be used by the general public for the reception of closed-captioned television programs. After many years of experimental and preparatory work, it appears that the necessary combination of a closed-captioned transmission system, programming, and a practical home caption decoder can be brought together in the fall of 1979. To quote Sillman: "Let us hope this will signal the end of the exclusion of the hearing impaired from this significant part of our social and cultural life."

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Tags: history, captioning