Document Type

Journal Article


Caption rate and text reduction are factors that appear to affect the comprehension of captions by people who are deaf or hard of hearing. These 2 factors are confounded in everyday captioning; rate (in words per minute) is slowed by text reduction. In this study, caption rate and text reduction were manipulated independently in 2 experiments to assess any differential effects and possible benefits for comprehension by deaf and hard-of-hearing adults. Volunteers for the study included adults with a range of reading levels, self-reported hearing status, and different communication and language preferences. Results indicate that caption rate (at 130, 180, 230 words per minute) and text reduction (at 84%, 92%, and 100% original text) have different effects for different adult users, depending on hearing status, age, and reading level. In particular, reading level emerges as a dominant factor: more proficient readers show better comprehension than poor readers and are better able to benefit from caption rate and, to some extent, text reduction modifications.