Finding Fully Sub-titled or Captioned DVDs
Ever been frustrated to buy a DVD that claims to be captioned–but isn’t? Ever been frustrated to buy a DVD in the hope that you can enjoy the special features, only to find YET AGAIN that only the main feature is captioned and nothing else? Or that only a few of the special features are captioned but not all of them? Ever been frustrated that most DVD boxes do not give full, accurate information on what is and isn’t captioned? (I hate the wimp phrase, “Special features MAY not be captioned.” Don’t you?)
This web site may help:
It’s set up by deaf and hard of hearing people in the UK. But given that many American movies are sold in the UK, and that some UK movies are sold in the US, a lot of the information on their web site should also be fully relevant to deaf and hard of hearing people in the United States. You can use this site to look up what DVDs are and aren’t captioned, and find out whether the special features are captioned, before deciding what movies to buy. You can also help contribute to the information on this site by looking through your OWN DVD collection to see what special features are accessible, or not, to deaf/HOH auidences (presumably, if you own them, then at minimum the main feature is captioned!) and provide this information to the site.
I’ve only just this minute discovered this site. But I’m already thinking of maybe using it to help me “Buy-cott” DVDs that are fully captioned. No, “buy-cott” is not the same as “boycott.” To “boycott” something is to refuse to buy it at all. To “buy-cott” something is kind of the opposite. It means to deliberately choose a particular product over another product because it has something you desire. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you completely stop buyin the other (less desirable) product if it still offers something you want, or something you can’t get anywhere else. But it does mean that you take a few minutes to learn about the competing products and try to buy more of the products that meet your criteria than the ones that do not. This could mean buying more DVDs with captioned special features than you do DVDs without. Or it could mean buying more products that are eco-friendly rather than their less eco-friendly counterparts even if it costs a little more. Or any other cause you wish to support.
So, for example, if I’m choosing between two DVDs, one of which has special features captioned and the other does not, I would naturally want to buy the one with captioned special features. And would try to buy more DVDs with captioned special features and fewer DVDs without captioned special features.
Someone who is deeply committed to persuading DVD companies to fully caption all special features could consider a full boycott of any DVD that is not fully captioned. The information at http://dvd-subtitles.com/ can help guide you in making those choices. In order to make your boycott more effective, however, you should try to write a letter or email to the DVD producers to list some of the specific movies you’re boycotting and tell them WHY. And ask them to put captions on all special features.
And what about finding captioned movies in the movie theater? At least for deaf people in the US (I don’t know if there is an equivalent in the UK), I still swear by fomdi.com. I know not everyone likes it because apparently not all captioned movies are actually listed there. But I still find it easier to consult than checking each theater individually (a real pain in the neck, especially when you’re not sure what theaters to consult or how to find their web URLs). And easier than buying a newspaper (which I don’t always have on hand) and combing through all the listings–especially when you can’t be sure that the newspaper listings will necessarily be any more comprehensive or accurate than fomdi.com.
If you know of a specific theater that is consistently not listed in fomdi.com then I encourage you to contact that theater (a letter or a phone call) and ask them to make sure to consistently put captioning information on line and encourage them to communicate with fomdi.com so that this information will not be overlooked. And, of course, they should also be encouraged to alert all newspapers and other media that list their movie information so that people unfamiliar with fomdi.com will still have a way to find this information. Because I’m not sure that print-listings are always fully accurate either. And theaters should also post this information in the theater itself.