The Americans with Disabilities Act has ushered in an increased demand for captioners. Kristina Tan, a representative from South Coast College, attended a recent presentation by Carol Padden, Professor of Communications at University of California at San Diego, and Benjamin Lewis, Instructor of Linguistics and American Sign Language at UCLA. The presentation spent a significant amount of time discussing the importance of captioning and equal access to the deaf community.
Captioning has transitioned because the Television Circuity Decoder Act of 1990 requires all television sets greater than 13 inches or larger to have a chip that provides captions. Before the act was passed, the deaf community had to purchase special equipment to enable them to have captioned television. Captioning is not only a growing career, it is a much appreciated service facilitating English language communication. The benefits that captioning provides is not exclusive to the deaf and hard of hearing community.