History was made on February 23rd when the first captioned radio broadcast of a regular radio program hit the airwaves that morning. What show was being broadcast? Latino USA is the longest running radio program focused on Latinos and is the first to begin equal access distribution through the use of Captioning for Radio, technology targeted to audiences who are deaf and hard of hearing. According to the program’s host, four-time Emmy award winning journalist Maria Hinojosa, “Research has shown that Latino children have a higher incidence of hearing loss and deafness than other populations. When the opportunity to break this sound barrier came to our attention, we were pleased to embrace this technology developed by NPR Labs and Towson University for the thousands of Latinos with serious hearing loss.” Future broadcasts will also be captioned and listeners can tune in via any web browser.
The International Center for Accessible Radio Technology (CART) is a strategic allegiance between NPR and Towson University. Co-directors, Mike Starling of NPR and Ellyn Sheffield of Towson University, said, “when we started out in 2007 to develop Captioned Radio technologies, we knew that many companies talk extensively about their commitments to innovation and inclusivity. This week, The Futuro Media Group and Latino USA have acted decisively to put their commitment into practice. We could not be more pleased to be working with the award winning team that will now produce the first regular Captioned Radio program. Thanks to the vision at Latino USA, our new enterprise is being launched.
To learn more about Latino USA, their programming, and where to go for their captioned programming, please visit http://www.futuromediagroup.org/lusa/.