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MAG Guide Vol. 10

How to advocate for more and better captioning
Two decades ago, no one could have predicted how common captioning would become in everyday life. Today, viewers have more opportunities to use captions than ever before. The Television Decoder Act, in effect since 1993, requires all televisions 13 inches or larger manufactured for sale in the United States to have built-in decoder circuitry. Captions now reach millions of viewers who are deaf and hard-of-hearing, as well as the hearing audience, those learning to read and those learning English as a second language. Meanwhile, the educational benefits of captioned television are being realized as families "read" TV together. Captions are visible in public places, such as airports or bars, where the audio is often difficult to hear.

Currently, all programs airing in prime time (daily 8-11pm) on the commercial networks and PBS are captioned, though some daytime, cable and syndicated programs remain uncaptioned. The Media Access Group at WGBH encourages viewers to become involved in advocating for more (and better) closed captions ó because your opinions count more than you may realize!

If youíd like to help promote and increase the use of captioning, we suggest the following ways to get involved:

  • Ask for more captioned TV programs.
  • Spread the word about captioning.
  • Show your appreciation.

Ask for more captioned TV, video and DVDs
Write to networks, producers, cable companies. Thank them for the programs that are captioned and tell them which new programs you would like to see captioned. Remember to send copies of your letters to the national networks in addition to your local TV station or cable company. And please send copies of your letters to the Media Access Group as well.

Ask videostore managers to encourage videotape distributors to label each box as closed-captioned (or CC). Suggest that the stores get a decoder or a caption-capable TV set, show captioned tapes and DVDs and provide information about captioning to their customers.

Write to videotape and DVD distributors and producers to ask for more captioned titles, and also to provide captions for "bonus" features on DVDs, such as directors' commentaries, games and music videos. Explain the importance of labeling tapes and DVDs as captioned, which will build awareness among customers and can mean additional business for them!

Spread the word!
If you own a caption decoder or a television with built-in decoder circuitry, invite friends and family to watch your favorite programs with you. Explain to them how captioning has made a difference in your life. In the process, you could open up a new world for someone else.

If a store sells decoders and decoder-equipped television sets, ask them to demonstrate captioning in the store. Many people know someone who could benefit from captioning, but they may not be aware of its availability and convenience unless they've seen it.

Encourage public places ó such as schools and workplaces ó to acquire and use a decoder or a decoder-equipped television. Inform people that captioning provides both equal access and a community service.

Stay informed about local and national legislation that affects captioning and access to television. Let your elected representatives know your opinions and ask them to keep you informed. Give out sample letters with legislators' addresses so that other people can write letters as well.

Many local agencies, clubs, self-help groups and service providers for people who are deaf and hard-of-hearing have up-to-date information about decoders, related legislation and advocacy efforts. Ask them to keep you informed. Volunteer to help their cause.

Show your appreciation
If you enjoy a specific captioned program, let the company or organization that pays for the captioning know. Write and tell the funders that you appreciate their support of this important service and would like it to continue. If you need addresses for or information about contacting funders, feel free to contact the Media Access Group at WGBH or send your letter to us, and we will make sure itís delivered to the right place.

If you use products that you learned about through a captioned commercial, make sure to let the advertisers know! You have valuable purchasing power, and companies like to know that their commercials are effective.

Let captioning agencies, such as the Media Access Group at WGBH, know how you feel
about their captioning services. If you share your ideas, comments, criticisms and compliments, it will help them to serve you better!

Resources
To advocate for closed captioning, or make your opinions or appreciation known, contact the following television and cable networks, home video distributors and organizations serving the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities:

Television networks

ABC, Inc.
500 S. Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521-4551
http://www.abc.com/

CBS
51 West 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019
(212) 975-4321
http://www.cbs.com/

Fox Broadcasting Company
P.O. Box 900
Beverly Hills, CA 90213-0900
http://www.fox.com/

NBC
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10112
(212) 664-4444
http://www.nbc.com/

PAX
601 Clearwater Park Road
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
(561) 659-4122
http://www.pax.tv/

PBS
1320 Braddock Place
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 739-5000
http://www.pbs.org/

UPN
11800 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 575-7000
http://www.upn.com/

WB Television Network
4000 Warner Boulevard
Burbank, CA 91522
(818) 954-6000
http://www.warnerbros.com/

Cable networks

A&E Network (A&E)
235 E. 45th Street
New York, NY 10017
(212) 661-4500
http://www.aande.com/

American Movie Classics (AMC)
200 Jericho Quadrangle
Jericho, New York 11753
(516) 803-4300
http://www.amctv.com/

Animal Planet
7700 Wisconsin Avenue
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 986-0444
http://animal.discovery.com/

Black Entertainment Television (BET)
1235 W Place, NE
Washington, DC 20018
(202) 608-2000
http://www.bet.com/

Bravo (BRV)
200 Jericho Quadrangle
Jericho, New York 11753
(516) 803-4500
http://www.bravotv.com/

CNBC, Consumer News and Business Channel
2200 Fletcher Avenue
Fort Lee, NJ 07024
(201) 585-CNBC
http://www.cnbc.com/

CNN
One CNN Center
Box 105366
Atlanta, GA 30348-5366
(404) 827-1500
http://www.cnn.com/

The Cartoon Network
Box 105264
1050 Techwood Drive, NW
Atlanta, GA 30318
(404) 827-1717
http://www.cartoonnetwork.com/

Country Music Television (CMT)
2806 Opryland Drive
Nashville, TN 37213
(615) 457-8501
http://www.cmt.com/

Comedy Central
1775 Broadway
New York, NY 10019
(212) 767-8600
http://www.comcentral.com/

Courtroom Television Network (Court TV)
600 Third Avenue, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10016
(212) 973-2800
http://www.courttv.com/

The Discovery Channel
7700 Wisconsin Avenue
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 986-0444
http://www.discovery.com/

The Disney Channel
3800 W. Alameda Avenue
Burbank, CA 91505
(818) 569-7500
http://disneychannel.disney.go.com/disneychannel

E! Entertainment Television
57500 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90036-3709
(323) 954-2400
http://www.eonline.com/

ESPN
935 Middle Street, ESPN Plaza
Bristol, CT 06010-7454
(860) 766-2000
http://msn.espn.go.com/main.html

Food Network
1180 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036
(212) 398-8836
http://www.foodtv.com/

fX
1440 South Sepulveda Boulevard
Suite 209
Los Angeles, CA 90067
(310) 286-3800
http://www.fxnetworks.com/main.html

Headline News
One CNN Center, Box 105366
Atlanta, GA 30348
(404) 827-1500
http://www.cnn.com/HLN/

The History Channel
235 East 45th Street
New York, NY 10017
http://www.thehistorychannel.com/

Home Box Office (HBO/Cinemax)
1100 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036
(212) 512-1000
http://www.hbo.com/
http://www.cinemax.com/

The Learning Channel (TLC)
7700 Wisconsin Avenue
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 986-0444
http://tlc.discovery.com/

Lifetime Television (LIF)
34-12 36th Street
Astoria, NY 11106
(718) 706-3600
http://www.lifetimetv.com/

MTV
1515 Broadway
New York, NY 10036
(212) 258-8000
http://www.mtv.com/

The National Network (TNN)
1515 Broadway
New York, NY 10036
(212) 258-6000
http://www.thenewtnn.com/

Nickelodeon
1515 Broadway
New York, NY 10036
(212) 258-8000
http://www.nick.com/

Sci-Fi Channel
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
(212) 408-9100
http://www.scifi.com/

Showtime/TMC
1633 Broadway
New York, NY 10019
(212) 708-1600
http://sho.com/

The Travel Channel
2690 Cumberland Parkway, Suite 500
Atlanta, GA 30339
(404) 801-2400
http://travel.discovery.com/

Turner Entertainment Networks
1050 Techwood Drive, NW
Atlanta, GA 30348-5264
(404) 827-1717
http://www.tnt.tv/

USA Networks (USA)
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
(212) 408-9100
http://www.usanetwork.com/

VH-1
1515 Broadway
New York, NY 10036
(212) 258-8000
http://www.vh1.com/

The Weather Channel
2600 Cumberland Parkway
Atlanta, GA 30339
(404) 434-6800
http://www.weather.com/

Home video and DVD distributors

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
PO Box 900
Beverly Hills, CA 90213-0900
(310) 369-3900
http://www.foxhome.com/

A&E Video
(212) 210-1400
http://www.aande.com/

Artisan Entertainment
2700 Colorado Avenue
2nd Floor
Santa Monica, CA 90404
(310) 449-9200
http://www.artisanet.com/

Buena Vista Home Entertainment
500 S. Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521
(818) 560-1000
http://www.disney.com/

Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment
10202 W. Washington Boulevard
sCulver City, CA 90232
(310) 244-4000
http://www.sony.com/

MGM Home Entertainment
2500 Broadway Street
Santa Monica, CA 90404
(310) 449-3000
http://www.mgm.com/

Miramax Films Corp.
8439 Sunset Boulevard
Hollywood, CA 90069
(323) 822-4200
http://www.miramax.com/

National Geographic Home Video
1145 17h Street
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 857-7680
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/

New Line Home Entertainment
116 N. Robertson Boulevard
Suite 400
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(310) 967-6700
http://www.newline.com/

PBS Home Video
1320 Braddock Place
Alexandria, VA 22314-1698
(703) 739-5000
http://www.pbs.org/

Paramount Home Entertainment
5555 Melrose Avenue
Hollywood, CA 90038-3197
(323) 956-5000
http://www.paramount.com/

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
10202 W. Washington Boulevard
Culver City, CA 90232
(310) 244-4000
http://www.sony.com/

Touchstone Home Entertainment
500 S. Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521
(800) 723-4763
http://www.disney.com/

Trimark Pictures
4553 Glencoe Avenue
Suite 200
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
(310) 314-2000
http://www.trimarkpictures.com/

USA Films
100 N. Crescent Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 385-4400
http://www.usafilms.com/

Universal Home Entertainment
70 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608
(818) 777-4400
http://www.universalstudios.com/

Walt Disney Home Video
350 S. Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521
(818) 295-5200
http://www.disney.com/

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
4000 Warner Boulevard
Burbank, CA 91522
(818) 954-6000
http://www.warnerbros.com/

National organizations serving people who are deaf and hard of hearing

Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf
3417 Volta Place, NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 337-5220 voice
(202)-337-5221 TTY
agbell2@aol.com
http://www.agbell.org/

Association of Late-Deafened Adults
1131 Lake Street, #204
Oak Park, IL 60301
(877) 348-7357 voice/fax
(708) 358-0135 TTY
http://www.alda.org/

League for the Hard of Hearing
50 Broadway
New York, NY 10004
(917) 305-7700 voice
(917) 305-7999 TTY
(917) 305-7888 fax
info@lhh.org
http://www.lhh.org

National Association of the Deaf
814 Thayer Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(301) 587-1788 voice/TTY
nadinfo@nad.org
http://www.nad.org/

National Fraternal Society of the Deaf
1118 South Sixth Street
Springfield, IL 62703
217-789-7429 voice
217-789-7438 TTY
thefrat@nfsd.com
http://www.nfsd.org/

Self Help for Hard of Hearing People
7910 Woodmont Avenue, Suite 1200
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 657-2248 voice
(301) 657-2249 TTY
national@shhh.org
http://www.shhh.org/

Telecommunications for the Deaf, Inc./TDI
8630 Fenton Street, #604
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3803
(301) 589-3786 voice
(301) 589-3006 TTY
info@tdi-online.orgmailto:info@tdi-online.org
www.tdi-online.org

For additional information about closed captioning, and how to advocate for more and better captioning services, Contact us.


















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