Summary of April/May CCAC CAPs (Captioning Advocacy Projects)

For Fun

CCAC did a short informal survey on our CCAC facebook page. Q: Where do you wish you had captioning inclusion? A: In the car! Seriously, the respondent was one of four in a car for a week of wonderful wedding celebrations, the only one deafened!

We know that feeling also, right everyone? One of these days, we’ll find a quality real time system for us all, all millions of us. Why is it not available yet? Other answers in the quick survey included: in the airport; at drive up windows; at school meetings; on all televisions at the health club, not only one. Thanks CCAC friends on facebook! We number over 1300 now.

Monthly Summary

1. Telecommunications and Internet Captioning

  • ITV video online captioned by CCAC member with parallel advocacy to ITV. After a standard reply from the company broadcasting online, a CCAC volunteer stepped in, with advocacy continuing as this is written. Here’s the accessible version (using open captions) for the clip from Britain’s Got Talent 2012: http://melel.com.au/charlotte-and-jonathon-audition-on-britains-got-talent-2012/. The CCAC volunteer captioner noted: “I shed a tear (or three) whilst captioning. Let’s hope ITV do the right thing soon!”
  • A new request came into CCAC to help a start-up project create captions for all their videos online. Our reply: CCAC is an advocacy community, not a service provider. We are happy to offer information and encouragement! We may find a volunteer to caption one video, and teach you how to do it there. Keep captioning!
  • The Internet Society celebrated 20 years and a special meeting in Geneva in April, and we share one of the great photos of CART there for all, done by Caption First, one of our advertisers. This is the way communication access should be at all conferences!

The CCAC encourages all participants in and with The Internet Society to keep improving all captioning systems, and for all broadcasting online.

  • Several CCAC Members have been advocating vigorously for Internet Captioning inclusion. One person reports at least 50 e-mails with a single producer to make progress. The CCAC had the same experience when about 50 e-mails were needed to achieve CART inclusion for an important public speaker engagement recently. Kudos to all with patience and perseverance for captioning advocacy!
  • A video about vision loss caught the eye and advocacy of the CCAC in late April. It also highlighted the importance of quality captioning – font, color, and size – appropriate for people with low vision due to Usher’s or any other loss of hearing and sight. Good teamwork and advocacy action in the CCAC brought a quick reply from the producer of the important video online, that captioning was in the works. While patience is a virtue, CCAC suggests that all media include equal communication access from day one online.
  • Internet Information sharing in the CCAC. Question: Our agency is undergoing an extensive website redesign and wants to place some of our YouTube videos onto the home page of the new Website without an additional video format. I know there is a lot of debate about this and I would like to get a decision from an authoritative source about the legality of this issue. … I was under the impression that if a federal government agency provided a YouTube video on the agency website, they also had to provide another version of the video due to the fact that some government agencies block YouTube. However, I can find no legal basis for this requirement. It appears to me that it is simply the “right thing to do.” If this is just a best practice and not a legal requirement then I see no reason why agencies cannot post YouTube videos without the additional requirement of having to provide the video in another format as well.

Answer: With respect to Section 508, the legal requirements are that the video be captioned (and audio described as appropriate) per 1194.24 and that the player meet the applicable technical requirements of 1194.21 and 1194.22. The player controls may be your larger technical hurdle. For example, the controls for start, pause, sound, turning on the captions, and resizing the screen must be accessible via the keyboard. Section 508 doesn’t excuse content because it comes from YouTube, and I think there are several agencies with policy that say as much. Your best authoritative source would be your agency’s legal counsel. There are other issues besides Section 508 that you may wish to consider. For example, your agency’s web page is an official record and there are other web content requirements from OMB. Therefore, if for some reason YouTube changes, removes or blocks your content, your agency’s website content is compromised. You will also want to look at the YouTube terms of service which may constrain how you use the material. Your security officer may have some requirements as well. In other words besides Section 508, there are other legal requirements such as FISMA, Privacy, Federal Records, FOIA, etc., that may apply. Related link: http://www.section508.gov/index.cfm?fuseAction=stdsdoc#Video

  • It was the middle of May when the CCAC learned of a new social media action plan from two Gallaudet people – a Twitter day of action for Internet video captioning on June 6th. Great idea! We invited them to join the CCAC, and brainstorm to collaborate more, e.g., to use the CCAC film as one part of follow up to their action day.
  • Special Kudos for “I Did It Myself!” – I captioned a video for the first time. See it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=V-R-LkFvUPk. This is a valuable video for the CCAC because one of our members captioned it after teaching herself how to caption for the first time! It also shows the value of having inclusion of quality captioning on any sort of online media for inclusion. Also, the topic is close to many members’ hearts – the importance of family and community.

This success could be placed in “Community” also. Read more of the story reproduced with permission here from membership discussions in the CCAC Forum: “Hi everyone – I’m a ‘consumer’ (and hearing member) in the CCAC, and sought help with captioning this video back in February. I did it myself and am pretty happy with my results … using the free captioning software provided by Overstream.”

  • CCAC members in April and May continued to discuss lack of captioning on so many Internet offerings, and many advocate and educate with comments online. Some volunteers in CCAC sometimes are also able to provide captioning for an organization, once, as public service. Their main goal is education and advocacy – using many communications to teach how vital captioning inclusion is for so many good reasons. If “cost” is a factor, we encourage them to build captioning into budget, do fundraising to get it started, and to come into the CCAC for more good ideas. Non-profits are also encouraged to join the CCAC (free) and have a link in a special section on our website.

2. Education

  • CUNY in New York and one other university were mentioned in CCAC exchanges these months, for providing good quality CART during the academic year.
  • Graduations around the country included CART also. Shout out to all who do this routinely now. See more information on the CCAC web.
  • There was a question to the CCAC about using CART for GoToMeeting online. There was good input from providers in response, e.g., that an integrated streaming system online is very important, yet there have been few reports so far from users. E-mail us if you have comments and thanks in advance.
  • There was a reminder from a NYC provider of CART who is doing this for medical school classes. Superb.
  • How about education of more providers? For captioning, CART/STTR, theater and more, our countries need more providers. At the CCAC collaborative international meeting held in March (in the UK), the need for more providers was on the list of goals. And during these months, by coincidence or by raised awareness, members sensed a growing number of companies providing training of various sorts, from steno for court reporting to “voice writing” for real time captioning.

Based on questions asked, interest from countries outside the USA is high for more training. The CCAC seeks more information from readers please. One CCAC member has created a new company recently, and we are curious about others. For example, another CCAC member in a different global region where there is paucity of any captioning is interested in learning more about UK training and online training.E- mail us if your company or experience can offer input here.

  • Related to the above, questions about standards and captioning quality enter CCAC member discussions from time-to-time. In the past two months, members have asked, “what is real time” if there is a long delay? While the CCAC focuses on advocacy for captioning inclusion where none exists yet, standards and quality, as well as training, are always important and overlapping concerns.
  • Applause to AARP and CCAC advocates. Hear this: AARP continues to take steps for captioning its webinars online, thanks to CCAC volunteer advocacy effort over about one year. In addition, AARP is captioning many video materials online now. How great is this? CCAC says it’s hugely significant. See this summary http://ccacblog.wordpress.com/2012/05/17/aarp-heard-ccac-advocacy-now-access-online-with-captioning/. And AARP has responded: “We are loving the blog! … Going to share it with everyone!”
  • At a university neurology presentation, there’s a great example of advocacy with style from CCAC Member: “When I asked for CART at a program for 400 people who I knew were mostly elderly, it was at first refused. My approach was to say (because it was a University of Arizona neurology department event) that “the U of A has been known to provide captions for people who can’t understand the program without them.” Things loosened up and soon … captioning inclusion.
  • A CCAC member advocated for captioning of special graduation ceremony (her alma mater). Done! See the photo below.

Good for Barnard College for arranging live streamed captioning from their commencement to an online audience. President Obama was the speaker. It should be standard practice on site, online, for all graduations, from lower to higher levels of education. CCAC welcomes reports of others that were inclusive this year, and we’ll add them to our web listing. By the way, Columbia College does this routinely, we are told. Superb!

And – Oregon State University will also caption its commencement exercises — Michelle Obama is the commencement speaker — and recognized that captioning is a necessary mode of access generally for those with hearing loss who communicate orally rather than through sign language.

  • A new CCAC CAP: All conferences must include real time captioning. Thanks to both a consumer member and provider member of the CCAC, in May we learned of two conferences, both in New York, that are including real time captioning due to excellent prior educational and advocacy efforts of members. This directly illustrates CCAC membership exchange about the need for inclusion of captioning for all conferences, as the consumer member says, “…without fuss, without any request, and as a civil right for all.” CCAC says it is past time. Captioning is our language too. Just do it, and if you have questions, contact the CCAC. The two conferences are PyGotham, and a HUD conference for housing rights. Kudos to both organizations!

3. Employment

The CCAC asked for current reports of CART or captioning inclusion at work, and is pleased to share some information. If anyone needs CART or captioning for job interviews, for your work, for continuing training and employment, we hope you are asking for it, and that it’s provided. If not, talk to the CCAC soon.

  • From CCAC consumer and provider members: ”employees of companies use CART for staff meetings or other meetings with an attendance of about 8 people up to 100 people.  That’s both remote and on-site …”
  • Using remote, real-time CART (or “communication captioning”) for a consulting business (via Job Access, a Government-sponsored organization in Australia) …using a reimbursement scheme…up to a limit of $6,000 per annum …
  • Using CART for all agency work (person in USA)…at University (prior to employment)…for work meetings also.

4. Government

  • As reported elsewhere in this issue, last month, President Obama spoke to a large audience in Vermont, and thanks to at least four CCAC member advocates, CART was provided for someone who needed it. Kudos to all who finally heard the message!
  • What candidates do you know about who are providing access to inform voters? Tell us soon. We want to see which candidates include realtime captioning – for public presentations, for TV, for Internet broadcasting. Without inclusion of quality captioning, we are excluded. Make noise.
  • The New Jersey Governor’s Conference for Women got a fail grade for lack of CART requested by a person attending. Excuses shared in discussion were lame. Read more in the membership forum, and meanwhile – hear this all in government – most people who are deaf, deafened, or have a hearing loss really need equal access via captioning when they ask for it.

5. Healthcare

  • Dentistry: A CCAC member in the USA is in active discussion and research for providing captioning for dental visits. The Americans with Disabilities Act is best known so far for requiring use of signing when needed. The issue is whether captioning (any system of speech-to-text translation that would help the patient and the dental professional to communicate better) is used, being asked for, and being offered.
  • We salute a CCAC member with a hearing loss who earned her M.D. on 20th of May! A terrific, inspiring achievement.
  • Some physicians still do not understand the needs we have, for using e-mail, for privacy without shouting our names in waiting rooms, and for communication access in hospital when serious medical issues arise. If anyone is interested in collecting information with the CCAC for this truly vital arena in life, e-mail us. As background, please read http://ccacaptioning.org/cart-captioning-healthcare/

6. Entertainment

  • There was some discussion about the paucity of cinema captions for the “opening night” of new films.
  • Information was shared from Vermont about local group asking for and getting captioned movies. Although it pays to have a friend who works at the cinema, group or teamwork is also powerful. You can do this too!
  • CCAC community learned from a new member in Greece about a petition to encourage the national television station to include captioning. This is a most important effort, and there is a very good video about some of this, a video that might be used anyplace in the world today to broaden awareness of what “deaf” means. It’s about time. See the video here: http://www.universalsubtitles.org/en/videos/JY8p4IsRa8Kf/en/298760/.

Please note the collaboration that immediately took place among CCAC members for captioning this in Greek. A CCAC member used the Amara system to subtitle it in English also.

  • There was a long exchange in CCAC membership discussions around the end of April about television captioning – the lack thereof – for “The Simpsons,” especially among our members in Australia. Details of the law, technologies, hurdles, and suggested solutions were abundant. Kudos to all in the discussions and continuing efforts there. Want to learn more? Join the CCAC, still free! Go to our website to submit the short membership form.
  • As usual, there was discussion and information on developing distribution of different movie captioning systems, including sharing personal reports, in CCAC activity online, and on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Theater captioning. The last open captioned performance (Hal Holbrook – Mark Twain Tonight) for the 2011-2012 season took place at Chrysler Hall, Norfolk, Virginia.  A CCAC member writes, “Special thanks were given to those persons and organizations, to include the CCAC, who helped to make this season a success.  The CCAC played a huge role because it was this forum [our membership forum online] that communication was initially established. There were others who also helped to make this a great year. It has been a wonderful experience and I look forward to more open captioned performances for the upcoming 2012-2013 season. Thank you so much TDF (Theater Development Fund) for considering us for this wonderful opportunity!”
  • CCAC members are from many countries. Thanks to a provider in Italy for this lovely photo of a captioned performance:

 

 7. Sports

  • Here’s a reminder that the Kansas City Royals (baseball team) has in-stadium realtime captioning at Kauffman Stadium. They started it last season, and a CCAC provider member reports they are doing it again this season. Kudos to all involved!
  • Oregon State University has recently committed to scoreboard captioning of the public-address announcements at its basketball and football games. It captioned the spring football game as a test, and based on that test, committed to going forward for the full season. The commitment came after contacts with several members of the Oregon Communication Access Project (OR-CAP), especially those living in the Corvallis area.

8. Community (Clubs, Religious, Museums, Libraries)

  • What could be better than CART/STTR for a lecture about beautiful art? Not much for some of us! See this announcement and if your own museum is not doing this, why not? http://www.stagetext.org/whats-on/1083-journey-along-the-thames-talk-with-speech-to-text-transcription.
  • Community, entertainment, or education – take your choice. Theater and museums enrich our lives on many levels. Where is captioning missing for you in any cultural event of interest? Communication access via captioning is a human right.
  • CCAC is happy to communicate regularly with IFHOH and EFHOH, part of our global community. We distribute those two great newsletters, and highlight good activity there about captioning matters, and we suggest all take a look at these newsletters with a wide range of energetic advocacy on many fronts for people with hearing loss. Go to www.efhoh.org and www.ifhoh.org to read more.

9. TRANSPORTATION

Everett (WA) Transit has installed text location announcements in all buses to ensure compliance with ADA. It simultaneously installed Automated Voice announcements. Both are liked and based on GPS. A CCAC consumer member reports that other systems serving the region lack the same tools, and notes how important this is for emergency planning for people with disabilities. Take note and find out more in your city and region please.

10. Courts/Justice

  • A CCAC member reports: “Great news! I was called for Jury Duty in April into the first week of May. I returned the necessary paperwork and waited until I knew they would have it to call them and let them know that I would require real time captioning at all times. Much to my surprise and delight, I was told that they would have a captioner to sit with me the entire time I am there if my number is called. That’s the way it should be.”
  • On the other hand, in mid-may CART was refused for a different CCAC member. Replies and support were received immediately in the members’ forum. We’re awaiting an update.
  • Another member was proud to report she was first jury member with hearing loss in her area many years ago, way before CART. She was allowed to have a re-speaker with her in the jury box! Kudos to her for her self-advocacy, way back then. Why is this taking so long? Captioning inclusion is needed universally!

Action for the CCAC Itself and Captioning Advocacy

Readers are invited to copy and share the CCAC Logo on their websites, with a link to http://ccacaptioning.org. If you do this, be sure to let us know, with many thanks to those doing this now!

If your own newsletter would like to copy an article from The Power of Captioning in full or part, contact us for permission. We are happy to share after we contact the authors, and when you include our web address and links. Ditto for articles on our website.

A CCAC Membership Drive to raise the number of members started in April. More  members leads to more effective development and captioning advocacy. Thanks to all who are inviting colleagues, friends, families, neighbors, and others. Please send an invite to five people or more. Since CCAC membership is free, we encourage members of other groups to join the CCAC also, to collaborate for stronger captioning advocacy.

For example, in April, CCAC welcomed a new member from the UK, from Greece, and from three different States in USA, and more. Keep on coming in!

Advocacy means saying thanks. This is a reminder to say a loud “thanks” to any captioning included, e.g., in your local theaters, at your schools, in your community, and online too. One “bad apple” anyplace can make a lot of noise if they complain about captioning inclusion. It’s important to say thanks, many times!

The CCAC newsletter The Power of Captioning invites new sponsors (advertisers). The newsletter is distributed to thousands. Information is here on the CCAC website. This newsletter is unique. It’s not merely an e-mailing to direct you to a commercial website. If you care about more captioning inclusion, place your ad now – providers, consumers, anyone. Pricing for a small ad is very reasonable. E-mail ccacaptioning@gmail.com for your business, organization, and self. You are worth it!

Members are contributing to all issues and we thank them all! Find the newsletters online (past issues) and be sure to subscribe so as not to miss new issues. See “staff” listing in each issue, and if you want to get in touch with a contributor, e-mail the CCAC.

We are all VBP as volunteers in the CCAC (very busy people)! Please offer to help in any way you have time, e.g., to do interviews, summarize CCAC CAPs for each issue. We are specifically seeking a volunteer with experience with MailChimp. E-mail CCACaptioning@gmail.com.

The CCAC new International Media Campaign, aka The Film: http://ccacaptioning.org/resources/international-media-campaign/ with a HUGE THANKS to all who created a video and submitted it! We applaud your efforts! The editor and production team will select segments for the first film, and aim to include as many as possible. Submissions and sponsorship were invited from 10th March to 30th April, with vigorous activity in membership and on the social media, and thanks also to many colleagues internationally. The month of May sees the production process at work, and we await word for permission to debut the film at one or more conferences in June. It’s going to be about three minutes long, and will offer a treat and discussion piece for any meeting, conference, study day, etc. What’s it about? Captioning inclusion of course!

Our new website and blog are continually updated. We welcome submissions. Check out http://ccacaptioning.org and also ccacblog.wordpress.com.

CCAC Members’ Special Events

CART – STTR Meeting in the Netherlands – Two CCAC members are busy organizing a first meeting of this sort in their region for August. We wish them a very successful meeting! See more here: http://www.ecos2012.nl/ecos2012inthenetherlands.

A CCAC Provider member in UK and Italy organized a special meeting in Italy in May. Kudos to Sub-Ti for raising discussion about needs for more subtitling in Italy and other countries.

Special thanks to all CCAC Consumer and Provider Members for all the work they do, all their generous advocacy in many places every week!

By the way, “consumer” membership in the CCAC means all who are not providers, including supporters. All are welcome. Hearing or not, deaf or not, language specialist or not, and many others. Millions understand the needs for captioning inclusion, yet not there are still not enough voices being heard. The CCAC invites you and values your interest. Join now. As our number builds, we are going good places!