Captioning / Relay - Archive

Explosion in Activity re: Airlines and Captioning

November 30, 2015 in Captioning / Relay, Hearing Loss & Deafness



There has been a storm brewing on Twitter regarding in-flight captioning, with the latest bombshell being by Nyle DiMarco about American Airlines’ challenges in ensuring accessibility for the deaf and hard of hearing community.  Nyle DiMarco is an American actor and model. He is the first and only deaf contestant to appear on America’s Next Top Model, a popular TV show.

American Airlines responded in three different tweets to Nyle.

At the time of this post, 92 people voted in the CSD Twitter poll, with an overwhelming 95% in favor of airlines providing captions as a standard feature on all in-flight videos.

While dated, but very much relevant to this developing situation, U.S. Senator Harkin commented in the pastsaying “I have been trying for some time to get the airlines to provide closed captions on the movies on their airplanes. I can’t understand why they don’t do it. It doesn’t cost anything,” after the Senate Appropriations Committee voted to send the measure to the full of the floor Senate.

Read Comments and read blog  . . . Airlines and Captioning

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Open Captioned Screening – Dec 19

November 24, 2015 in Captioning / Relay, Community Events


“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” will be open captioned at Regal Gallery Place Stadium 14 in Washington, DC
December 19th (Saturday) at 6:00 PM.

Tickets are available online right now to purchase in advance!
With the screening on opening weekend, it will likely sell out between now and then. It is highly recommended to get your tickets now and to get to the theater early on that day to get good seats.

Instructions follow:

  1. Go to the theater website:
  2. Change the date to 12/19/15
  3. Select the “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” 6:00 PM time that says “OC” (Open Captions) under Amenities next to it
  4. Buy your tickets!


Courtesy of –Erik Nordlof – Thanks

OC – AFI Silver Theatre – SUFFRAGETTE – Nov. 22 @ 7:20

November 19, 2015 in Captioning / Relay, Community Events


AFI Silver Theatre is happy to provide open captioning for select film(s) this Sunday, November 22: 


SUFFRAGETTE is a moving drama that will empower all who are striving for equal rights in this day and age. The stirring film, directed by BAFTA Award® winner Sarah Gavron and written by Emmy Award® winner Abi Morgan, is inspired by the early-20th-century campaign of the Suffragettes, who were activists for Women’s Suffrage – the right of women to vote. The cast includes Academy Award® nominees Carey Mulligan and Helena Bonham Carter, Golden Globe Award® nominee Brendan Gleeson, British Independent Film Award® winner Anne-Marie Duff, BAFTA Award® winner Ben Whishaw and three-time Academy Award® winner Meryl Streep.

Check 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

AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center
8633 Colesville Road
Silver Spring, MD 20910

“Bridge of Spies” Open Captioned – Friday, Nov 6th

November 5, 2015 in Captioning / Relay, Community Events


There will be an open captioned screening of “Bridge of Spies” this Friday, November 6th at 7:20 PM!
It will be at Regal Gallery Place 14 in Washington, DC.

Tickets are now available to buy online. Deaf moviegoers can go to the theater website (, change the date to 11/6/15, and find “Bridge of Spies” with the row showing 7:20 PM and “OC” under Amenities.

If you do not know anything about Bridge of Spies, here are some links:

Trailer with English Subtitles:
Score of 92% on Rotten Tomatoes:
Score of 81 out of 100 on Metacritic:

The main Facebook group for following OC screenings is DC Deaf Moviegoers (, and the Facebook event page for the “Bridge of Spies” OC screening can be seen here:

Amazon reaches deal with deaf rights group to caption all video

October 15, 2015 in Advocacy & Access, Captioning / Relay



Lawsuit against Harvard and MIT over free online courses is ongoing.

 Ars Technica
by  Joe Mullin
Oct 14, 2015

A deaf rights group that sued Netflix to compel it to caption all its video programming has reached a similar deal with Amazon over its streaming video.

Unlike the Netflix settlement, the deal between Amazon and the National Association for the Deaf was negotiated without litigation.

Amazon has already captioned 100 percent of the video it offers through its Prime Video and has agreed to continue to do so. Under the deal with NAD, Amazon will move through its back-catalog content, captioning an additional 190,000 titles which weren’t given captions by the content creators.

For videos that have been viewed more than 10 times in the past 90 days, Amazon will get 90 percent of them captioned by the end of this year and 100 percent of them captioned by the end of 2016.

“The NAD is thus thrilled by Amazon’s decision to make its online entertainment experience more accessible to deaf and hard of hearing customers who also look to Amazon to fulfill their needs for comprehensive goods and services,” said Howard Rosenblum, CEO of the NAD.

Read more . . . deaf rights

Open Captioned (OC) Screenings of Movie “The Martian” Oct. 9th & 16th

October 9, 2015 in Captioning / Relay, Community Events



Regal Gallery Place Stadium 14 in Washington, DC will be having two open captioned (OC) screenings of “The Martian” this October 2015. Details follow:

Theater: Regal Gallery Place Stadium 14, 701 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

Date and Time #1: October 9th (Friday) at 7:00pm TONIGHT

Date and Time #2: October 16th (Friday) at 7:00pm

Tickets for each date and time are available to buy online on Tuesday evening before each showtime. For #1, tickets are available starting the evening of October 6th (Tuesday). For #2, tickets are available starting the evening of October 13th (Tuesday). The main website is Regal Gallery Place Stadium 14, where you can change the date to the appropriate screening and look for The Martian 7:00 PM screening where it says “OC” (for Open Captions) under Amenities.

There are two event pages on Facebook for deaf moviegoers to join and share with others:
“The Martian” Open Captioned Screening (1st of 2):
“The Martian” Open Captioned Screening (2nd of 2):

Both event pages were created under the new Facebook group DC Deaf Moviegoers, where deaf moviegoers can share their movie experiences and plan for future screenings.

The movie theater is on top of Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro Station, which services the Red Line as well as Green/Yellow Lines. The Gallery Place building also has a parking garage, and the movie theater can validate your parking pass for 3 hours’ free parking.


Yahoo brings accessibility quest to Boston

October 1, 2015 in Captioning / Relay, Technology



Boston Globe
by Hiawatha Bray

According to the World Health Organization, a billion people worldwide have some form of disability. The giant Internet service Yahoo wants to deliver information and entertainment to every one of them, not just because it’s good business, but also because it’s the right thing to do.

On Tuesday, Yahoo showed off an “accessibility lab” at its Boston facility in Downtown Crossing. Yahoo will use the lab to test the closed captions it attaches to its online video content, to ensure that deaf viewers can enjoy the shows.

Yahoo includes such captions on nearly all its video content, but must carefully tailor the captions for multiple devices. The same video might be viewed on a laptop, a tablet, a smartphone or a videogame console. The Boston accessibility lab will ensure that captions are modified as needed, so they’re correctly rendered on each device.

“The more we can both prove the financial value and the social value, hooray! What a double win that is!” said Larry Goldberg, Yahoo’s director of accessible media and manager of the Boston lab, one of two run by the company. Goldberg spent nearly 30 years at Boston public television station WGBH, where he led the National Center for Accessible Media, a pioneer in the use of closed captions and descriptive audio for people with vision problems.

See original article

Hiawatha Bray is a technology reporter for the Boston Globe.

Job Opening for Virginia Captioned Telephone Service Outreach Coordinator

September 1, 2015 in Captioning / Relay, Employment




Hamilton Relay, Inc. currently has a position open for

“Virginia Captioned Telephone Outreach Coordinator” staffed in Richmond, Virginia.

Position summary: This full-time position is responsible for coordinating and implementing outreach activities designed to promote Captioned Telephone Service (CapTel®) for Virginia Captioned Telephone Service (VACTS). The position requires independent travel throughout the state of Virginia.

Preferred education, experience and skills:

Education and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree and two or more years of experience in the design and implementation of public outreach, public relations or related marketing experience are required.
  • Experience in the telecommunication field, Traditional Relay Service or Captioned Telephone Service is a strong plus.


  • Excellent presentation skills
  • Experience in the planning, coordination and delivery of public relations activities
  • Ability to develop effective outreach and educational campaigns
  • Ability to confidently communicate (oral & written) with a wide variety of audiences
  • Ability to plan, schedule and execute multiple projects
  • Ability to understand and follow directions
  • Capacity to develop and maintain effective working relationships with Relay Administrator, organizations within the public, private and non-profit sectors
  • Knowledge of and ability to understand various communication modes used by current and potential relay users
  • Familiarity with the user communities that could benefit from relay services:
    • Senior Community
    • Hard of Hearing Community
  • Able to travel alone
  • Be able to lift up to 50 lbs
  • Captioned Telephone users are encouraged to apply

Interested individuals may apply online at: or contact Amy Hall in Corporate Human Resource Department by September 11, 2015 at 800.821.1831. Hamilton Relay is an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin or disability.

Hamilton Relay, Inc. is a division of Hamilton Telecommunications based in Aurora, NE. Hamilton offers a competitive wage and full time benefits.

DOWNLOAD – Job Description – Virginia Captioned Telephone Outreach Coordinator 0815


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 or contact Stephanie Ulmer at

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, 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



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
  • BIRDMAN 7:05 (OC)
Monday, February 2:
Wednesday, February 4:

Check 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 |

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 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 |