December 9, 2011

Turning On the Subtitles for DVD Is Easy

After talking with and sending numerous emails about the importance of using closed-captions or subtitles to a counselor at a school, she still was not doing this for some hard of hearing students who attend her classes, according to an interpreter. They attend her class at least once a week. It seems as if she shows a lot of videos. These videos are usually cartoons or kid friendly films about self esteem issues.

When I finally found the time to pop by and visit unannounced one day, she was going to show a video to the class. I sat near the back of the room and raised my hand to try to get her attention. She kept talking and asking her students to give her "five". It was as if she was ignoring me. The interpreter looked at me and raised her hand too. Finally, after being ignored for a few more minutes, I got up and walked over the front of the room where she was going to play the video. She smiled and said, "Oh, I'm sorry, I thought you were giving me five like the other kids." I smiled and kindly reminded her that she has a student in the class who has a hearing loss. I told her that she needs to see if the DVD has subtitles. She asked me, "Oh, well how do I do this? I don't think it has subtitles." I asked if I can show her. She said, "Sure! I would like to learn."

I put the DVD in and pressed 'Menu'. Then I selected 'Settings'. Under 'Settings' there were selections for English, French, and Spanish subtitles. They even had English subtitles for the 'Deaf and Hard of Hearing'. The counselor was amazed by this. She said, "Oh, I had no idea! That was easy."

I learned that next time I need to ask teachers and staff if they know how to find subtitles or turn on closed captions. Not everyone knows how to do this. 

Well, now she knows. Hopefully, she'll remember next time.

I made a mental note to myself that I should work with my student on learning how to advocate for herself and request subtitles or closed captions on her own.

The interpreter gave me a thumbs up, I nodded, and quietly slipped out of the classroom onto my next mission.



  1. Thats brilliant. Hopefully she will use what she knows next time. I have come across myself in the past where subtitles were not used. They clearly did not know or did not care. So I walked out and never been back since. I hear these film nights can be low in numbers, which means because of this one day they may stop doing these film nights.

    I shall stick with my home dvds.

  2. Let me get this straight.. this was a COUNSELOR? oh, dear... Once the student is confident to advocate for themselves, they can set the settings on the dvd's from then on. Cartoons don't have lips that you can read. I never knew exactly why I didn't like cartoons until I became an adult. It's all about the lips. :-)

  3. It isn't always easy. Sometimes a DVD will have subtitles that are turned on at the DVD player menu. Sometimes they have to be turned on at the TV, and sometimes one or the other turned off if both the TV and DVD player are displaying subtitles, one on top of the other.

    Often it's easier to teach the KID how to do this than the ADULT.

  4. You'd be surprised how much stuff doesn't have subtitles. We recently bought the classic Frosty and Rudolph DVDs and even though they are clearly labeled with CC they don't have any captions! Tons of videos from the past just ignore the laws. Half of my house is D/HoH...

  5. She gave you a thumbs up? I thought you'd at least get five from her!!!!!!

  6. Its samew with me buying Sound And Fury dvd. Says CC, but none came up. I have open to all regions dvd player and I have other dvds that come from the US. But Sound and Fury dvd is the only one that won't display cc. Even after trying all suggestions after blogging about it.

    I shall be giving this dvd away on my blog next year, so look out for that. Maybe someone will have better look with it.


Keep it civil.