You're watching the Super Bowl game, rooting for your favorite team. The game cuts away to a commercial. You don't dare go to the bathroom because you love watching the commercials. They're funny. They make you laugh. You want to see what Bud Light, Doritos or that talking baby comes up with. So you sit back and wait to be entertained.
But the damn audio goes off.
What the heck? Lips are moving, but there's no sound. The commercials look funny, but you can't understand a word that's being said.
Welcome to my life.
For years and years, we've sat down to watch the Super Bowl. For years and years, the game itself has been captioned for deaf and hard of hearing folks.
But not the commercials. It's usually a hit-or-miss affair from year to year. Once in a while, a commercial would be captioned and we could laugh along with the rest of the world. Last year, the majority of the commercials were captioned for the first time. Many were not.
It costs two and half million dollars for a commercial. The Super Bowl commercials are the most watched commercials of all time. And there are 28 million deaf and hard hearing folks scattered around. Most of my deaf and hard of hearing friends have their eyes glued to the TV whenever a football game comes on. Heck, from September until now, the hubby and my boys don't even come up for air.
And get this, the cost to caption a commercial, the cost to provide access to 28 million people, is a mere $200.
Two hundred bucks.
The companies have finally seen the light. Thanks to the hard work of the National Association of the Deaf in collaboration with the NFL and NBC, they're aiming for 100% of captioned commercials (some of the local commercials may not be captioned).
Looks like I'll be taking my bathroom breaks during the game this year.