March 23, 1979: Nanette Fabray campaigns for closed captions on television

Actress Nanette Fabray is hearing impaired and became a crusader for closed captions on television.
2:43 | 02/23/18

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Transcript for March 23, 1979: Nanette Fabray campaigns for closed captions on television
Millions of Americans watch what do not hear programs on television. For many years but management of this network as I'm concerned about the special problem on the death and the hearing impaired. Ball finally there has fanned a technological breakthrough. But will enable the death to see up rarely what is happening on the TV screen but what is being said as well Bettina Gregory has the story and because we want the people most directly affected the want to stand she will be assisted by Lucy after. The sight gags may be okay but for millions of hearing impaired and deaf Americans there one liners are no joke. But soon a wide variety of programs will look like this. The hearing impaired can appreciate the comedy by means of captions. Getting married have a date for tomorrow. Why. Why don't have a day. At didn't we have this taught that summer I got home. It's all done with the decoder like this starting next year these devices can be built into new TV sets to show the captions. But you don't have to buy a new set. Sears Roebuck we'll start marketing adapters similar to assess the can be attached to any TV set and used to show the captions. Syria says they'll cost about 250 dollars. These new captions will be typed into can. Computers and electronically edited into programs like subtitles and movies. The idea of captions isn't new this broadcast the world news tonight has been captioned and aired on public broadcasting stations for years. What is new is a technology that allows captions to be edited in automatically and picked up on any set if a viewer wants them. HEW secretary Joseph Califano announced that it a move led by ABC. This network NBC and PBS of agreed to provide twenty hours of captioned primetime programs that week starting in 1980. CBS is not participating present. Actress Vanessa Redgrave who was hearing impaired herself had this to say about he read handicaps. Helen Keller said. That if she could have her hearing are her sight back. She would have taken her hearing without hesitation. Because she felt that it was a much more profound. And catastrophic loss. Califano said the hearing impaired have too long been shut off from television what he called our society's most influential means of communication. This new technology means up to twenty million hearing impaired Americans no longer have to face a silent screen. Bettina Gregory ABC news Washington. And I it was.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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