Calls for free captioning for people with hearing loss on video platforms like Zoom recently received attention on National Public Radio (NPR).
On November 23, HHTM editor and hearing health advocate, Shari Eberts was interviewed on Here & Now, NPR’s midday news program. NPR distributes Here & Now to over 450 stations in the United States, with an estimated 4.5 million weekly listeners.
In the interview, Eberts discusses the challenges people with hearing loss have faced during the pandemic. In addition to the widespread use of facemasks, which muffle speech and take away the ability to lipread, popular video platforms like Zoom have placed captioning capabilities behind a paywall – limiting access for users.
“You would never build a building, include ramps but then ask people in wheelchairs to pay to use them. The same holds for people with hearing loss. Captions are our ramps. Why should we have to pay to use the feature we require for equal access?”–Shari Eberts
Zoom: Calls for Free Captioning Access Grow Louder
“Accessibility is the right thing! Will Zoom commit to free ASR captions for people with hearing loss by Christmas?