People First – and multiple identities

December 31, 2010 Comments Off on People First – and multiple identities

A hot topic – our multiple identities – our personhood – and sometimes quite a confrontational one. The CCAC encourages discussions, though our main goal is very focused – inclusion of quality captioning universally – it’s needed by millions in so many places still.

To accomplish the mission, CCAC aims to build bridges! All “identities” welcome, if the mission of the ccac interests you. Deaf? deafened? have a hearing loss? language difference? different learning style? Have a friend, family member, co-worker who needs captioning? Add yourself “in” to the CCAC to help us build more bridges in 2011.  We can all make beautiful “noise” together!

We are all people first – we need all options for communication – we created the CCAC since there is no other voluntary group to advocate for inclusion of quality captioning (that we know of) that is not selling services, and not advocating for many other resources also (all deaf, deafened, hearing loss, communication, language groups and others), or, are cross-disability groups that advocate for “access” for many differences (hearing, vision, mobility, and more). All good groups! And now the CCAC also needs your membership and support to continue in 2011 – year two of an exciting new project.

CCAC Membership form here:—fill-out-the-form

Happy New Year – May 2011 be your best year ever!


Captiview in Australia – Hear this:

December 30, 2010 Comments Off on Captiview in Australia – Hear this:

Please share this widely – movie captioning in Australia. The page welcomes comments.

Movie captioning is a hot topic all across the USA, all across the world. It is shocking to some citizens that movies and television do not yet have equal communication access for all by inclusion of a quality captioning system, for all programming. Those active in “deaf” issues are aware of advocacy in the USA, e.g. the current DOJ call for comments about what proportion of cinema showings need to include captions, and the DOJ had suggested another wait of 5 years! This is 20 years after the ADA in this country. What is the situation in your region? your country? is the link to become a member of the ccac (free; we want your support) is our blog here – comments invited

Cartoons: the original speech-to-text?

December 29, 2010 Comments Off on Cartoons: the original speech-to-text?

We all love cartoons – at least those that tickle our funny bones (and we all have different bones :-). The “captions” on cartoons are among the original speech to text perhaps. Who knows the full history? And in current times, cartoons seem to be a good place for free speech, we hope!

Cartoons can be funny, satiric, political, environmental, sad, even tragic. They may not include any words at all. Yet they make us all think, agree or disagree, laugh out loud, or smile. They relay a message – they communicate!

Long live cartoons. And free speech! If the world could only “caption” all our disagreements in a way that brought us all together with a smile of understanding, and tolerance for our many differences, perhaps there could really be peace in 2011.

Happy New Year to all.

Passionate views re movie captioning

December 29, 2010 Comments Off on Passionate views re movie captioning

Handheld devices for the movies with captioning? Or captions on the screen for all? A lot of different and some passionate views expressed in the CCAC members’ forum about this! Join us in our discussions soon. Join the ccac from the website – free and easy here:—fill-out-the-form

We’ll be looking for your voice with us, online, via text of course.


Holiday Ears

December 28, 2010 Comments Off on Holiday Ears

Holiday ears!

H – holy moley – my ears are exhausted!

O – oh my gosh – my ears are still so tired!

L – love is important (understatement of the year)

I – I know, I know, I know…my deafenedness is not the worst thing in this beautiful world

D – deafened – deaf – hard of hearing – having a hearing loss – what the heck – i cannot understand what you are saying!

A – And by the way, I can hear noises and…

Y – You are important to me also (another understatement), so let’s hug!

Happy end of December and soon to be New Year 2011 everyone 🙂

From Access Center (WGBH) – good work

December 21, 2010 Comments Off on From Access Center (WGBH) – good work

Disability organizations and individuals with disabilities have filed complaints and a formal petition with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) which reflects frustration with chronic problems related to live captioning quality, transmission errors, and lack of industry response to their concerns. However, without a common means of measuring accuracy and quality, the FCC, consumers and broadcasters have no efficient method of tracking and improving stenocaption accuracy performance.

In spring 2010, WGBH’s National Center for Accessible Media conducted a national Web survey to query television news caption viewers about the types of caption errors that impact their ability to understand a live television news program. Survey results are contributing to definition of error types and criteria for weighting and ranking error types within a prototype automated caption accuracy assessment system we are developing.

The majority of respondents self-identified as deaf or late-deafened; less than a third indicated they were hard-of-hearing. The survey presented 41 examples drawn from a wide range of major national broadcast and cable television live news programs. These 41 examples represented 17 sub-categories of common caption error types identified by the project team and advisors.

The Caption Accuracy Metrics Survey Final Report has just been published.  The URL for the project Web site is:

A fully accessible pdf version of the Report is attached.  The pdf is also linked from the project’s Web site.

This project is funded by the U.S. Department of Education.  Question and comments to the team here at NCAM are encouraged and welcome, as always.

Best to all,


Mary Watkins
Director of Communications
and Outreach
Media Access Group at WGBH
One Guest Street
Boston, MA  02135
617 300-3700

Reply to National Assoc. of Broadcasters, their attorneys and board members

December 21, 2010 Comments Off on Reply to National Assoc. of Broadcasters, their attorneys and board members

Dear National Association for Broadcasters:

Not doing everything cannot be an excuse for doing nothing.

This is a reply to your comments to the FCC, signed by Attorney Bobeck,

Re…FCC: In the Matter of Consumer &  Governmental Affairs Bureau Seeks to Refresh the Record on Notices of  ) CG Docket No. 05-231 , Proposed Rulemaking Regarding  ) ET Docket No. 99-254 Closed Captioning Rules   )

NAB – National Association of Broadcasters, 1771 N Street NW, Washington DC 20036, email to

We in the Collaborative for Communication Access (CCAC) a grass-roots volunteer group, are offended by your arguments before the FCC regarding captioning. We believe you misunderstand the real needs of millions of citizens (and your viewers) worldwide, who require quality real-time speech to text.  Here are some reasons:

Captioning serves millions, not only those with hearing loss. Thousands of others require captions for learning English (or other languages), and due to different learning styles. Those people who do not like captions may turn them off (i.e. captions should be included universally, all the time, on). You would also be surprised perhaps how many use them (even when they say they do not need them).

Why do we need to wait more years for this when modern technology is available for this? Life costs, and the benefits in the long run to all, including your association members, far outweigh the risks of not including captioning.

1.  A TV license is a privileged commercial right that comes with strong
obligations – including access.
2. You have to make  commercial decisions every day based on what the laws
of the land are  and accept that – if you cannot run a business and comply
with the law  then fail, release that license and let somebody else have a
3. The starting point of all discussion on caption quality should be 100%
accuracy – no compromise and certainly no  measure of 98% because all that
happens is that they say “we reached  95% so that’s almost there what’s your
problem?”  What is the TV  standard for picture and sound?
4. Yes quality regulations should be very simple:  only programs that
are truly live should be live captioned.  Captions should be accurate and
synchronous with the soundtrack.

The enemy of the good is the perfect.

Our hundreds of members, and so many more worldwide, understand that equal access is vital – for work, for health, for life! Vital and necessary, soon.

May the light of the season shine upon your further deliberations about this. We invite you to discuss this with the CCAC anytime. Email us on





Sayings to keep and use when told captioning not possible

December 21, 2010 Comments Off on Sayings to keep and use when told captioning not possible

When we are told, too often, that inclusion of quality captioning is not possible, keep these in mind for your replies:

  • The perfect is the enemy of the good.
  • The inability to everything cannot be an excuse for doing nothing.
  • Don’t lose the possible in pursuit of the perfect.
  • Nothing in life is perfect.
  • Life costs.
  • The long range benefits for full inclusion far outweigh the short range costs


With thanks to CCAC Member discussions!


Use CCAC web to enter your own captioning advocacy. Data collection for all.

December 21, 2010 Comments Off on Use CCAC web to enter your own captioning advocacy. Data collection for all.

The CCAC website has thee spreadsheets about Captioning Advocacy Projects going on anyplace. Add yours! Go to, and use one of the three separate online “forms” to “submit” a short entry about your own local, state, regional, or national captioning advocacy – new, ongoing (not old).

As far as we know, this is the only public (or private) document of its kind – to tally what and where captioning advocacy is happening, to see the gaps, to be inspired by others, and to connect and collaborate in the CCAC. These data collection forms are open to all however, whether you join the CCAC or not.

Questions? Email

Plover – low cost real time speech-to-text

December 20, 2010 Comments Off on Plover – low cost real time speech-to-text

This professional CART provider has created a way for new groups, anywhere in the world, to train someone to offer good speech to text translation, real time, with a low cost system.

CCAC says thanks! Check this out:

If you try it, let us know.


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