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Dr. Robert Davila – A Deaf Role Model

Dr. Robert Davila and Svetlana standing in front of a wall with artwork.

I would like to talk about Dr. Robert Davila – a deaf son of Mexican immigrants and a remarkable person who has achieved so much in his life and has held many high level positions in his career. He was also the first deaf person in USA whom I met when I was 16 years old and who became my first deaf role model.

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Wonder Woman Movie Experience Not Wonderful For a Deaf Theatergoer

Cardboard display of W logo and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in front of it.

Since learning about TV captions in 8th grade, I cannot imagine my life without good quality captions – for movies, videos, live events. I didn’t start going to movie theaters until I was in college when I learned about movies with open captions that were displayed directly on the screen and it was a wonderful experience! Sadly, later more theaters decided to stop offering open captions and started to force deaf and hard of hearing patrons to use cumbersome closed captioned devices.

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What a [bleep] – How to Caption Expletives?

A video clip with Svetlana showing a surprise face. Text on right: What a d**k! Captions on bottom: What does the last word mean?!

Click the photo to view the video.

There have been many instances where captions were censored on TV or in a video even though when the audio was not. Of course, profanity is not meant to be heard by minors. However, if speech can be clearly heard word for word on TV or in a video, it also needs to be captioned word for word – including expletives. So deaf and hard of hearing adults have the right to know every word said – otherwise censored captions of speech (that is clearly heard) would be considered a form of paternalism.

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