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



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