The following guest blog comes from one of our #FAQMP regulars, @pupdoggie aka Irene aka Bernice. She has been submitting questions to MPs of all stripes through #FAQMP this season. All MPs have been sympathetic to her request/urgings/demands to Close Caption all Parliamentary Committees so that the hearing impaired can have the same access. to Parliamentary Proceedings enjoyed by other Canadians. However, after a year, Parliamentary Committees are still not Closed Captioned. We thank @pupdoggie for submitting this guest blog to #FAQMP describing her journey, her struggles and frustrations.
Abraham Lincoln once stated, “all men are created equal,” but due to a number of diverse reasons, this is not actually the case. I am not equal because I am hearing impaired. I function fairly well because I subconsciously learned to read lips from a very young age when my hearing began to deteriorate. Bilateral hearing aids provide sound to some extent, and if I am facing a speaker I can take part in the conversation to a minimal degree, (Background noise is a killer), but I often see the frustration apparent in the people to whom I am speaking. They wish to be helpful, but in all honesty, I know I am a trial to them. The young ones especially find it difficult to understand why Grandma just mumbles “uh huh” far too often in answer to their questions. But, in spite of being ‘different’ or ‘unique,’ I am grateful for my 77 years of life.
So, why have I chosen to relate this story for your consideration?
Eighteen months ago, I installed satellite television to gain access to our government in action. I wanted more than just clips chosen by broadcasters; I wanted the ‘real goods’—all of it. Canadian Public Affairs Chanel (CPAC) airs the House of Commons’ (H of C) daily proceedings when the Members of Parliament (MPs) are sitting. I wanted to see how they actually run the country, and wow, was I disappointed. Only the Question Period (QP) is Closed Captioned (CC). I require CC for all my TV viewing. This incident marked the beginning of my search for equality: complete access to all televised House Sessions just as all hearing persons enjoy. If you watch CPAC you will know the answer, otherwise you might read further. Continue Reading