March 2 is Read Captions Across America Day!

Every year on March 2 (Dr. Seuss’ birthday), kids head off to school and celebrate reading with a program called Read Across America. Teachers set up cozy areas of the classroom where kids can relax and get lost in their favorite books.

But have you heard of Read Captions Across America? It is celebrated just like Read Across America but with an added twist—kids are encouraged to “read” educational programming that has the closed captioning turned on. The purpose is to raise awareness that closed captioning can promote literacy and foster reading skills. This celebration was founded by the Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP) in partnership with the National Education Association.

Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP)

DCMP promotes and provides equal access to learning for students who are blind, deaf, or hard of hearing. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education and administered by the National Association of the Deaf, the DCMP verifies and monitors the capabilities of captioning companies on their ability to meet their captioning requirements.

DCMP sets standards and offers guidelines for closed captioning, adhering to a reading speed (also called words per minute) that is appropriate for beginning readers to follow. Aberdeen Broadcast Services relies on DCMP’s Captioning Key as the basis for our closed captioning rules. We use it to train our new caption editors and transcribers on the importance of closed captioning quality. These guidelines help us adhere to the preferred captioning style of the deaf and hard-of-hearing community.

In 2011, Aberdeen Broadcast Services produced a PSA to help promote this event. You can view the video below, but remember to turn on the captions!

To learn more, visit the Read Captions Across America site here. There you will find access to appropriate media to share with students on this special day. DCMP even offers classic Dr. Seuss cartoons that are closed-captioned.