To celebrate the 5th anniversary of the CCAC in December 2014, we invited CCAC members to tell us about any captioned event during 2014 that was their “favorite.” We welcomed reports about live events, or about any sort of media with captioning. We numbered all entries and blindly selected a winner of a celebratory Amazon $100 gift card.
Several CCAC members shared stories, and below are selected examples. We will be distributing this article on the CCAC blog (CCACblog.wordpress.com) where discussion is welcome – and in other media too.
(For example, please join us in applauding the IFHOH journal and it’s informative issues. Find the January 2015 issue online from http://www.ifhoh.org, or directly here, http://www.ifhoh.org/ifhohjournal/ifhohjournaljan2015.pdf )
The Beauty of a Captioning Advocacy Community – Consumers, Providers and Others
The celebration was international, as is the CCAC itself, an official non-profit
organization of volunteer citizen captioning advocates. Indeed, more international
members shared favorite events than the somewhat larger USA-based membership.
The examples below include reports from CCAC members in Australia, India,
Canada, England, Denmark, Switzerland, Ireland, and the USA. We thank them all!
Some pockets of the USA are fortunate to have active local captioning advocacy
groups. Yet for many, even in the USA, choices or even occasional availability of
captioned events is not easy to find. This is true of movies also. Equal access with
captioning is expanding, yet not quickly enough. Countries other than the USA are
passing legislation for films to be captioned at production, and this is good.
Finding live captioning is difficult for most people in all countries. For
community meetings, training for continued learning, job-hunting, conferences
for work and also for valuable avocations, other social gatherings of interest for
healthy living – these are rarely captioned unless vigorous advocacy is done (asking
and asking again for live captioning, helping to find funding for it, networking with
others who understand, etc.).
You will find your own favorite among the stories below. For one example, seeing
live captioning at a conference (in Europe) from a provider in a different country
(captioning remotely from the USA) was most impressive for one CCAC member.
After this, she is learning how to “action” this in her own region of the world.
Another example, from someone who is both a “consumer” and also a “provider”
even with personal hearing loss – the favorite event was helping organize
educational conferences and presentations for others. At least three CCAC
members reported that helping and participating became their own personal
favorite captioned event for the year. All of these reported were outside of the
USA, though we are aware that many CCAC members do similar volunteer, and
sometimes paid work, annually, and sometimes more frequently, for many events.
Captioning Is Inclusion
Captioned events covered a wide range, from enjoying a simple new video online
to presentations for others about the vitality and necessity of quality captioning.
Among CCAC members however, we heard from only a small percentage during this
celebration. We wonder why? Could it be that many do not have access and lack
captioning in many places they need it for themselves?
In many countries there is no Live Captioning (CART/STTR) at all yet. We know
people are busy too, especially captioning advocates. On the other hand, as is noted
below also, perhaps some who are lucky to have choices did not care to choose a
favorite. All well and good for them, and that is why they are valued highly in the
CCAC – they continue to advocate for others – for many others.
During the five years since the CCAC was created informally, became an
official non-profit (hundreds of members now, thousands on social media) – there
have been good steps to boost captioning inclusion and to begin new captioning
advocacy efforts in many places. Established groups starting 30 years ago about
laid foundations for captioning inclusion, and continue to advocate for captioning
among wider agenda. Still other groups bring legal challenges (in the USA at least)
and accomplish steps forward for all of us.
At the same time, progress often feels slow or stalled. It takes many years
for quality matters to be addressed. It takes many advocates to contact video
producers continually to provide captioning for equal communication access on the
Internet, a rapidly growing medium that must be open with equal access for all.
Examples below are the tip of the iceberg in terms of captioning used and
its deeply rooted value as the receptive language of mega-millions in the world.
Captioning creates inclusion not only for people with hearing loss and deafness,
but for millions of others with different language and learning experiences, skills,
needs, and it also creates profit for companies in terms of expanded audiences and
digital presence (for searching, for archived materials, for education, etc.)
CCAC welcomes your participation and new energies for captioning advocacy,
large and small. The CCAC film, the public web pages, and CCAC activity on social
media invite discussion on the CCAC blog and in the CCAC members’ forum online.
Selected Favorite Captioning Events of 2014 by CCAC Members (edited to
keep the joy and the gist)
∀ I saw live captioning at a conference (in Europe, March 2014) – everything
that the speaker said was read easily on the big screen – by providers
working from another country!
∀ Went to The Book of Mormon in the theater, captioned, as a birthday gift
from my adult son. He said he looked at the captioning too! What fun!
∀ I provided captioning for the beatification ceremony of Pope
Francis…listening to an Italian translator…we had this beautiful ceremony
translated into 4 or five languages simultaneously. With about 2.7 billion
people watching around the world! Definitely an amazing accomplishment, for
me and others.
∀ I really enjoyed watching a YouTube series – all in one day – binge watching
Carmilla. Wonderful job of captioning and it was enjoyable.
∀ I enjoy the simple pleasure of being able to go to our local cinema once a
month with family and friends and catch an opened captioned movie….It’s
been very well supported by our local deaf community and also the
independent cinema owner (really just a small business owner committed to
doing the right thing.)
∀ Enjoyed working closely with my father for the first time on captioning
accessibility issues. He’s 73, retired, and losing hearing. He loves politics and
(did some great advocacy).
∀ Watching Harry Potter DVD’s with my granddaughter. We put the captions
on so that I can “hear” and she can learn to read and spell better.
∀ My first ever experience of “real time captioning” happened online in July
2014 (thank you CCAC), when we discussed advocacy. I met other CCAC
members online. A CCAC provider member volunteered services. Highly
enlightening and now I know what to look forward to when pursuing higher
education in the USA or in Australia.
∀ Watching a movie (Interstellar) with open captioning – not a common thing in
my country. This is only the 2nd movie I’ve seen with subtitles.
∀ I captioned a small video myself – for my work…and it won an award!
∀ I helped set up captioned events, talked to the public about captioned
theater, and gave talks and presentations about captioning.
∀ It’s difficult unless one walks in someone else’s shoes to truly understand
the devastation that can be caused to both the physical and emotional spirit
of a person who suffers the loss of one of their senses. My hearing loss has
been progressively severe (and I now realize) the amazing accommodation
that closed captioning provides….e.g. the wonder of watching television (along
with) not hearing music. I enjoy Dancing with the Stars and I can sing along
in my heart.
∀ I was a participant in an online course; one activity was captioning an audio
podcast. We used Amara. The other participants were teachers, so they
can introduce their colleagues to captioning…and they’ll be able to organize
captioning with their students too.
∀ There are many captioned events here because Utah-CAN got the ball
rolling… For example, when Broadway Across America came to town, we had
to choose between this captioned play on Saturday afternoon and the latest
open captioned movie, and last month, on the same afternoon, the University
of Utah football game had a fully captioned event on their new score boards.
∀ My favorite captioned event was April 26 at a Public Forum on Hearing Aid
Costs and Concerns. It was CARTed and looped; ALDs were also available.
There a good public turnout, and importantly, the recommendations stemming
from the Forum are having an impact on the policy level.
∀ I really liked this Three Stooges clip on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/
∀ One Sunday in church I noticed a woman setting up equipment. When I
inquired if this was for some special event she said she wanted to become
more proficient doing real time captioning by captioning the sermon each
week. Talk about a door being opened (even with the FM system I’m not
able to understand much). Soon another court reporter came to practice; we
now have four every Sunday… everyone who has an iPhone or an iPad sitting
any place, or even on the highway, can follow the message with captioning
provided by these four amazing women. There are angels in our midst.
CCAC looks forward to hearing about more “favorite captioned events” (by
email) and in coming years. Perhaps captioning will be part of “normal” everyday life,
both live and media captioning readily available. Life will be accessible for those of
us who depend on words we can see.
With thanks to all CCAC members, friends, and colleagues,
Lauren E. Storck, President, http://CCACaptioning.org
And JOIN us: http://CCACaptioning.org/