The parent of a nine-year-old child who is deaf is promoting the benefits of TV captioning for all children. This funny video explains why.

Helen MacKay is asking for signatures on a petition calling for legislation to ensure captioning on TV. She is an ambassador for the New Zealand Captioning Group which is a collaboration between Deaf Aotearoa, National Foundation for the Deaf and The Hearing Association New Zealand. Her daughter lost her hearing around the age of 4 due to a rare disease and is the poster child for the #CaptionitNZ Campaign.

She says captioning benefits many people, not just the deaf and hard of hearing. Research shows many children, including those on the autistic spectrum, can benefit. Children benefit from the visual reinforcement of spoken words and captions can be useful in classrooms where it is not always silent. “So much media is used in schools today – whether it be a news clip of a recent event, a TV programme or a youtube clip, I am passionate about the benefits of captions for everyone.”

Helen’s daughter attends Seatoun School in Wellington, has ORS funding, speaks English, learns Te Reo and accesses the curriculum with NZSL/lipreading. “I cannot speak more highly of the commitment the school makes to inclusive education across the whole teaching staff supported by parental advocacy and a great school community,” says Helen.

“I would really appreciate any help in making sure this petition reaches as many people as possible – captions are a necessity for many and can help so many more too.”