Dear Donald Trump:
People who are deaf and hard of hearing need to thank you. Years ago, I contacted you about the horrific captions on the The Apprentice. My daughter, who is hard of hearing, was learning poor spelling and getting confusing input when she watched your show. For example, “Bordeaux” (you know, the small French region where wine is made) was spelled like two animals: “boar” and “doe.”
Your office staff didn’t care when I contacted them, nor did your production team, Mark Burnett Productions. In fact, I learned that the Burnett team never reviewed the captions. The woman whose job it was to do this told me that I was “stressing her out” by complaining.
So, I contacted Bob Wright, the then-chairman of NBC. Thankfully, he cared–his personal experience with autism enabled him to understand the impact that poor quality captions had on my daughter and others like her. NBC assigned a team to the issue, and we worked hard together to develop captioning standards. It is my understanding that NBC became the first network to insert such standards into their contracts; before this, captions bids were accepted based solely on price. This change forced some captioning companies to upgrade their equipment.