CCAC Survey – Captioning Users Describe Experience and Value of Captioning Inclusion


2020: Also called “Live Event Captioning” and “CARTCaptioning.

Let’s share the ways!

CCAC survey results, March 2013. Thanks to so many for participation. About 220 completed the survey, distributed on social media and to networks of CCAC members and others. This is an excellent response rate.

Permission to use any part of this report required via email reply from 

Summary: Results argue forcefully for the value of captioning beyond merely comprehension of what is said. Comprehension and understanding are only the beginnings of communications with captioning inclusion. Results suggest that captioning is vital to maintaining relationships and healthy group dynamics.

Survey Results

A. Main Question

For the main question itself (see below), the most popular replies are shown in the chart. Ranks in terms of the replies chosen by most people are numbered. Respondents were allowed to select all the descriptions that applied to them (and add more descriptions in the comment section).

Most everyone replying said that inclusion of CART or real time captioning allowed them to be included, able to think and participate without straining to hear or lip-read, and able to enjoy the event. These are the three main benefits of captioning availability, according to this survey.[1]

(CCAC is aware that “included” was inadvertently used twice in the first publication of the survey, then corrected.)

Other replies where more than half of all replying selected the description were happy, valued as a person, respected, satisfied, and more relaxed. These also are major benefits of captioning inclusion.

The experience least selected was the description alive – noted by 27%, yet still a meaningful description for about one-third of respondents. Just under 50% of those replying selected energized as a benefit.

B. Comments by Participants

Some of the “added descriptions” in the comments are even richer than the survey question itself. An informal analysis of these comments reveals that so many feel equal and empowered with inclusion of captioning.

See more comments copied below. Some are repetitive, yet if you have time to read them all, and if you are hearing or do not know much yet about real time captioning (CART or STT- speech to text), we hope the sincerity of the comments, the variety of concrete benefits mentioned below, and the genuine human expressions about our needs for CART come through loudly and clearly.

People are almost shouting in several of the comments about the need for real-time captioning, e.g. it restores “belonging” for them, an essential human experience for everyone. In group dynamic terms, we all benefit from “groups of belonging” to realize our own individual potential and to have meaningful relationships with others. This is built upon foundations of good communications.

C. Discussion

All results above argue forcibly for the value of captioning beyond merely comprehension of what is said. Comprehension and understanding are only the beginnings of communications with captioning inclusion.

We argue that communications via captioning have significantly deeper human benefit also. Captioning allows hearing, listening, thinking, and being with others, when hearing loss or deafness (or language differences) are part of one’s life.  Captioning captures the words and much more – it captures self-respect and shared participation and enjoyment.

Captioning inclusion fosters a less-stressful human space with others. It may strengthen healthy energies.

Captioning allows people to respect others also – mutual human exchange is part of every day life and builds good relationships, not only between service providers and people who use captioning, but also among all at gathering, meeting, classroom, conference, or community event.

The response rate was high and immediate. This suggests continuing and growing interest in captioning inclusion every day. The survey offered people a simple and structured way to express how important real-time captioning is for their lives, without requiring navigation through many steps to communicate with government and others. We sense it also illustrates approval and trust of the relatively new CCAC non-profit organization and support for CCAC activities in term of raising awareness, education, and advocacy for equal communication access for millions of citizens internationally.

D. Conclusions and Recommendations

We need much more inclusion of CART/STTR and real-time captioning every day of our lives. Make it happen now. How? To do:

  1. Join the international CCAC and/or your other national and local groups to foster greater action and collaborations for captioning inclusion.
  2. Tell government leaders the results of this survey and open a conversation. Continue it until progress is made.
  3. Fight against excuses such as low-budget or ignorance about equal rights. Let’s combine our arguments to win the struggle for social justice – we deserve inclusion of captioning as much as anyone else deserves nourishment and education. Captioning is our language!
  4. Do something. Not sure what? Join the CCAC from the website – membership still free. If you are a member or not, tell your local or other organizations to join the CCAC soon as a “friend.”
  5. Contribute – funds are needed to continue the active and expanding captioning advocacy projects of the CCAC. The founder has funded activities so far for three years (significantly). Cannot afford it? Add your energy to do some fundraising with and for the CCAC. Email us soon.
  6. CCAC is an open and welcoming community. We don’t only vent – we action captioning. Let’s caption the world, seriously.

E. The Survey Question  

When you have STT (CART) for any event (work, school, conference, lecture, etc.), how does it change your experience of that event? How does it make you think or feel? Please check all that apply on the list below:

The Responses were:

#8  Happy


#3  Included


#13  Alive


#2  Able to think without straining to hear or lip-read


#1  Able to participate


#4  Able to enjoy the event


#10  Satisfied


#11  Included (again)


#7  Valued as a person


#9  Respected


#6  Less stressed by hearing loss or deafness


#5  More relaxed


#2 Energized


F. Some of the Added Comments were (asked to add any additional descriptions to the main question):

Enriched, worthwhile

Absolutely love having CART available at events, meeting and in the classroom. Invaluable to me.

Mind listen, imagination expand, understand more and express deeply.


Need CART and captioning in all aspects of life!

Real-time Captioning and STT gives me time to think and reflect on the material during meetings, even if there are interpreters present. It is also very helpful to participants who can hear as they find the captioning a good tool for ensuring they do not miss anything important during a meeting.


Accuracy is important.

It’s like adding more dimensionality. ALDAcon 13 and NTID years back was my 1st experience with CART.

It is the single most important thing anyone can do to help aid communication and equally understanding. With both of those things covered everyone benefits and the speaker retains an audience fully.

Empowered and Equal

I BELONG. I’m no longer an outcast because I cannot hear what is going on.

STT allows me to hear the conversation. Without it I am lost. I feel like Mr. Magoo fumbling around trying to figure out what people are talking about. It is not pleasant. With STT I am able to be included in the conversation. Because I usually have an opinion and enjoy sharing it with others this makes me feel much better.

Just as important as other participants.

CART is somewhat stressful for me. I hate the errors and can never be sure if the message is accurate. I cannot watch the interpreter and CART at the same time but think that would be more relaxing.

I am not able to enjoy entertainment without CART or captioning. It allows me to “hear” what everyone else does. If a function does not have hearing assistance there is no reason for me to go.

Not able to take Notes. If transcript not available, forget what happened at the event afterward

Important and recognized

Then I’m sure I got it all. Otherwise I have to check with a friend to fill in what I only got PART of.

Understanding part of the group

I feel MORE included, but not necessarily as fully included as a normal-hearing person would be. Ability to participate is better, but not perfect by any means. I love CART when it’s available to me — it works better for me and my husband than anything else.

Finally accepted as an equal. Noticed as opposed to ignored and or pitied. Able to comment to other participants after the event or presentation. Welcome to provide an opinion from a different perspective.

Dynamic, not just treading water, understanding, no more nodding!

I would then know that the organizers are truly thinking of everyone and not just what is handy for them.

I want to add that Captioned Telephone Service is also very important to me.

I feel myself relax when I see that there is CART at any event. I know that I have a resource that will enable me to understand what’s going on and I won’t miss anything. It’s a real blessing!

Some situations are more crucial than others. For example a medical presentation. It is crucial that I understand every word.

Freedom to choose the events you are passionate about rather than only those that are accessible.

Anxious of how I will be perceived by my peers.

CART captioning is phenomenal!

I have to have STT or captioning to get anything


CART can decide whether or not I will attend the meeting. Can’t function without it.

Equal access


Much easier to deal with than human interpretation. You’re not so inclined to miss out by misunderstanding, either.

Quality of life improved


Love it!

On a par with our Hearing peers. Less stressful, Sleep better….

I used to stay home rather than pretend to be involved in an event or take a course or seminar. With CART, I can attend, understand, and contribute to a discussion with less fear that I’ve missed a crucial point or even have the topic confused. It gives me more confidence that I’m understanding new information.

Closed captioning is a must in my life. However there are some shows or movies that run the captioning too fast to read. I tune these out.

This gives me the opportunity to perform my services and other abilities that would equal or exceed their needs or wants.

Engaging Empowering Feeling connected

It is the single most important thing anyone can do to help people follow audio communication. Any time it is made available I’ve noticed almost everyone in an audience will make use of it (hearing or deaf), whether they admit to it or not is a different thing.

It fills the gaps in real time access for majority of the hard of hearing and deaf people. The more the better!!

Able to cognitively accept my disability as something special as opposed to a stigma.

No headache less anxiety about missing part of what is being said

Subtitles are indispensable where background music or sound effects exceed the volume of the speakers.

Able to understand the subject without usual fatigue.

I can KNOW what is being said instead of guessing I heard it correctly

We have CART during most …meetings near ….I attended one area meeting without CART-where the leader had to run all around with a microphone. It was hard to understand some people and it made it hard for the leader to stay with the topic.

I know that the people who planned the meeting WANT me to attend & have PROVIDED ACCESS to help me participate!

Very simply the availability of CART allows me to be part of an event on the same level as everyone else who is present. It provides equality.

It allows others too benefit from my input, knowledge expertise or point of view.

They are irreplaceable and necessary!

Vital to my every day life!!!!

Appreciative of the ability of the transcriper to keep up with the dialogue and show it to us on the screen. Awesome!

Empowered to enable me to be engaged and raise topical questions.

Get to see the word I missed

Feel have full rights to education, participation Reach knowledge

Should make hand held device to read it

Generally it just makes it possible for me to go to the event at all. Without it, i would probably not benefit.

CART allows me to focus on the message being offered!

This is such a real  help when hearing challenged .It is very good be feel that one knows what is going on. I lost my g very suddenly; it’s very good that there is HELP!

I don’t read 100% of the captions as I do enjoy lip reading and seeing presentations that might be displayed. However, when there is something said that I don’t catch, I quickly look at the CART screen to fill in the blanks.

All the difference!

A huge energy-saver, confidence builder, and angst reducer (re the vicissitudes of speech reading in a group setting–esp. a new one. )

I feel like I matter and I can make a contribution. I also get the information in an UNFILTERED manner. Not filtered by the Interpreter. I feel EMPOWERED.

I am able to understand all that is being said, instead of having to guess at parts of it.

Able to learn new things better.

Relieved, important, whole

Feeling up to date with peers

I’ve never attend this type of meeting

Permits me to enjoy events such as movies, TV because without it I can’t understand what is going on.

In such events that include ASL, CART provides the ability to figure out what was just finger-spelled (sometimes too fast to catch all letters or not clearly signed). With movie theaters, it allows us to participate in newer movies and talk about it. Sure, opened captions will remain the best but it is a step in the right direction.


Less isolated


Necessary for communication


Justified – Not to imply a superior attitude; rather, the information is being distributed equally to ensure access/

So astronomical is the value of this CART service for me!

Someone knows I am there and trying to meet my needs.

Connected, excited, intelligent!

It let’s me know that my participation at the event is respected and needed.

Included and valued would be the two biggest points…..

Accommodated and provided equal access

It makes you forget your disability.

It’s the only service out there that can provide almost REAL Captioning…… CART rules!


Better educated

To catch up any information in CART that may be lost in sign language earlier.. Able to think better..

I used CART for college. I never realized how much I missed in classes until I started using CART. Now I use it for all training events and classes.

Have respect for the meeting/event organizer because they “get it!”

Sometimes the CART has errors – however, most of us can overlook a few errors for quality communication

CART provides universal access to every one attending the event, even those people who do not identify as having a hearing loss.

Increases ability to participate , contribute fully

Empowering, in control, at the top of my game

Quality captioning: engaged and all of the above. poor captioning: jipped, waste of time, left out, angry



Get all the message and information~value lesson and education

Always have the closed captioning turned on while I am watching television. It helps in those MANY moments of inaudible or indiscernible dialogue I am not deaf or hard of hearing and I am fairly young and still have trouble making out conversation on television. Quality closed captioning is a necessity.

This technology enables people with hearing loss to participate and improve the quality of life.

Aware connected thankful

I understand it!! An STTR is the equivalent of the wheels on my wheelchair!!

Quality matters Let the users be in charge of STTR when used – i.e. font and colour sizes location of screens…


G. Summary

To have so many people respond to a new survey so quickly and also take time to add comments is evidence of the vitality and power of CART/Captioning. Be sure to include quality captioning for yourself, for others, at work and any events – for all activities where each voice and each person counts and is listened to.

CCAC welcomes new members and sponsors who can expand the inclusion of quality captioning universally, so that millions may participate equally in everyday life.

by Lauren E. Storck

President of the Collaborative for Communication Access via Captioning (CCAC), an official non-profit organization (charity) with one mission – inclusion of quality captioning universally. Members meet every day online. All are volunteers. The website welcomes donations.

March 4, 2013

Permission to copy or use survey results by email request to

For media and press, we suggest the following paragraph, and will appreciate information about where it is used please:

“”The international advocacy organization called the Collaborative for Communication Access via Captioning (CCAC) has completed a new survey of users of CART and captioning services. The survey report describes how people experience CART and  captioning in their every day lives. About 220 people completed the short survey that was distributed on social media and to networks of CCAC members. There was a quick and large response. Results speak loudly about the vitality of captioning and demonstrate that comprehension and understanding are only the beginnings of better communications with captioning inclusion. The analysis also suggests that captioning enhances relationships and facilitates meaningful group interactions. These additional benefits of captioning inclusion are significant additional reasons to use captioning since they empower users, as the survey illustrates. Learn more about the CCAC on the web, where the survey and responses are published.”

[1] The analysis does not include about 90 more replies cut off by the free survey system online. If anyone cares to buy an upgrade for the CCAC to show more replies, and to continue surveys for advocacy, please email now to With an upgrade, we will also be able to share the results with all directly on the survey webpage. We are confident all the results will reveal similar findings.

Another report is found here, with thanks to the publication: