Funding slashed for closed-caption TV
The U.S. Education Department has cut the money for captioning nearly 200 TV programs, citing a 1997 mandate from Congress only to pay for captioning of “educational, news and informational” programming.
Advocates for the deaf say they haven’t been able to find out why the department has decided to finance some programs and not others, or who’s making these decisions.
The vast majority of the affected shows are either on cable networks or PBS, with most of the broadcast network fare being sports. Few first-run, broadcast network prime-time shows are affected.
It isn’t clear how many of the shows on the government’s “disapproved” list have actually stopped being captioned, since many networks and producers pay themselves to get the subtitles that tell a deaf viewer what’s being said.