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2014: Becoming Accessible and Inclusive: How? CCAC is asked this question many times, “How can CCAC help non-profits and small businesses move forward toward full inclusion of quality captioning for all their media (e.g. videos, webinars) and also for inclusion of real time captioning (aka RTC, CART, STTR, Text Interpreting) for all public events?”

The Simple Answer: CCAC created CaptionMatch, developed by volunteer CCAC members, to do just that. A free service online that walks you through the steps needed, to find a captioner, and select one with pricing that will fit your budget. Register and then place your request, go to http://CaptionMatch.com – larger businesses welcome too!

May 2014: From a consumer – Huge thank you to Ccac Captioning (via  for connecting me with a CART service for our event. I used a remote CART service and was able to follow the other speakers! Worked great! If you’re in need of the service, contact Collaborative for Communication via Captioning (CCAC) and they will hook you up with someone in your area! Thanks Lauren and VoicePlus LLC, my service provider.”

The Next Steps: Professional captioning services, for media, or real time for meetings and events, cost money — not over- costly however! It needs a budget line in planning, as does anything worthwhile. Planning for accessibility, required by law in many cases, needs to be a “first thought” for any business or group, and not an “afterthought.” Learn more about pricing (from CaptionMatch or from contacting providers yourself), and then create a budget for this. How? Fundraising in the usual ways, or new creative ways.

CCAC and CaptionMatch also have resources (this page and others) listing free and low cost captioning systems for media. In general, an hour of quality real time costs around 100 dollars, sometimes less, sometimes more.

There are some volunteers who offer captioning in selected areas, and for some selected groups and needs. That is a “luxury” that some providers are able to offer, sometimes. You can look for a volunteer, yet in general, professional providers deserve to make a living and earn fair pay. They are trained, experienced, certified, and most helpful in all preparations and planning with you, as well as during the event.

Most of the world uses YouTube videos online (or Vimeo, or similar). There are free automatic machine-generated speech-to-text “captions” or “subtitles” you can have on most videos there. However (!) for the most part, those are jumbled and not accurate text. Some are so bad it’s terrible to use them. You need to edit and correct them before making them public, and that is free also, and not hard to learn. YT and others have tutorials online.

NEW EDUCATIONAL RESOURCE – RAISE AWARENESS WITH THIS ARTICLE CALLED “OUR CAPTIONING CULTURE” SEE http://ccacaptioning.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/OurCaptioningCulture.pdf

CCAC – THE PLACE TO BE FOR CAPTIONING ADVOCACY. YOUR MEMBERSHIP IS INVITED!

June 2014 – YOUTUBE (Google) introduces new instructions for quality captioning! See this new video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCZ-cxfxzvk&feature=youtu.be. There is also new “crowd” captioning in development there. Automatic machine only captioning will not do any longer – use this feature for shorter videos, upload your transcript for longer videos, and keep eyes open for the “crowd” feature (has pro’s and con’s – discuss in CCAC members’ forum online!)

May 2014 – DIY media (video) captioning resource. See this company’s good listing of DIY media captioning information and methods, some with step by step instructions – learn and enjoy – all media, everywhere, all the time, needs quality captioning: http://www.jiscdigitalmedia.ac.uk/guide/adding-closed-captions-to-flash-videos

New FCC Video (Internet) Captioning Rules in USA – http://www.fcc.gov/guides/captioning-internet-video-programming

Join and support the one and only CCAC – the place to be for captioning advocacy! Information, education, raising awareness, and good timely advocacy actions! Find the “join” link from the homepage. CCAC is an individual membership 501(3)(c) non-profit organization. CCAC invites organizational friends as members also (email to share links). Your contribution is tax-deductible.

Hot Topic: Live event with Captioning (RTC or CART) and at same time, live with Captioning Online for the world – not so hard to do! Read http://blogs.wcode.org/2014/02/live-subtitles/

Stream your events, conferences and more. If you want the world to listen and participate, do it soon. It pays to budget for live real time speech-to-text (also called STTR) for all your events. Your audience will grow and understand more of what you are saying, and remember it! Get in touch with CCAC’s service called CaptionMatch to locate a provider (a person to do the captioning). Read more on http://captionmatch.com today. Send any and all questions to Info@captionmatch.com, with thanks if you do.

2014: ACRONYMS – CCAC CAPTIONING ACRONYM RESOURCE

Web Access – general guidelines for all web content to be accessible to all (included here to note captioning requirements: http://webaim.org/standards/wcag/checklist#!

EDUCATION: Reminder about a 1999 article about the use and effectiveness of RTC (real time captioning) in education. Very important study! We have read the original research now, and had a chat with the author. The data shows that RTC (simulated CART) improves learning (measured by memory test) both for deaf students, and hearing students too! Nine percent improvement about, and 149% improvement (hearing and deaf respectively). And a list of references, many about effects of media captioning. see this link for a summary article on the NCRA site: http://www.ncra.org/Specialty/contentCARTP.cfm?ItemNumber=9095

And also, with the author’s permission, we offer a quote from his 1999 doctoral research here — “4.4.1 General Conclusions: There was a clear benefit from real-time captions for both the hearing and deaf students. The hearing students probably benefited from the increase in stimulus redundancy as they were able to utilize both the speaker’s voice and the captions. A 9.8% increase in recall accuracy was seen from a traditional presentation (Audio + Face) to the RTC conditions for the hearing subjects. The decrease in perception difficulty was clearly beneficial to the students who were deaf, with a 149.6% accuracy increase from the Audio + Face condition to the RTC conditions….captions will clearly help deaf students. In addition, the captions will also assist their hearing classmates. (p. 67). Steinfeld, A. (1999). The Benefit to the Deaf of Real-Time Captions in a Mainstream Classroom Environment. Dissertation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

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ASK FOR CAPTIONING YOU NEED AND DESERVE. PLAN CAPTIONING INCLUSION FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION. Use CaptionMatch and show support for CCAC volunteers. Why Captioning? Equal communication access enlarges your audience, it’s vital and required by law in many situations.  If you are planning a conference, webinar, online teaching, work meetings, interviews, creating and publishing videos, offering public presentations, or arranging private medical or legal consultations, register now on CaptionMatch and find a provider to fit your budgets. Go to http://CaptionMatch.com (registration is free). info
@captionmatch.com

Background of CCAC Mission: Globally, newest figures are that 1/5 persons has a hearing loss or deafness – mega-millions of citizens. Captioning is a language these millions depend on, not only for television and the Internet, but also everyday for education, employment, and much more. To witness the vitality and necessity for inclusion of quality captioning universally, see http://tinyurl.com/bnw74vb. Also, millions of others, hearing people included, depend on captioning for learning languages, literacy, inclusion with learning differences, and business reasons. Without captioning, millions are excluded and disrespected. (See: http://tinyurl.com/csrkj67 for the Johns Hopkins research outlining that 1/5 people have a hearing loss – a number that reaches 48 million now in USA alone.) This literature review http://research.gallaudet.edu/Publications/ASL_Users.pdf, estimates the number of people using SL (sign language) in the USA (deaf/hoh and also others who are not deaf or hoh such as families, teachers, interpreters) – varies from 100,000 to 15 million – a huge range! Others use the number of 500,000 SL users in the USA.. Even taking the very high estimate, it is smaller than “popular” understanding when compared to a total of about 48 million in the USA with hearing loss. Using an estimate that 5% of this total of 48 million (2.6 million, fitting into the range mentioned) may use signing primarily (new research needed), in the USA alone, over 45 million citizens can benefit from quality captioning in many everyday situations. They do not use sign language! Other countries will have similar percentages. There’s a huge and unfulfilled need to include captioning universally for equality.

CCAC is a unique volunteer official non-profit with international membership and the sole mission of captioning inclusion – we’ve done great education and advocacy in the first five years. Please join today, and help make the next years even better!  See below for more resources! Also, the very active CCAC members’ forum online (we use a google group) is a rich resource for all members – it’s hard to describe how informative and lively it is! Join the CCAC now.

RESOURCES to help people advocate for captioning (see also many of the sub-tabs and links): 

A video about “remote CART” – many real time captioning providers are now offering CART from a distance – they can provide similar real time live speech-to-text by sending their output to your own location, your computer or wireless device, in any part of the world! See more below, and this CCAC video too:  SERVICES: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qeSRPuKqHs&feature=share

2013: Two advocacy articles from the CCAC for distribution (please include CCAC web address, http://ccacaptioning.org): 1. The Hearing Journal: http://tinyurl.com/d6cff2o Benefits of Captioning. 2. Hearing Health & Technology Matters; http://tinyurl.com/d6cff2o The Case for Captioning  2013 CCAC

Flyer and CaptionMatch Flyer (posters) ready for distribution. Find them on this site, or email CCACaptioning@gmail.com today. For use at all conferences, meetings, anyplace!  CART ADVOCACY – Important 2013 court case here: http://us8thcircuitcourtofappealsopinions.justia.com/2013/01/15/argenyi-v-creighton-university/ – there are very few court cases about CART that we know about. One other is in process now. If you have additional information, please email to us, CCACaptioning@gmail.com

summary of CCAC objectives and activities that you can use in your own blog or newsletter. Newer articles on the main advocacy page on this website.

Information about disability rights – the Law and re ADA and the laws, see below also, and this NAD page too – http://www.nad.org/issues/technology/captioning/when-required APRIL 2013: Given the importance of the CVAA and rules that apply starting now for Internet captioning, we put this good summary from the FCC about TV captioning here: http://transition.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/closedcaption.pdf. You are invited into CCAC membership discussions going on now, and updates or corrections to this welcome via email to the CCAC. And this important page also for the schedule: http://www.fcc.gov/guides/captioning-internet-video-programming extending out to 2016 for implementation. ==

DIY Captioning Tools for DIY Captioning – for videos and such. See also http://ccacaptioning.com/CCAC%20CART%20Captioning%20Technologies%20Database%20January%202012.htm on our site How Steno Machine works, with court reporter and captioner – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__JkYUrIglg

See also this DIY resource (2014) – http://www.jiscdigitalmedia.ac.uk/guide/adding-closed-captions-to-flash-videos

CART (STTR in Europe) and Captioning Technology and Processes

FAQs about CART – “CART” is now called CART Captioning – or RTC – for real time captioning – or simply LIVE CAPTIONING!

REMOTE CART Information from CCAC Volunteers – On the consumer’s side: * An internet connection, preferably wired to send audio. Can be wireless to receive captions. * At least one computer, though two (one connected to sound system to send audio, one close to consumer to receive captions via web browser) is often ideal. (or wireless device such as ipad, iphone, other mobiles) * A direct line in to a sound system or, in a pinch, a good quality microphone. * Voice over IP software such as Skype or Google Chat (we are told that if remote CART is for one person only, at times the iphone or other mobile can also act as the audio, with speaker on and a phone call if that is steady enough – not losing connection, etc.) On the provider’s side: * An internet connection. Wired is strongly preferred. * Steno machine and software (e.g. Streamtext, though there are other options) * Good quality headphones * The same voice over IP software used on the consumer’s side If there are multiple consumers, they can each view captions on their own computers/tablets/smartphones, or the captions can be displayed to the entire room via a projection screen. There is usually no additional charge from Streamtext unless there are more than 50 views from separate devices at one time. Using a phone line is being phased out in favor of VOIP connections due to lower cost and better quality (voice over Internet) though sometimes at the expense of dependability (since connections can drop more easily than over phone line). If a school or other event has an AV system also (audiovisual), it is preferred in terms of audio quality and usually an AV person can handle the connections without too much difficulty. The AV person needs to stay and monitor the connection to make sure that the connection hasn’t dropped; if it does, they’ll need to accept the new connection when the CART provider redials. When the consumer is using the computer sending the audio, they’re able to accept the redial by themselves, and are usually a little quicker on the uptake, since they’re essentially monitoring the captions themselves already. Thanks to Mirabai Knight, StenoKnight.com, for above information. She is a CCAC Member and Professional Provider in the New York area and also provides

REMOTE CART continued – a nice video prepared for the CCAC by another provider: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qeSRPuKqHs&feature=share

UNOFFICIAL CCAC LISTING OF SYSTEMS USED BY PROVIDERS FOR REMOTE CART, 2013. Provider is at a distance anyplace, using Internet (cellular or wireless) and consumer reading real time text on laptop, ipad, iphone, or similar) — Streamtext, 1CapApp, Teamviewer, Total Eclipse, Teleview, Gather Place 4; free  Screenleap.com, joinme.com, Webex, Gotomeeting…… Skype is often used for audio. Older page of info for remote here: http://cart-info.org/remotecart.html (We invite updates or further information about CART, Remote CART, or any captioning systems.)

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MORE “CART” information:

From a CCAC Provider Member – For the record, CART providers are certified starting at 180 WPM, but most professionals believe this is far too slow a speed for a competent provider…220 WPM with 99.9% accuracy (or one error/omission every four pages) is a good baseline, though for more challenging jobs, a solid 240 WPM is even better. Some speakers go as high as 260 or 280 WPM (usually in short bursts)…when that happens, most CART providers will have to condense or paraphrase somewhat to get the most important material, similarly to what C-Print or Typewell does. CART providers are able to maintain verbatim accuracy until that threshold, nearly 100 WPM higher than the text-expansion services can manage. Re-speaking and voice recognition “CART” is also being used now. Whether this is to be called CART/STTR also remains controversial and undecided. These are automated systems using a person and a machine trained to the one person’s voice. Speed and accuracy standards, we are told, are being developed. CCAC welcomes updates and edits to anything on this page via email.

BROADCAST CAPTIONING (MEDIA CAPTIONING – TV, INTERNET, AND RADIO):

  • Things to Know About Broadcast Captioning (broadcast captioning is not CART, yet there is some overlap, e.g. streaming CART online for real time communication access; broadcasting a video online with real time CART on-site also displayed for Internet viewers and participants). Broadcast captioning is also called Media Captioning.

CCAC ARTICLES  – HELP YOU ADVOCATE – IF YOU ARE A CONSUMER OR PROVIDER! CCAC “CATEGORIES OF LIFE” that require CART and Captioning:

Research and Data: The CCAC also engages in research activities and collects data related to captioning services, needs, or advocacy. One result of this is the database of CART and Captioning Technologies, available on the link here.

TELEVISION CAPTIONING IN THE USA: – new quality rules after an FCC order from February 2014. We are talking here about requirements for news stations that reach small areas, and how the recent FCC rules affect those stations.  (Small means smaller population, and/or revenue of under a certain amount). Here’s a quick summary:

First, almost all channels are required to caption 20 hours/day, 6a-2a.   There are exceptions, including new stations (they have four years to comply), channels with revenue under $3 million, and channels that are not in English or Spanish.

How broadcast stations  are required to caption their local news programming is based on their DMA, or Demographic Market Area, as measured by Nielsen.  (see list here:  http://www.tvb.org/media/file/TVB_Market_Profiles_Nielsen_TVHH_DMA_Ranks_2013-2014.pdf)

  • Stations in DMA 1-25 must use realtime captioning, where a captioner listens to what is said and produces captions on the fly.
  • Stations outside the top 25 DMA, may use ENT, or “Electronic Newsroom Technique,” where the station simply feeds their teleprompter text into a caption decoder.     There have been no quality mandates on ENT to date, so that viewers could end up seeing [AD LIB WEATHER ] when the weatherman was speaking, as an example.

The FCC had considered expanding the realtime caption requirement to stations in the 25-50 markets, as there are many smaller markets with large populations of people who rely on captioning (Rochester, NY, comes to mind).  The thought was that these viewers were missing out by being forced to watch sub-par ENT “captioning”.

The cable and TV industry fought back against this suggested approach.  One argument was that captioning for one station for one year is the equivalent of 3 reporter salaries (this is probably accurate).  The industry suggested a compromise that basically said they’d agree to best practices surrounding ENT captioning.    They agreed that all stations using ENT would ensure the following:

In-studio produced news, sports, weather, and entertainment programming will be scripted.

  • For weather interstitials where there may be multiple segments within a news program, weather information explaining the visual information on the screen and conveying forecast information will be scripted, although the scripts may not precisely track the words used on air.
  • Pre-produced programming will be scripted (to the extent technically feasible).
  • If live interviews or live on-the scene or breaking news segments are not scripted, stations will supplement them with crawls, textual information, or other means (to the extent technically feasible).
  • The station will provide training to all news staff on scripting for improving ENT.
  • The station will appoint an “ENT Coordinator” accountable for compliance.

We all  should be seeing better quality captions on local broadcast news in smaller markets.

At times, some stations have NO CAPTIONS at all.  That doesn’t seem right, unless they’re really really tiny stations, or some of the known scofflaws out there, e.g. a show called recipe.tv that doesn’t have captions.

(Above with many thanks to Heather York, VITAC captioning company)