Think Beyond The Label…Not? (UPDATE: TV ads ARE Captioned & Campaign has followed up with CNN.)

UPDATE (4:15 pm ET): I have communicated with Barbara Otto at Health & Disability Advocates and she assured me that all of the “Think Beyond The Label” campaign’s TV ads and other videos, including those on YouTube, are closed-captioned. She has communicated with CNN and all other media outlets to ensure that future airings of these advertisements are closed-captioned.

@BeyondTheLabel posted these two messages on Twitter:

3:19 pm ET: “We are committed to making our website and tv spot accessible, and we indeed made sure our spots were CC. We’re looking into CNN’s issue.”

3:36 pm ET: “We have contacted CNN and all our media outlets on the TV CC issue–please DM us if you see non-CC running anywhere else!”

For what it’s worth, another “Think Beyond The Label” advertisement on CNN aired at 3:45 pm and it was still not closed-captioned.

It appears to be a problem with CNN. Please disregard my original post.

Kudos to Barbara Otto and the “Think Beyond The Label” campaign on being so quick to respond to this issue. It shows their commitment to ensuring that everyone in the community is informed of the campaign and in particular the importance of accessibility for people with disabilities to ensure that they are as productive as, if not more so, those without disabilities in the workplace.


UPDATE (3:00 pm ET): Barbara Otto of Health & Disability Advocates, which is leading the “Think Beyond The Label” campaign, has informed me that the TV commercial in question is indeed closed-captioned.  She is following up with CNN to find out why it wasn’t captioned.


ORIGINAL POST (2:00 pm ET): I wrote this article earlier this week about the Think Beyond The Label advertising campaign, a $4 million all-media venture aimed at educating companies about hiring people with disabilities.  I was very pleased to see a campaign that used humor to dispel preconceived notions about the potential productivity of people with disabilities in the workplace.

I was watching CNN this afternoon, as it started up its coverage of the advancing Snowmageddon of 2010, when it cut away to commercial. First up was a TV spot from Think Beyond The Label!  Delighted, I settled in to watch the spot — when it hit me.  It is not captioned.  Or closed-captioned, either.  As a deaf person, I could not understand a word of what was being said.  I sort of got the part at the 0:20 mark about being “coffee-impaired,” as a professional woman in the spot, upon hearing something that was said, immediately spit out coffee.  But that was pretty much it.

For all the money they spent, and the effort they would have made in educating everyone about people with disabilities in the workplace, the people who ran the Think Beyond The Label campaign forgot the one fundamental fact: the accessibility of their very own TV commercials.  This isn’t thinking beyond the label.

4 Comments on "Think Beyond The Label…Not? (UPDATE: TV ads ARE Captioned & Campaign has followed up with CNN.)"

  1. Hi Michael —
    Health & Disability Advocates would never put forward a television spot without closed captioning. The spot is closed captioned –in fact we’ve been getting praise from deaf advocates who’ve seen the spot.
    We’ll be following up with CNN to see what the deal is.
    Thanks –


  2. Dear Barbara,

    Thank you for your comment. I have updated the top of my post with your news. Glad to know there was indeed an effort to closed-caption. Please keep me posted.

    Michael Janger


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