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An Interview With Dr. Malcolm J. Norwood

24 minutes

Now Playing As: Captioned (English)

In December of 1979, as a project at the University of Maryland, Karen Brickett interviewed Dr. Malcolm (Mac) J. Norwood, the "Father of Closed Captioning." Dr. Norwood relates how 10% of the general population would not accept captions on their TV screens, which necessitated the development of a closed-captioning system. He discusses the postponement of decoder sales until March of 1980, estimates of the number of potential viewers of closed-captioned TV, predicts 22 to 22½ hours of captioned programs will be available by the end of 1980, discusses the development of two captioning centers on the East Coast and West Coast, and addresses other exciting developments. This 25-minute production is the only known video of Dr. Norwood. Thanks to Karen Brickett Russell for sharing this record of captioning history. (This title can be viewed online at any time by anyone at

Media Details

Runtime: 24 minutes

Man in a cowboy hat, vest, and bolo tie stands in a newsroom setting. Next to him, an image of a gavel and block projected onto a monitor.
10 minutes 6 seconds
Grade Level: 7 - 12
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15 minutes 24 seconds
Grade Level: 5 - 10
Black and white photo of adult skunk with baby skunk. Caption. Mother thinks she smells somebody.
10 minutes 24 seconds
Grade Level: K - 3

Viewer Comments

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    PATRICIA L. (Argos, IN)
    June 16th, 2020 at 10:50 AM

    This was a very informative video, showing some of the history surrounding the beginning of closed captioning. This would be good to show both D/HH students, and hearing students in ASL classes.

  • Tiny default profile photo
    Bridget C. T. (Las Vegas, NV)
    December 20th, 2017 at 01:13 AM

    Suitable for Deaf Culture course at any college or university level.