Caption Up! CCAC Advocates

June 27, 2011 Comments Off on Caption Up! CCAC Advocates

We’ve added new videos to the CCAC Channel and invite your viewing, as well as your own short video to share:

All are captioned and produced by members of the CCAC community, with special thanks to cccartoons ( for channel assistance!



Why Captioning & CART Universally? Option for Deaf, Vital for Deafened & People with Hearing Loss

June 21, 2011 § 5 Comments

CCAC values collaboration in good ways that “build bridges” among all individuals and groups who need communication access. Our sole focus is advocacy for captioning inclusion universally. There are several other groups to educate and advocate for sign language and for other resources. CCAC uses the word “collaborative” in it’s name – an invitation to all with overlapping interests to join us.

Accurate and timely (“real time”) speech-to-text translation is a powerful and effective way to communicate for millions of people. Captioning is an option for some, and a necessity for millions of others. Perhaps “captioning” has not been a powerful word, until now! 

CCAC does not say that captioning is the only communication choice, nor that it replaces anyone’s other languages. We welcome all who support the CCAC mission which is to advocate for more inclusion of captioning universally, and to have it always an option for those who do require it for inclusion, participation, and giving back to society too.

In brief, inclusion of captioning universally, serves millions who are deaf, deafened, and have a hearing loss, as well as benefiting millions of others who are learning to read (for literacy), need translations from other languages, or have important different learning or business needs. Captioning inclusion is not only the goal for entertainments (movies, theaters, television, Internet broadcasting, and sports arenas), it is the goal for all public events and much more.

CCAC recognizes and validates the need for sign language also, and applauds (and learns from) advocacy efforts by other groups. CCAC was created because so many deaf, deafened, and people with hearing loss do not even know they can request captioning and have that right under law where needed for effective communication. CCAC was created because captioning is still lacking in so many places of everyday life, and CCAC argues that it is past time for more understanding and support of captioning, a language (or translation) that is vital for many.

For the above reasons, it’s time to outline why captioning and CART are beneficial for so many, and share the following thoughts from sign language users, and also from Deaf members of the CCAC. From CCAC members’ themselves (paraphrased and anonymous quotes):

Person 1: “For years I used sign language interpreters, and they are still my backup when all else fails. But I didn’t always get interpreters that provided the full flavor or details of what was said, particularly when I was with another deaf individual who used ASL….it was often challenging and mentally taxing…I began to realize that I craved access to the full conversation, word for word.

With CART, I was also able to express my own points of view for others, in a language all could understand, especially important for complex policies and important agency work that needed to move forward.”

Person 2: :”In school, when there is any detailed intellectual or mathematical discussions or teaching, I must have CART – to follow, to ask questions, and to have the transcript as a needed resource.”

Person 3: “For important meetings, especially with lots of numbers, finances, and the like, I need CART, no question about it.”

Person 4: “Without CART, I am wiped out trying to pay full attention, even with an ASL interpreter. It’s not a healthy situation for me.” 

Person 5: “Captionfish is a service that is loved by my Deaf friends. To know where and when we can go out, and enjoy a movie with friends, like others, is fantastic.”

CCAC says: Whether our first language is English or ASL (or your language in other countries, or sign language in other countries), we want to advocate together for more inclusion of quality captioning.

CART is real time full verbatim speech-to-text translation, called by various names – real time captioning is a good shorthand. Traditionally, it stands for Communication Access Real time Translation, and also Computer Assisted Real time Transcription. In some countries, it’s called interpretating as well. 

In sum, for many, captioning is actually a primary (receptive) language – another required format for one’s first language. It’s required for communication, bringing us back to life, reducing strain and exhaustion. For others, it’s another language that benefits them in some situations, not all, since using sign language is preferred for many good reasons in some other situations (e.g. video relay call with a friend). For Deaf friends, inclusion of captioning and being able to use CART is valuable also, as described above, even though sign language is primary.

May good collaborations continue! We have a lot to share and to learn from each other.

Switched at Birth – Enjoying the Episodes

June 20, 2011 Comments Off on Switched at Birth – Enjoying the Episodes

Happy to re-publish this by “Speak Up Librarian” (see link on our blogroll), with permission. It outlines well some of our own thoughts, e.g. the show is moving along so quickly we wonder if viewers have time to savor and absorb the well-acted vignettes of myths about people with hearing loss and deafness. There are many good examples in the two episodes so far. Enjoy the article below, just in time for others to tune in tonight, or watch it online (ABC and Hulu)…

SUNDAY, JUNE 19, 2011

Thoughts on Switched at Birth, Episode Two

Switched at Birth, a new television show on ABC Family continues to raise deaf awareness. Here are my thoughts on the latest episode.

I was really pleased to see the question of “Can people who are deaf drive safely?” addressed in the second episode. I think that’s one of the most common misconceptions hearing people have about the deaf. In this episode Daphne’s biological parents were very concerned about her riding to school on the back of a motorcycle driven by her deaf friend. I liked that Daphne’s mom was compassionate about their concern but stood her ground in explaining that people who are deaf can be safe drivers.

Another scene I liked took place in a music store when Liam who is hearing tried to converse with Daphne and she misunderstood what he said. She then took him over to a pair of headphones, played music for him, and then asked him to lipread what she said. When he was completely unable to do it, he began to understand how difficult lipreading is. Here again, a common misconception hearing people have about the super lipreading powers of the deaf was examined.

My other favorite moment from the show was the scene where Daphne ate breakfast alone with her biological parents, brother, and Bay. Without her Mom there to remind them by her translating, the family quickly forgot that Daphne can’t hear them. They talked all at once, back and forth, and the camera spun around to show Daphne’s view as she tried to make sense of the conversation. When her lack of understanding was revealed by her delighted comment after taking a bite of toast that the jam was rhubarb which her biological mother had just been explaining at length, the family was shocked. Then her brother made a quip about her being similar to his grandpa. In my experience when someone with hearing loss is not elderly, people forget. I have to constantly remind people how to communicate with me and I bet that’s your experience too.

I’m looking forward to seeing what the show covers next. Stay tuned.

CCAC Talks to AARP – Re Captioning

June 17, 2011 § 2 Comments

CCAC asks AARP, a large membership organization, for inclusion of quality captioning ASAP on it’s online programs – starting with Webinars which must be accessible for all.

It’s only right. It’s only a good idea for this organization serving folks 50 and older. It’s past time.

If you want to help, email us with any questions, or make your voice heard. Thanks in advance.

NAD Files re Netflix

June 16, 2011 § 2 Comments

As reported yesterday here, Internet captioning is heating up. Netflix is on the Internet too!

See this, and kudos to the NAD:





Heat is On for Online Captioning!

June 15, 2011 § 2 Comments

See this today: and click on Press Release regarding CNN online videos.

AARP is hearing from captioning advocates for captioning inclusion online! Why wait? We’re all not getting any younger! 🙂

Jamie Berke is making good progress for captioning on new web series online.

ABC’s new hit series from television is online with captioning  – good! Switched at Birth of course.

More news on this important item from you?


Twice-described – Captioning and Sign Language

June 11, 2011 § 4 Comments

Twice-described is a new phrase I was reading about yesterday. It is used to “describe” sign language and captioning communications. Why not call it all simply translation or interpretation? Because “twice-described” adds meaning – when there is something or someone between the “speaker” and the “person being spoken to.”

If two people are using sign language together, not “twice-described” of course. If two people need captioning (real time translation) to converse, yes, twice-described. Or if someone needs captioning and another is using sign language, then it might be termed quadruple-described? (an interpreter to voice so that the captioner can translate to text for the two folks who are deaf). Following here?

Being deaf or Deaf is not easy! For millions with acquired deafness or serious hearing loss after a certain age (say after learning to speak), it takes a lifetime to learn about ourselves and others. Yet, hey…

It takes a lifetime for everyone!

Anyone else thinking about this?

Think you know what deaf means? Think again…

June 8, 2011 § 1 Comment

The word DEAF is one of the most confusing, variable, and misunderstood words in any language.  This results in a huge loss for all our societies. To reduce the stigma associated with the word, to increase understanding, and to enrich all people all our societies – deaf or not, hearing or not – and all in-between –let’s talk about this more.

For ALL people in the world (millions and millions) of all ages who are deaf, deafened, and have a hearing loss (we are labeled with all those words, plus some say Deaf with a big D also), deaf and the terms “hard of hearing” and also “hearing impaired” mean as many things as there are audiograms for us.

We are all different in terms of which frequencies we can hear and the level of our hearing, from zero to higher levels for some frequencies, not others. We are different if our ears and the internal workings are the same, or very different.

We are different in terms of our choices for communications (most of us have choices). Communication is half of life, or more.

And we are different in terms of what sort and what kind of educational, employment and social openings were made for us. And that we asked for, that we knew about, that we knew we could ask for; and the expectations of others and their ability to listen to our life stories.

To learn more about audiograms, look it up online :-).

Think you know what deaf means in the modern world? Think again. It’s not defined by sign language.

ls/ccac – captioning inclusion universally is the CCAC mission; join voices with us soon.

Captioning for Live Sports? Yes, Let the Games Begin!

June 8, 2011 Comments Off on Captioning for Live Sports? Yes, Let the Games Begin!

Inclusion and universal access include examples like this one from a CCAC Provider member – good work!

Why captioning?

a. noisy environment

b. huge space

c. all ages and all sorts of behaviors

d. One in seven – that’s 1 in 7 – has a hearing loss or is deaf. One in seven of every group, everyplace, all over, globally.

Spectator sports are as important as movies and television – we all want to enjoy them.

Need help with captioning advocacy for your home town? Join the CCAC and talk to us. All volunteers, yet many good ideas :-).

Voice Recognition – Gender bias? Seriously….

June 6, 2011 Comments Off on Voice Recognition – Gender bias? Seriously….

We’ve been wondering about this for years – in a parallel problem – automatic speech-to-text systems (creating captions) from IBM, Nuance, Dragon, Microsoft, and others – does not approach usability (accuracy) for my voice.

See this article: and if anyone knows more, talk to us.

Could it really be that these systems are invented by, tested by, and used by men primarily? Probably. Because they do not work for women’s voices very well. The secret is out! Seriously….




Where Am I?

You are currently viewing the archives for June, 2011 at CCAC Blog.