What Does Captioning Advocacy Mean?

The CCAC is a volunteer community (official 501(c)3 non-profit organization) of many hundreds of participants  who advocate for inclusion of quality captioning universally.  Issue one of this newsletter explored many reasons we say the “power” of captioning. In brief, captioning (of many sorts) is required for millions for equal access, and also beneficial for millions more for a list of good reasons (see box in this issue to recap).

CCAC also has thousands of friends, fans, and followers on social media. Find us on Facebook, Twitter and LInkedIn – yet best to JOIN, http://CCACaptioning.org/join

Future issues may explore what captioning means because many people do not grasp the significance, variety, and necessity of rich speech-to-text in everyday life. Other newsletters will examine the concept of universality, and universal design, and inclusiveness. This issue tackles advocacy.


In our framework, there are two main categories of advocacy – legal advocacy, and grass roots citizen advocacy. CCAC embodies grass-roots advocacy done by CCAC members in many different places and in a variety of ways.

Legal advocacy takes the legal route with attorneys who are indeed “advocates.” Many times, there is no significant change or progress, in some cultures, for some issues, without legal challenges. Legislative initiatives also require legal input.

Grass-roots advocacy also accomplishes change, and significant change, in different ways. Grass roots advocacy also may bolsters future legal efforts, when and if they become required.

From the dictionary (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/advocate), advocates are those who (1) speak or write in favor of, support, urge or recommend publicly (something that is important), (2) speak and write publicly in defense of, or support of, a person or a cause, (3) plead for or in behalf of another, or (4) pleads the cause of another in the court of law.


In the CCAC, advocacy means asking for something needed (captioning), explaining why it is needed, pursuing the request to educate others, and aiming to ensure inclusion of quality captioning. Simply this.

Simply? It all depends on many factors, e.g., the person asking, the others who listen or not, the situation, the timing, and many more dynamics, both human and technology. Yet simply asking – that is a huge first step. Asking is good advocacy.

Advocacy is done for oneself, for others, and for future generations. What each individual shares in the CCAC community builds into future advocacy, understanding and action.

Consider only one example — asking for CART (communication access realtime translation) in a classroom. If one family advocates for full verbatim speech-to-text – equal communication access – for a student who needs it, that advocacy will educate many others, and the advocacy efforts themselves (lots of energy, persistence, and finding allies) will build future equal rights for all. 

Founder of the CCAC (Lauren Storck) with panel members at the EFHOH Conference, April 2011, Vienna, Austria.

We are all advocates! Some consumers, others providers, and many using captioning for many reasons beyond hearing loss and deafness.