BOSTON — Two television stations here will begin offering closed-captioning for deaf and hearing-impaired people on their local evening news programs next year, becoming the first stations in the country to offer the service for such shows, they said.
Starting in March, WCVB-TV and WGBH-TV will offer live closed-captioning, which is data included in television broadcast signals that can be translated by a special decoder into words at the bottom of the television screen.
ABC affiliate WCVB-TV will follow the lead of its network, which has included closed-captioning on its network news and much of its prime-time programming for several years. WGBH-TV, a public television station, has been involved in captioning entertainment programs but has not done real-time captioning.
Dr. Richard Thompson, director of the Massachusetts Office of Deafness, said the move is welcome news to hearing-impaired people.
"We have opened the doors to the hard of hearing to a much greater range of programs, particularly in local programming," Thompson said through an interpreter. Thompson is hearing-impaired and can speak on the telephone either with the use of special equipment or with the aid of an interpreter.