Captioning / Relay - Archive

FCC Boosting Open Video Platform for the Deaf

August 20, 2015 in Captioning / Relay, Community News, Technology

 

Initiative to Ease ASL Users’ Communication With Government

Multichannel News
By: John Eggerton
August 20,2015

WASHINGTON — Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler wants to give people with disabilities a hand. Make that two hands, and in the process, a stronger voice.

Wheeler plans to announce today at the TDI Conference in Baltimore that the FCC is making available an open-source video platform to make it easier for the deaf, hard of hearing and deaf-blind community to communicate with federal agencies and businesses in American Sign Language (ASL).   “It is time for people who speak with their hands and hear with their eyes to enjoy modern advancements in communications technologies,” Wheeler planned to tell the conference, according to the commission, which announced the initiative in tandem with the speech.

“It’s time for you to be able to have your video products work together, so you can call whomever you wish, whenever you wish, from anywhere. The platform we are launching has tremendous potential to ensure that you will be able to do this.”

The FCC already has a direct video system — it was the first federal agency to use interactive video to give the deaf and hard-of-hearing access to ASL consumer support, an agency spokesperson said — as does the Small Business Administration. The Census Bureau, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the City of New York have all announced plans to use such a system.

Read more   . . . 

Thank You, Donald Trump From People Who Are Deaf Or Hard Of Hearing!

July 7, 2015 in Captioning / Relay, Community News

 

 

Huff Post – The Blog
By Janice S. Lintz
July 6, 2015

Dear Donald Trump:

People who are deaf and hard of hearing need to thank you. Years ago, I contacted you about the horrific captions on the The Apprentice. My daughter, who is hard of hearing, was learning poor spelling and getting confusing input when she watched your show. For example, “Bordeaux” (you know, the small French region where wine is made) was spelled like two animals: “boar” and “doe.”

Your office staff didn’t care when I contacted them, nor did your production team, Mark Burnett Productions. In fact, I learned that the Burnett team never reviewed the captions. The woman whose job it was to do this told me that I was “stressing her out” by complaining.

So, I contacted Bob Wright, the then-chairman of NBC. Thankfully, he cared–his personal experience  . . . .

Read more  . . . Trump

Deaf Canadians fear loss of televised, captioned election debates

May 28, 2015 in Captioning / Relay, Community News

 

 

Times Colonist
The Canadian Press
May 27, 2015

OTTAWA – Deaf and hard-of-hearing Canadians fear their needs as voting citizens might be lost in the shuffle in the coming election campaign as the federal parties squabble over the formats and hosts of the leaders’ debates.

The proposal by the major TV networks, put to the federal parties, includes closed captioning in both French and English — as has been the case in previous debates.

However, the Conservative Party of Canada has rejected the proposal from the so-called broadcast consortium, which includes CBC/Radio-Canada, Global News and CTV.

As a result, the televised debates are in limbo; it’s not clear whether the opposition parties would bother with a faceoff that doesn’t include the prime minister.

The Conservatives have emphasized their desire for different formats, citing the fact many Canadians no longer watch traditional TV. But broadcasters are required by regulation to include closed captioning with their programming, even during commercials.

Will new debate proposals from Maclean’s magazine, the Globe and Mail/Google Canada, the Munk Debates and others include services for the hearing impaired?

Read more . . . Canadians captions

Stephanie Ulmer named VA Captioned Telephone Outreach Coordinator

March 19, 2015 in Captioning / Relay, Community News, Technology

 

Stephanie Ulmer Joins Hamilton Relay and VDDHH as Virginia Relay Captioned Telephone Outreach Coordinator

RICHMOND, VA. – The Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (VDDHH) and Hamilton Relay, Virginia’s captioned telephone (CapTel®) service provider, recently announced that Stephanie Ulmer has been hired as Virginia Relay Captioned Telephone Outreach Coordinator. In her new position, Stephanie will provide outreach support and education services for the entire Commonwealth of Virginia to raise awareness of the CapTel services available through Virginia Relay. Virginia Relay is a free public service that enables people who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind or who have difficulty speaking to place and receive telephone calls.

Ulmer is highly experienced in business and customer service within the health care field. Previously, she worked for the District 19 Community Services Board as administrative associate in Child and Adolescent Services. She currently resides in Prince George, Va.

“I am looking forward to shifting my focus to marketing,” says Ulmer. “I am excited to have the opportunity to travel and meet people throughout Virginia and educate them about the life-changing benefits CapTel provides for individuals who have difficulty hearing over the phone.”

CapTel is designed specifically for people who have difficulty hearing over the telephone. Using a CapTel phone, users speak directly to the other person and are able to listen while reading word-for-word captions of what’s said to them during phone conversations. Behind the scenes, captions are generated by a specially-trained Captioning Assistant using state-of-the-art voice recognition software. Captions appear on the CapTel phone’s display screen nearly simultaneously to the spoken word, adding clarity and confidence in using the phone to communicate with friends, family and businesses.

Virginia residents are eligible to purchase CapTel phones at a special reduced rate of $75 through Virginia Relay. CapTel phones are also available at no cost to people who qualify medically and financially through Virginia’s Technology Assistance Program (TAP). For more information, please visit www.varelay.org or contact Stephanie Ulmer at stephanie.ulmer@hamiltonrelay.com.

About Virginia Relay

Virginia Relay and the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (VDDHH) provide the most up-to-date technologies and assistive devices to enable people who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind and speech-impaired to communicate via a standard telephone network. Virginia Relay services are easily accessible to anyone by dialing 7-1-1. For more information on Virginia Relay and its services, please visit www.varelay.org, or call VDDHH at 804-662-9502 v/t.

About Hamilton Relay

Hamilton Relay provides contracted Traditional Relay and/or Captioned Telephone services to 17 states, the District of Columbia and the Island of Saipan, and is a provider of Internet-based Captioned Telephone services nationwide. More information is available at www.hamiltonrelay.com.

 

 

NAD and VUDU Reach Agreement to Caption 100% Content

February 10, 2015 in Captioning / Relay, Community News

 

 

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD), a non-profit civil rights organization of, by, and for deaf and hard of hearing individuals, and VUDU, Inc., a wholly owned streaming entertainment subsidiary of Walmart, have reached an agreement for VUDU to caption 100% of programming content streamed through VUDU’s Video on Demand Service.

The agreement indicates the parties’ mutual intent to increase access for people who are deaf and hard of hearing to movies and television streamed on the Internet. VUDU has ensured that as of January 16, 2015, every title listed in its catalog is closed-captioned or subtitled. In addition, VUDU has committed to captioning all newly-acquired content as soon as that content is made available to the public.

Howard A. Rosenblum, CEO of NAD, said, “Online streaming entertainment has become one of the most popular methods of viewing movies and television shows. The National Association of the Deaf is thrilled to announce that 48 million deaf and hard of hearing people will be able to fully access VUDU’s Video on Demand services.”

“We are grateful for NAD’s guidance and are excited to be offering VUDU’s entire library of HD movies and TV to customers who are deaf and hard of hearing,” said Jeremy Verba, General Manager, VUDU.

“Streaming entertainment is reshaping how people watch television and movies. VUDU has ensured that its deaf and hard of hearing customers have that same access to this new entertainment delivery system,” said Arlene Mayerson, Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund’s Directing Attorney. “DREDF urges other streaming entertainment providers to incorporate access to deaf and hard of hearing individuals at the outset rather than as an afterthought. It’s a sound business practice that’s also the right thing to do.”

“By ensuring 100% closed captions on all of its streaming titles, VUDU has demonstrated that it is an industry leader, setting the standards for an open Internet,” said Bill Lann Lee, an attorney at Lewis, Feinberg, Lee, Renaker & Jackson, P.C.

The Settlement Agreement (PDF) between NAD and VUDU is available here.

 

 

Open Captioning Screening this Week at AFI Silver Theatre

January 29, 2015 in Captioning / Relay, Community News

AFI Silver Theatre provides open captioning for select films:

Sunday, February 1
  • THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING 11:00 a.m. (OC)
  • BIRDMAN 7:05 (OC)
Monday, February 2:
  • THE IMITATION GAME 6:55 (OC)
Wednesday, February 4:
  • INHERENT VICE 8:15 (OC)

Check AFI.com/Silver for upcoming Open Caption Screenings!

AFI Silver Theatre is located at 8633 Colesville Rd., near the intersection of Colesville Rd. and Georgia Ave.  For daily listings call 301-495-6700

(!)  Pass Restricted

Mary Dalto

 
Theater Manager | AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center | American Film Institute 
8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, MD 20910 | P: 301.495.6720 | F: 301.495.6777 | theatermanagers@AFI.com

AFI Silver Theatre – OPEN CAPTION screenings this Sunday (1/25)

January 22, 2015 in Captioning / Relay, Community Events, Community News

 

 

AFI Silver Theatre is happy to provide open captioning for select films this Sunday, Jan. 25th: 

THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING (OC) at 11:00 a.m. – 5 Oscar Noms!

BIRDMAN (OC) at 7:05 – 9 Oscar Noms!

THE IMITATION GAME (OC) at 9:50 – 8 Oscar Noms!

Check AFI.com/Silver for future Open Caption Screenings.

AFI Silver Theatre is located at 8633 Colesville Rd., near the intersection of Colesville Rd. and Georgia Ave.  For daily listings call 301-495-6700

(!)  Pass Restricted 

 
Mary Dalto

 
Theater Manager | AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center | American Film Institute 
8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, MD 20910 | P: 301.495.6720 | F: 301.495.6777 | theatermanagers@AFI.com

With Captions – YouTube video

January 8, 2015 in Captioning / Relay, Community News

 

 

Published on Dec 29, 2014

Youtube videos are not accessible to everyone, adding closed captions to videos will make them accessible to millions of more people. Share this video on social media, tag your favorite creator and help make your favorite videos enjoyable for everyone! #withcaptions

Portland Captioning Proposal Receives Enthusiastic PCOD Support

December 17, 2014 in Captioning / Relay, Technology

 

 

PORTLAND, OR December 16, 2014, Spokespersons for Portland: Turn on the Captions Now! (PTCN) David Viers and Jim House co-presented about PTCN’s efforts to require all television sets in public places within the city to the Portland Commission on Disability (PCOD) at its regular meeting on Friday, December 12, 2014. The presentation was followed by a few questions, and concluded with a resounding vote of support by the Commission.

In the presentation, David and Jim reviewed the advantages of captioning, and the lack thereof on many television sets in public places like restaurants, bars, gyms, waiting rooms, libraries and other places where people watch television outside the homes. However, many public places have become proactive in turning on the captions, simply because of the noisy environment and the fact that customers need a way to know what is being said during newscasts, sports games, and emergency announcements.

There are similar laws in San Francisco and the State of Maryland. Portland has the opportunity to take the lead and become a Model City for Individuals with Disabilities according to Portland City Council member Amanda Fritz, who is introducing the ordinance for consideration by the Portland City Council. The San Francisco ordinance required captioning at all times, but limited the scope of coverage to government facilities and sponsored events such as outdoor movies in a park. The Maryland law expanded the scope of coverage to include private businesses, but the requirement is effective only when a customer or patron makes a request, which is often unfruitful because of so-called technical difficulties or staff inexperience. The City of Portland can expand on the merits of both prior legislations while crafting its ordinance. The primary goal of enforcement would be to educate businesses of their obligations and to empower consumers by making them aware of their rights to access information on television.

After the presentation, there were some questions regarding Spanish captioning and theatrical movie captioning. At the end, the PCOD voted unanimously to support the concepts and looks forward to helping PCTN move the captioning proposal forward.

 

“With the passage of this ordinance, Portland will show everyone – both citizens and visitors — that this is a city that is welcoming to everyone, regardless of abilities or disabilities,” exclaimed Carol Studemund, who helped initiate this grassroot effort.  Carol is the founder and president of LNS Captioning, serves on the captioning committee of National Court Reporters Association, is chair of the Mt. Hood Cable Regulatory Commission, and also with Portland Community Media.

 

“With the help of PCTN, Portland has this opportunity to take the lead and blaze new trails in accessibility where everyone has full and equal access to vital information on televisions anywhere and everywhere,” proclaimed Jim House, a technology accessibility specialist who spearheaded this effort with Ms. Studenmund.  A native of Portland, Jim also serves on the accessibility committee of National Emergency Numbering Association and recently relocated here after spending more than 15 years with Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. in Washington, D.C. promoting accessible technologies for people with hearing disabilities at the Federal Communications Commission and other consumer, government, and industry forums.

 

“This proposed ordinance to turn on the captions on televisions in every public place will enhance the quality of life for both non-hearing and hearing people in the City of Roses,” said David Viers, an advocate for people who are hard of hearing who lends a hand promoting this effort .  Viers is a semi-retired nonprofit administrator with experience in two centers for people who are deaf and hard of hearing.

 

Grateful appreciation is due to the following consumer organizations for their support:

  • Oregon Association of the Deaf
  • Hearing Loss Association of America – Oregon State Association (HLAA-OR)
  • Oregon Communications Access Project (OR-CAP), a local grassroot advocacy group that is credited with implementing captioning at the Oregon Shakespearean Festival, University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Portland Trail Blazers, and other venues.

 

To support our efforts and be informed with updates of future developments, go to:

 

Jim House

 

NAD Shares Insight Behind Closed and Open Captions

December 11, 2014 in Advocacy & Access, Captioning / Relay, Community News

 

NAD Website
12/09/2014

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) takes a moment to explain the purpose of the Joint Recommendation and the Comment that was filed with the Department of Justice (DOJ) on December 1, 2014. Both filings were very important for the deaf and hard of hearing community. With such action, we know that there’s work left to be done — with your support, we can continue the fight for equality for access in Movie Theaters!

WATCH ASL VIDEO

Demand for court and stenography reporters rising in California, nation

December 9, 2014 in Captioning / Relay, Employment, Technology

 

The Bakersfield Californian
Friday, Dec 05 2014 05:29 PM

By RUTH BROWN The Bakersfield Californian rbrown@bakersfield.com

Typing quietly while catching every spoken word, court reporters are often overlooked but critical components of the judicial system.

And the demand for them is growing while the number available capable of typing the required 200-word-per-minute threshold for courtroom work is dwindling.

Read More . . .

Hearing-impaired patron sues Hippodrome Theatre

December 4, 2014 in Advocacy & Access, Captioning / Relay, Disability Law

 

 

The Baltimore Sun
By Mary Carole McCauley,

A Baltimore woman filed suit Monday in federal court asking a judge to order the France Merrick Performing Arts Center to provide open-captioned performances for its hearing-impaired patrons.

Jessica Gill is a lifelong lover of musical theater with a severe hearing disability who became frustrated and angry after her efforts to see the musical “Newsies” at the theater were stymied. The show opens Tuesday night and runs through Sunday.

She filed suit against the Key Brand Theatrical Group, which has a contract to operate the historic theater, the nonprofit Hippodrome Foundation and the Maryland Stadium Authority, which undertook a $62 million renovation of the former vaudeville palace in 2004.

The suit alleges that by refusing to provide the closed captioning that provides a running transcription of the dialogue and lyrics — similar to supertitles in opera — the venue violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.

According to the suit, Gill communicated back and forth with the Hippodrome’s staff from last January through July attempting to find a way to attend the show and follow the action on stage. She was told that the theater provides its hearing-impaired patrons with infrared hearing devices, audio descriptions and sign interpreters, but has made no provisions for open captioning.

Read entire article  . . .

NATO issues ‘landmark’ access recommendations for hearing disabled to DOJ

November 25, 2014 in Advocacy & Access, Captioning / Relay, Community News

 

 

L.A. NIZ
Nov 24, 2014
Annlee Ellingson Staff Writer- L.A. Biz

More than 38 million Americans have a hearing disability, according to the Los Angeles Times. And while 70 percent of Americans go to the movies at least once per year, only one-third of the deaf and hearing-impaired do. That’s more than 14 million potential movie tickets that go unsold.

Such data makes for a strong case for movie theaters to install captioning equipment for hearing-disabled guests — as does avoiding costly lawsuits levied by advocacy groups. But such accommodations can be expensive — $3,000 to nearly $40,000 depending on the size of the theater, the Times estimates. So the National Association of Theatre Owners, along with four deaf and hard-of-hearing advocacy groups, is negotiating with the Department of Justice to make sure such an investment would be equitably distributed among its members.

For example, the joint recommendation agrees that all digital screens should be installed with closed-captioning (CC) and audio-description (AD) technologies. However, the DOJ has proposed a fixed formula for the number of CC display units based on the number of seats in a theater complex, regardless of the venue’s actual attendance or the number of deaf and hard-of-hearing people in the vicinity. The NATO document instead recommends establishing a minimum device requirement — 12 units for a theater with 16 or more screens — and then monitoring demand every six months, requiring display units at a rate of 150 percent of average weekend consumer demand.

Read entire Article  . . .

 

REAL-TIME TRANSLATION SERVICE NOW AVAILABLE VIA iPAD at St. Theresa Catholic Church in Ashburn, VA

November 25, 2014 in Captioning / Relay, Community News

 

 

St. Theresa Catholic Church in Ashburn, VA:  HOMILY REAL-TIME TRANSLATION SERVICE NOW AVAILABLE VIA iPAD – Are you not hearing the Sunday mass homily as well as you’d like?  Especially for the hearing impaired and deaf but open to all, you now have an amazing option to receive the Sunday mass homily, prayers of the faithful, and announcements via real-time translation (CART service) directly to your iPAD during mass!  St. Theresa parishioner and professional court reporter Donna L. Linton has volunteered to provide the service (just like closed captioning on your television).  Please contact Donna at CARTsttheresa@aol.com for information on mass times and how to join in.

AGB, ALDA, HLAA, NAD & NATO – Joint Recommendations to the Department of Justice

November 21, 2014 in Captioning / Relay, Community News, Technology

 

 

Alexander Graham Bell Association
Association of Late-Deafened Adults
Hearing Loss Association of America
National Association of the Deaf
National Association of Theatre Owners

Joint Recommendations to the Department of Justice RIN 1190-AA63, CRT Docket No. 126

Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability by Public Accommodations – Movie Theatres: Movie Captioning and Audio Description

READ DOCUMENT  – Joint Recommendations to the Department of Justice

Read Press Release 11/21/14 – DOWNLOAD – Joint Press Release (PDF)

View the live press conference Archive from Friday 11/21 from 10-11 AM EST