Friday, November 7, 2014

So long and thanks for all the fish, 2009-2014.

Hello everyone,

To borrow a phrase in saying goodbye from Douglas Adams, we are closing Captionfish down on December 31st. As one of our valued supporters, we wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your support of Captionfish through its amazing ride. This has been a labor of love, but due to our personal commitments and lack of funding, we are unable to provide ongoing support for Captionfish.

From its inception to launch in 2009 through 2014, Captionfish sought to assist a broad base of deaf and hard of hearing individuals get better access to captioned entertainment. Over the years, as the need of captioning was brought to light, theatres took the opportunity to implement captioned solutions in their auditoriums while the laws were updated to mandate access.

Today, access to entertainment through captioning has never been greater and you have been a proud supporter in helping making it all happen. For that, we are extremely thankful for all that you have done.

We are unique and recognizable to a broad base of deaf and individuals with hearing loss, which still holds considerable value. For that reason, we will consider serious acquisition proposals from interested parties who want to keep the Captionfish brand alive.

We are thankful for all that you have done for the DHH community.

All the best,
Nanci Linke-Ellis
Brendan Gramer
Chris Sano

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Hearing Loss Association of America 2013 Annual Convention - Portland, OR

We'll be there - will you?  Come and meeting the Captionfish Crew!
June 27 - 30, 2012 at the Doubletree Inn in Portland, OR.
#Hearing Loss Association of America knows how to put on a great show!
See you there!

Life On Mute

What an inspiring story! 

Answers for a Lip Reading Mom - Our good friend Shanna Groves Bartlett posed some questions for Captionfish so we thought we'd share the answers with you!

Captionfish considers itself technologically neutral when it comes to movie captioning. One of our partners, Nanci Linke-Ellis started the open-captioned program in 1993 with great success. But as people clamored for more films, showtimes and locations, it became virtually impossible for theatre owners to keep up the demand for 35mm prints and had to wait for digital solutions, which were 10 years late to the scene.

DHH audiences were not happy about having to wait 20 years to see some progress beyond limited open captioned screenings and Rear Window Caption-equipped auditoriums. Now that digital has arrived, there are three different types of captioning systems available in theatres. Many patrons have the option to choose which theatre to attend based on their preferred technology. Whether it be the SONY entertainment access glasses, CaptiView or USL, inc, both cup-holder devices, there is something for everyone. The Captionfish website lists the technology used in each theatre for a patron's information.But also provides captioned trailers so you can decide if you want to see any given movie.

Patrons must remember that this is first generation technology (think pagers in the early 90's) and it will improve over time as more people use the equipment. Our challenge is getting more people to know it exists. Nearly 50% of all theatres in North America have captioning\ALDs\Described Video access available. Not all theatres promote it with signage or in advertising so many people don't know to look for it. This is one of our priorities for the next several years.

In the very early stages of the captioned film program, Universal, Paramount and New Line Cinema (now owned by Warner Brothers) were the most enthusiastic. Again, in 2013, every major (large) distributor now provides caption files on the digital hard drive from which theatres project films. Regal Entertainment was the first to order across-the-board SONY Entertainment Access Glasses in all of their venues. They are still in the process of being installed and deployed, but they are getting there. It takes time to get it right, working properly with a well trained staff in place.

Our biggest priorities are getting theatres to advertise on @Captionfish and send patrons to our site to find showtimes, etc. Signage in theatres saying they have the equipment available is critical. We are also looking to the future where there will be a captioned trailer to "test" the captions at least 10 minutes prior to the start of the feature film, a much more complex problem then it appears on the surface.

Another future project of ours is to get a group of engineers together and have them look at all of our neck loops, direct connect cables, etc. and find a way for us to use whatever assistive technology we might have for our hearing aids or cochlear implants. It's commonly known as "plug and play."

Captionfish is not perfect. We are a company of three people for whom this is a labor of love. We appreciate feedback, being notified of theatres not on our list, problems with equipment that we might be able to bring to a theatre's attention. 39,000 screens means a LOT of people are involved in the process.

Next, of course, is making sure that any new technology platform that is developed, resolves accessible issues before it's manufactured, just like they do for the blind\low vision and wheelchair patrons. We are no different. We love our movies and other forms of entertainment. It just happens that for many patrons, our disability is invisible.40 million people are affected by some form of hearing loss. That's a lot of movie tickets that could be sold. They need to be reminded of this all the time. for more interesting articles.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Deaf Teen in Santa Monica Gets Captioning Access on the 3rd Street Promenade

As one of 72 school aged children and teens in the Santa Monica\Malibu school district, not one theatre in Santa Monica had captioning equipment installed.  14 year-old middle schooler, Johnny Butchko changed that.  This is a great example of how to get theatres moving in your community if they have not yet installed equipment that they have bought.
A side note:  this CBS K-CAL video is not captioned (but the television broadcast was). As we said, there is much work to be done.

Exciting Captioning Updates

It's now April of 2103, and much is new on the captioning front.  There is still a lot of work to be done, but thanks to Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), there is a new Congressional Bill in play known as S. 555 Cinema Act.  This will to expand the ADA law to cover both movie theatres and inflight entertainment. Time to register your vote in favor. If you haven't checked it out yet, please do so. This is an ACTION item for all CF fans.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Captionfish will be at the 51st Biennial NAD Conference

NAD Conference

Captionfish is delighted to sponsor the 51st Biennial NAD Conference held July 3-7. Join us in showing your support for NAD in Louisville, KY! Please visit the NAD Conference page at: or visit the NAD Conference Facebook page at

We hope to see you there!!!!