Here at The Chapel we have a ministry that is devoted to reaching out to our deaf community with the use of deaf interpretation. Every Sunday, at 9am at the CrossPoint Campus, there is a deaf interpreter that signs what is being said during the service. In conjunction with Sunday, the Deaf Ministry meets weekly to encourage each other to follow Jesus on a deeper level and learn what it means to become a disciple.
But what about people who are hard of hearing and don’t understand sign language? What about deaf people who can’t come to the CrossPoint Campus on Sundays? What about people who are incarcerated or are homebound and don’t have access to the internet? How can they access our Sunday messages?
For the last few years, The Chapel has offered closed captioning on our weekly TV broadcast, our online sermon archive, and on our Roku channel. The captions provide a way for the deaf and hearing impaired to understand what is being said in our services. When watching sermon videos on our website, you can click the “CC” button on the video player to view the captions. On our Roku channel, captions can be turned on by pressing the “*” button while watching a sermon video. Closed captions on our website and on Roku are typically available by mid-week.
While our goal primarily is to broaden our reach to the deaf and hearing impaired people around the world, we know that many more people benefit from closed captions. A recent research study showed that 80% of television viewers used closed captions for reasons other than hearing loss.
Here are some additional benefits of closed captions:
- Viewers who know English as a second language benefit from closed captions, because they make it easier to follow along with the speech.
- Closed captions help maintain concentration, which can provide a better experience for viewers with learning disabilities, attention deficits, or autism.
- Captions allow viewers to watch videos in sound-sensitive environments, like offices and libraries. Parents of young children can benefit from using captions while their children are sleeping.
Going Beyond Closed Captions
Beginning in August, we started posting transcripts of the sermon to our website. While closed captions are beneficial while watching a video, there are some people who may prefer being able to read the message in its entirety. The entire transcript is also searchable on our website, so if you remember a specific word or phrase that the pastor said in the sermon, you can search for it and locate the sermon that way.
The transcripts can be downloaded and sent to people who don’t have access to the Internet or are unable to watch online videos, like the homebound elderly, or those in prison. We are already seeing people in our church who appreciate being able to share the transcripts with loved ones. Darlene Murphy told us, “My elderly mom will be getting a copy [of the transcript] to read. It is very, very important to me that she is saved.”
We want to reach every man, woman and child with the gospel of Jesus Christ. That includes the deaf, the hearing impaired and non-native English speaking people, not only in our region but around the world.
How can you help? You can download our transcripts and send them to friends and loved ones who need access. You can volunteer to help caption our weekly sermons. If you speak another language like Spanish or French, you could help us transcribe our sermons into another language. Contact Chris Kish (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you want more information about joining our captioning team.