CART and Captioning in Government

Before you read further, please review this:

CCAC has been advocating to various levels of government for many years. 2018 now is another important election year, please vote! And if you want to do a little advocacy, please advise your candidate we need access via inclusion of quality captioning. Are your candidates and politicians, at all levels of government, aware of our needs for real time captioning? Ask for it now, for their events in person, for their media on television and on the Internet. Begin the conversation soon, it will take time. CCAC members are here to advise and help (if you join the CCAC, you speak to all in the members’ forum online). Keep this in mind – your voice counts, your vote counts! Your inclusion counts and Captions Capture the Votes!


Your local, state, or national government needs to include you, and, in general, these organizations are not making it easy. In the U.S., for example, several CCAC members are asking for captioning inclusion for town meetings, a special form of democracy where voters of a town meet face-to-face to discuss issues and make decisions. This is very important, yet it is not easy to get access to captioning for these kinds of meetings. With captioning streamed online, it can be done! Some towns have already started this, and we say thanks.

October 2018: strong and growing interest in captioning for City and Town Meetings in several parts of the USA. You have a right to ask for it! Getting it started takes time, persistence, and more time. Work with a provider to help advocate with you. Several companies offer this service now, and can do it remotely.

CCAC is interested in creating a new resource that lists technical requirements for City and Town meetings to be captioned live and streamed online, and to put those same captions on the saved video for replay. If any providers (who will be credited) want to work on this, please get in touch now:

Here are some advocacy items suggested for your use (see more below) – and if you are working on this as a user or as a provider, we’d like to hear from you now please:

a. The technical details of captioning inclusion often require a learning curve to get all the pieces in place, and then after that, the benefits are huge. Not only are more interested citizens included, but also they are then informed and able to “give back” to their communities.
b. Many “hearing” people use captioning all the time (e.g. they use captioning when speakers mumble, when accents are difficult to understand, when background noise prohibits hearing what’s said, in noisy public places and also in quiet places (turning off the sound of media online so as not to disturb others).
c. A local provider, or a national company, will be the best folks to advise you on technical details requirements (which may already be in place) and costs. Services for a regularly-occurring public event can be negotiated. At the same time a professional captioner deserves fair pay.
d. We’re advised that if Live Captioning is done in the room by a qualified provider (in the room, or from away – remote captioning), that same text can be put on the stream or video of the meeting (saving time and costs of captioning the video later). Editing to correct the real-time, in case of some errors, would be required. Also, an added benefit is that the City has an immediate rough-draft of “minutes” (the text the provider creates real-time). and by discussion and arrangement with the provider, to edit and “clean” the text, they can become official minutes.  The captioned video can be used in other good ways where it fits for the City.

Here are some reasons why Live Captioning (CARTCaptioning) and captioning in government are important:

  1. To lead the way for all citizens by setting best standards for equality and inclusion.
  2. To reduce discriminatory gaps which now still exclude many able citizens (who happen to be deaf, deafened, have a hearing loss, or need quality text for many other good reasons) from regular and important government meetings, workshops, rallies, advisory committees, and public input to city, state, or federal bodies.
  3. To set the standard high, so all sectors can share the benefits as well as the responsibilities that come with full citizenship participation. To participate means to contribute and give back.
  4. To recruit and involve volunteers in local, state, and national initiatives among people with different hearing needs. If these many able citizens have the tools, they will be able to contribute more than currently where resources are missing or irregular.
  5. To teach about citizenship and voting responsibilities – a most essential part of government. CART and quality captioning help all, not only people with hearing differences, but also new citizens learning a new language.
  6. To establish effective communication with all communities and constituencies, and reduce the mass media digital divide. \
  7. To educate elected and non-elected government representatives about the challenges and contributions of individuals with many forms of hearing loss and deafness. Most do not use sign language, contrary to popular understanding. When “hearing” members of government are aware of resources for inclusion of all, they become better public servants also.
  8. To lobby for further legislation and reduction of barriers to make access a truly achievable goal.

The CCAC is looking for examples of best practice for use of captioning in government. Please send these to so that they can be included here with the following:

  • When a deaf man was dismissed from a jury in Syracuse, NY, the court system later decided to make accommodations for future deaf jurors so that they could also participate as peers in judgment:
  • CART was included in July 2010 on the lawn of the White House for the 20th Anniversary celebration of the ADA – laws for inclusion of all able citizens. Captions were also Included on the video online when President Obama signed the 21st Century Telecommunications Act.
  • The small town of Stonington, Maine provided CART for a town meeting at one time, for inclusion of a valued community citizen.
  • In Ireland, CART is used by the Wicklow County Council (in the chamber and also streamed online).
  • CART is also used for some committee meetings in the Houses of Parliament in England.

Can you add examples from your state legislature? From your town meetings? From meetings of candidates for elections?

Sections of the above were prepared for the CCAC by Martha Galindo and Galindo Publicidad Inc.,  2900 University Drive Second Floor, Coral Springs FL 33065., U.S.A. See their blog at  Translations And More.