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SDH, or Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard-of-hearing, are texts superimposed on movies and TV shows that complement subtitles by describing non-dialogue audio, such as the sound of a door slamming or a dog barking, as well as identifying the speaker when this is not visually evident. SDH are similar to closed captioning in that they record the same data, but SDH are usually presented in the same font as regular language dialogue subtitles whereas closed captioning is written on a black band at the bottom of the screen.

SDH is mandatory for most television broadcasts in the United States, Canada, and the European Union. This policy is usually based on principals of equality for the hard-of-hearing, and the general public welfare obtained from including all people in a society’s media. Legislation and policy are constantly being revised to become more and more universal as our society comes to see handicaps not as exceptions to be accommodated, but as norms to be considered from the get-go. In the United States, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) requires that SDH captions be accurate, synchronous, complete, and properly placed. Live and near-live programming benefit from specials sets of regulations in light of the nature of technical constraints. DVD and video games are not regulated by FCC standards. The CRTC (Canadian Radio Television and Telecommunications Commission) introduced new measures in 2014 requiring SDH for programs broadcast between 12 am and 6 a, as was not formerly the case, as well as requiring them in advertising. In the European Union, telecommunication legislation is handled by the AVMSD (Audiovisual Media Services Directive) of the European Commission. They require by law that member countries actively enforce independent SDH regulation in their own country. Standards vary, but all members are held to the responsibility of providing some sort of regulation to ensure the active use of SDH.

Television remotes manufactured after 1993 are usually equipped with a ‘cc’ closed captioning button. Over twenty years later, SDH closed captioning is no longer an option, but an obligation.

SDH can be useful not only for the hard-of-hearing, but also in situations where high noise levels prevent audiences from hearing the broadcast. For example in bars or gyms. The FCC strongly encourages the use of closed captioning and even demands it for some types of internet broadcasting. Other western countries have followed suit. SDH, or Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard-of-hearing, are texts superimposed on movies and TV shows that complement subtitles by describing non-dialogue audio, such as the sound of a door slamming or a dog barking, as well as identifying the speaker when this is not visually evident. SDH are similar to closed captioning in that they record the same data, but SDH are usually presented in the same font as regular language dialogue subtitles whereas closed captioning is written on a black band at the bottom of the screen.

SDH is mandatory for most television broadcasts in the United States, Canada, and the European Union. This policy is usually based on principals of equality for the hard-of-hearing, and the general public welfare obtained from including all people in a society’s media. Legislation and policy are constantly being revised to become more and more universal as our society comes to see handicaps not as exceptions to be accommodated, but as norms to be considered from the get-go. In the United States, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) requires that SDH captions be accurate, synchronous, complete, and properly placed. Live and near-live programming benefit from specials sets of regulations in light of the nature of technical constraints. DVD and video games are not regulated by FCC standards. The CRTC (Canadian Radio Television and Telecommunications Commission) introduced new measures in 2014 requiring SDH for programs broadcast between 12 am and 6 a, as was not formerly the case, as well as requiring them in advertising. In the European Union, telecommunication legislation is handled by the AVMSD (Audiovisual Media Services Directive) of the European Commission. They require by law that member countries actively enforce independent SDH regulation in their own country. Standards vary, but all members are held to the responsibility of providing some sort of regulation to ensure the active use of SDH.

Television remotes manufactured after 1993 are usually equipped with a ‘cc’ closed captioning button. Over twenty years later, SDH closed captioning is no longer an option, but an obligation.

SDH can be useful not only for the hard-of-hearing, but also in situations where high noise levels prevent audiences from hearing the broadcast. The FCC strongly encourages the use of closed captioning and even demands it for some types of internet broadcasting. Other western countries have followed suit.