Funded by OSEP- Television Access
Grant H327C150009
Captions and Video Description:
Educational Tools for Hispanic Children with Disabilities
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Results of our research presented at Edulearn18 this week

Dr. Juanita RodriguezDoctor Juanita Rodriguez, who leads the research component of our project "Captions and Video Description: Educational Tools for Hispanic Children with Disabilities,"is presenting the results of our research this week at Edulearn18, during the Special Education session.  

The title of her presentation is "Universal Design Media: a new approach to use closed caption and description in teaching reading skills to Hispanic students with sensory disabilities."  

The objective of our research was to explore the benefits of using media with captions and video description from Discovery en la Escuela to enhance vocabulary of Hispanic students who are deaf/hard of hearing and those who are blind/visually impaired. We expected that by enhancing the students' vocabulary, their reading skills and their motivation to read will also be improved. 

During the project we worked with special education teachers from 7 schools in Puerto Rico. These are our main results:

Children who are deaf or hard of hearing

The use of captions in the classroom helps them to:

  • read,
  • acquire new vocabulary,
  • integrate information with their personal experiences and this, subsequently, enhances their reading comprehension.

In addition, for students with residual hearing, the combination of captions and video description provides them with visual images of what they are reading.

Children who are blind or visually impaired 

The use of video description in the classroom helps them to:

  • improve their reading skills, 
  • concentrate in tasks in the classroom,
  • explore and acquire new vocabulary, and 
  • capture their attention.

We thank Discovery en la Escuela for providing us with their support for the training of the project's participants, for allowing us to use their media content during the research, and, most importantly, for keeping the accessible content available in their website at  

Discovery en la Escuela accessible clip

We want to recognize the generous support that the Universidad de Puerto Rico -Recinto Río Piedras and its School of Education have provided our project.  We also thank the schools and the special education teachers in Puerto Rico that embrace our project. The schools involved in the project were:

Edulearn is an annual International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies organized by the International Academy of Technology, Education and Development (IATED). It provides a platform to discuss the latest developments in "teaching and learning methodologies, educational projects and innovations and new technologies applied to Education and Research."  More than 800 experts from 80 different countries attend Edulearn. 

We are proud of having Dr. Rodriguez sharing the results of our projects with experts from  around the world at Edulearn18.