Valletta, Malta - The quality of life of Deaf people would dramatically improve if subtitles were introduced on TV and in cinemas, according to campaigners.
“Think how much general knowledge you get from the TV,” said Alison Vere from the Deaf People Association, which is behind the Subtitles Now campaign launched recently.
“With the exception of the five-minute Deaf News in Maltese sign language, local TV is inaccessible to Deaf and those hard of hearing,” she added.
Organised jointly with film culture NGO Kinemastik, Subtitles Now is promoting the introduction of sub-titles on TV and more screenings of subtitled movies in cinemas.
Video by kinemastik
The campaign released a video on Youtube to drive home its message: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5D_y2G5els.
It starts with sound and subtitles so that all people can understand what is happening, but then the captions disappear and all the dialogue is conducted in sign language.
Eventually the sound of Bob Dylan singing the words “How does it feel?” from Like a Rolling Stone can be heard and a caption asks, “How does it feel to see but not hear?”
Ms Vere said deafness was an invisible disability because it went unseen unless people were communicating in sign language or wearing visible hearing aids.
If their campaign is successful, it would “provide a quantum leap in the quality of life of Deaf Maltese and would also help increase Deaf literacy.”
Association president Steven Mulvaney visited the UK recently and was amazed to find he had the option of closed caption subtitles on every programme on the TV in his hotel room, available through the push of a button.
The association would like Maltese Deaf people to have the same option... Read more: http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20130205/local/Deaf-want-a-fair-hearing-on-film-and-TV-subtitles-.456320