by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
One of the things I have wished for, especially in emergency situations, was a radio that would display the text as well as the audio, so I could read the words that my poor ears miss—much as I do with captioning on the TV. You don’t have to miss many key words before you don’t understand what is really happening.
The good news is that captioned radio is coming—maybe even before the end of this year!
“A radio with closed captions, allowing hard of hearing listeners to ‘see’ radio shows is good news for millions of people with hearing loss, and one of the best new gadgets of the year, according to the BBC. The captions are shown on a screen on the receiver and will require the user to subscribe to a closed captioning service.”
According to an article in PC Magazine (01.06.08), “The systems works a lot like close captioning does for television. The company will piggy-back a data stream on the standard audio signal. The text can then be read on radios fitted with a display. The system will only work with digital broadcasts. Currently more than 1,500 radio stations are currently broadcasting in HD Radio in the United States.”
The new radio is still in the development stage. But a spokesman for Harris Broadcast, a party to the project, told the Washington Times newspaper in Washington, D.C. recently that a radio with closed captioning capability may be in production by the end of 2008.
Now you know what you want for Christmas this year!