Television Accessibility…

I discovered closed captioning, when we had Joshie. He and I read for hours at a time. But when he was a baby, I saw a study that said, “If a child who has trouble reading watches television with closed captioning, their ability to read improves.” 

Now all his doctors had told me that Josh would never be able to read or complete math problems. They were mistaken. 

How he learned math was through a marvelous computer game called Number Munchers. It allowed him to try over and over with only positive feedback. 

Playing Number Munchers…
He could play this game for hours…

And, I am happy to report that Josh managed to read at about a fifth grade level and comprehend most of what he read. He could complete addition, subtraction, and multiplication problems faster than I could type the problem into the computer. Division was more challenging. He managed simple division, but the more complex problems just didn’t compute in his head. I find it sad that we no longer have these simple fun games available for children who struggle to grasp simple mathematic concepts. They open avenues of adventure and daily living skills.

Now what prompted my meanderings into accessibility issues is that so many shows on television have very dark scenes. If my “seeing eye hubby” doesn’t stay on high alert as to my needs, I either must interrupt the flow of the story or guess what happened. I had heard about audio description, but had never really researched it. (Remember, while we still lived in Hawai’i I thought I could see, plus I spent most of my time making sure that nothing was frightening Josh… not really watching any show, but Josh’s reactions to shows.) 

Now that I can watch shows with no distractions (still miss watching with one eye on our Josh) we decided to try Audio Description. First, we found it challenging to even find the setting. Then, not all shows have it available. So far we have only found it on some Netflix shows. But, I must share with you that audio description makes all the difference in the world to my degree of enjoyment. And, it is not at all intrusive to the flow of the show. Now… my hope is… that Audio Description becomes available for all shows and movies… 

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Arriving at Tranquility

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