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Connecting Marlee and Mickey

February 22nd, 2010 by Blair Levin - Executive Director, Omnibus Broadband Initiative

Nobody who was at the FCC’s broadband field hearing at Gallaudet University in November will forget the passion of Marlee Matlin

Her dedicated efforts led to captioning laws being passed nearly a generation ago.

But now, she told us, her work was being “erased.”  Closed captions were being taken out of broadcast content being shown on the Internet.  Among her many examples:  her own performance on “Dancing with the Stars!”  Her distress was palpable.

We posted a video clip of Marlee’s statement on our blog, and her passion was seen over the blogosphere.  Someone forwarded the clip to Disney.  And Disney got to work.

As a result, Disney has announced that ABC.com is expanding its captioning efforts. Instead of just captioning scripted dramas and comedies, it has committed to captioning all of its long form programs that it puts on its online player at ABC.com, including reality and live shows like “Dancing With The Stars.” 

Way to go, Marlee. Way to go, Disney. And way to go to the person in the blogosphere who thought to connect the two.

7 Responses to “Connecting Marlee and Mickey”

  1. Guest says:

    BRAVO!!

  2. Adrean Clark says:

    That's great news! I'm thrilled Disney took the next step, now my sons and I will have equal access to what we see online. Thanks for sharing!

  3. End The Blog Blah Blah says:

    Yes, but where is the public announcement from Disney??. We don't see it anywhere.
    It's not a real commitment until the CEO announces it publicly.
    Till then this is all promises promises and just blah blah blog.

  4. Guest says:

    Given that this is the FCC, we have to trust it is true. But it would still be more helpful if ABC/Disney would issue a formal statement publicly. Plus, is this only for ABC.com? What about the other Disney-owned internet channels like Disney.com? Will news programs on ABCNews.com be captioned? Shows like 20/20?

  5. Guest says:

    It's already up and enabled on ABC.com - why do you need a public announcement? Just do it. It's done. Action was taken. End The Blog Blah Blah should learn that action speaks louder than words.

  6. Dennis says:

    And where's the captioning for the ABCFamily.com shows?

  7. Randolph D Garrett says:

    Bout time!

    (I am really falling in love with Marlee for this!)

    Now if they could just recall all the uncaptioned "Up" rental discs (and others!) and replace them with captioned ones, maybe my opinion of Disney Corporation (and it's ABC Network and Pixar releases) will improve from dismal to acceptable!

    Sounds like Disney finally is hearing us! (pun not intended)

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