Captioning / Relay - Archive

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

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



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  . . .



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 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

Join ALDA at the Movie Captioning Webcast-Friday 11/21/14-10-11AM EST

November 20, 2014 in Captioning / Relay, Community News, Technology


Deaf and Hard of Hearing Advocacy Groups and Movie Theater Owners
Joint Press Conference on Movie Captioning

National Press Club, Washington D.C.

November 21, 2014
10:00 – 11:00am ET

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

Read Press Conference Announcement

(Washington, D.C. – 21 November 2014) The Alexander Graham Bell Association (AG Bell), the Association of Late Deafened Adults (ALDA), the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), and the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) today announced an agreement to file joint recommendations with the Department of Justice regarding its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on captioning equipment in U.S. movie theaters.


Commitments To Voluntary Actions To Improve Access Also Outlined

(Washington, D.C. – 21 November 2014) The Alexander Graham Bell Association (AG Bell), the Association of Late Deafened Adults (ALDA), the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), and the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) today announced an agreement to file joint recommendations with the Department of Justice regarding its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on captioning equipment in U.S. movie theaters.

After several weeks of discussions, the five organizations agreed on a set of recommendations (attached) to the DOJ to improve access to movies for deaf and hard of hearing patrons.

Read entire Press Release – DOWNLOAD – Joint Press Release (PDF)



Did you know there’s more than one way to use Captioned Telephone?

November 20, 2014 in Captioning / Relay, Community News, Technology



How Do You Use CapTel?

The CapTel, or captioned telephone, has been a great way for Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Late-Deafened folks who prefer to speak on the phone to keep in touch with their friends and family.  Whether at home or at work, keeping in touch is important.

But did you know there’s more than one way to use CapTel?

Many people are familiar with the CapTel phone, which can be used at home or in the office.  But you can also get captioned telephone calls from any place where you have a telephone and a computer with WebCapTel:

Just create a free account with WebCapTel, get your Call Me #, and you’re ready to go!

Use a computer to log into the WebCapTel website, type in your telephone number (your cell phone or landline, etc.), then type in the number of the person you want to call.  The WebCapTel service calls you on the number you provided, connects you to the person you are calling, and the computer screen gives you the captions of the call.

You can also download the CapTel Mobile app to your 4G smartphone or tablet to get captioned calls on the go!  Just log into the app to get captioned calls anywhere you have 4G service.

If  you live in the Northern Virginia Area and you’d like a demonstration of CapTel, WebCapTel, or CapTel Mobile, please contact Debbie Jones at to set up an appointment.




FCC Establishes Quality Standards for TV Closed Captioning

November 18, 2014 in Captioning / Relay, Community News, Technology




The FCC recently adopted new rules regarding closed captioning quality for television programming. The new rules establish four “non-quantitative” quality standards for closed captioning, requiring captions to be (1) accurate, (2) synchronous, (3) complete, and (4) properly placed. Rules requiring compliance with these standards will take effect on January 15, 2015. The FCC also adopted new rules addressing a number of related issues, including new requirements for broadcast stations using Electronic Newsroom Technique (“ENT”). The new ENT requirements, which require broadcasters to comply with a prescribed set of ENT Best Practices, will take effect on June 30, 2014. New monitoring requirements for equipment used to provide closed captioning will take effect on April 30, 2014, and a related set of recordkeeping requirements will take effect on January 15, 2015.

See the entire Report & Order here: -12A1.doc

Caption Tool Announced: {CCAC} is now live!

November 11, 2014 in Captioning / Relay, Technology



November 10, 2014
Michael Lockreythedeafguy is now live.

Effortlessly fix up the automatic captioning on any YouTube video, with our free, open source and zero learning curve solution.

Please check out an introduction to the tool on and get in touch if you have any queries whatsoever.

Cheers for now, Michael Lockrey



Transcense: New APP in Development to provide transcribed conversations

October 16, 2014 in Captioning / Relay, Community News, Technology

Transcense can translate speech into written words and transcribe it on screen in near real time. To make that possible, the app connects to several phones and activates their mics to capture what everyone’s saying, then it uses voice recognition to assign each person in the group a color for their speech bubbles. Also, the user can ask the program to speak for him using a digital voice or get everyone’s attention through the app when he wants to say something.

In Pennsylvania, some candidates don’t have all the voters’ ears

October 2, 2014 in Captioning / Relay, Community News



SUNLIGHT Foundation
by Kathy Kiely
SEPT. 24, 2014

In the Philadelphia area, most candidates and campaign committees trying to woo voters with TV ads this election season are going out of their way to reach out to those with hearing difficulties, but there are some notable exceptions.

Republican Gov. Tom Corbett’s campaign for re-election is most prominent of the political committees advertising on Philadelphia-area TV this fall without closed captioning, written transcripts of a broadcasts’ spoken words that can be activated on most TVs.

The omission isn’t partisan however: The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, which has bought ads opposing Corbett, also fails to provide the captions. So does the campaign of Tom MacArthur, a Republican running for an open congressional seat in south Jersey.

The findings were unearthed as part of the Philly Political Media Watch, a pilot research project by the Internet Archive, the Sunlight Foundation, the Committee of Seventy and local scholars to catalogue political communications and trace funding for them to the source.

Our initial efforts focus on advertising in one of the nation’s largest TV markets during the 2014 campaign. The Internet Archive, which is capturing Philadelphia TV broadcasts on servers housed at the University of Pennsylvania’s Linguistics Data Consortium, noticed the omitted captions because the Archive uses them to index the TV data.

While the Federal Communications Commission requires closed captioning on most television programming, advertisements are generally exempt. Most advertisers provide the captions, however, to expand their market reach. In a December 2010 memo to members, the Association of National Advertisers extolled the benefits of closed captioning, noting that the “cost . . . is minimal” and that it would enable advertisers to reach an estimated 36 million Americans who suffer from hearing loss (low, according to Johns Hopkins University, which puts the number at 48 million).

Read More  . . .

Folger Theatre – Captioned Performances – 2014/15 Season

September 4, 2014 in Captioning / Relay, Community Events


Folger Theatre’s Website

2014/15 Theatre Brochure

Tickets and Subscriptions by email
or Call the box office at 202.544.7077 for details

Folger Theatre’s open-captioned performances are generously sponsored by Vinton and Sigrid Cerf.

by William Shakespeare
directed by Robert Richmond
Sunday, November 30, 2pm

by Friedrich Schiller
in a new version by Peter Oswald
directed by Richard Clifford
Sunday, March 1, 2pm

by Tom Stoppard
directed by Aaron Posner
Sunday, June 14, 2pm

2014/15 Theatre Brochure

Deaf viewers fight for on-screen movie captions

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



Democrat & Chronicle, Rochester , NY
David Riley, Staff writer
August 18, 2014

A loose-knit group of deaf and hard-of-hearing people wants movie theaters in the Rochester area to more readily provide captions on-screen if patrons ask for them.

About 40 advocates took their cause to the Regal Henrietta Stadium 18 theater earlier this month, said Dean DeRusso, a Gates resident who is deaf and participated in the protest. Many people had difficulty using special captioning glasses provided by the theater or thought the devices were uncomfortable, while others found that there were not enough for everyone to use, he said.

DeRusso said he asked theater employees to activate on-screen captions instead, but was told that only upper management could do so.

In DeRusso’s view, that means that the region’s large deaf population is not getting equal access to the theater. An estimate by the National Technical Institute for the Deafin 2012 said that more than 40,000 people who are deaf or hard of hearing live in greater Rochester — among the largest per capita populations with hearing difficulties in the U.S.

DeRusso said the theater should turn on captions for any movie when at least one deaf or hard-of-hearing person attends.

Read More . . .

Broadcast captioner explanation of work in humorous GIFs

August 21, 2014 in Captioning / Relay, Interpreting & Transliterating, Technology




A broadcast captioner has created a hysterically funny account of what it’s like to do what she does – sure to go viral if it hasn’t already:

Definitely something to pass on !


Live subtitles: How smart technology could help deaf people

August 7, 2014 in Captioning / Relay, Technology



BBC News
By William Mager
Original Article 

There are many new technologies that can help people with disabilities, like live subtitling 24/7 for deaf people, but how well do they work?

Deaf people always remember the first time a new technology came on the scene, and made life just that little bit easier in a hearing world.

I’ve had many firsts. Television subtitles, text phones, the advent of the internet and texting all opened up opportunities for me to connect with the wider world and communicate more easily.

After a while tiredness overtakes excitement and I take the headset off”

So when I first heard about Google Glass – wearable technology that positions a small computer screen above your right eye – I was excited. Live subtitling 24/7 and calling up an in-vision interpreter at the touch of a button. Remarkably both seemed possible.

That was a year ago. Since then, Tina Lannin of 121 Captions and Tim Scannell of Microlink have been working to make Google Glass for deaf people a reality. They agreed to let me test out their headset for the day.

First impressions are that it feels quite light, but it is difficult to position so that the glass lens is directly in front of your eye.

Once you get it in the “sweet spot” you can see a small transparent screen, it feels as though it is positioned somewhere in the distance, and is in sharp focus. The moment you get the screen into that position feels like another first – another moment when the possibilities feel real.

But switching your focus from the screen to what’s going on around you can be a bit of a strain on the eyes. Looking “up” at the screen also makes me look like I’m a bad actor trying to show that I’ve had an idea, or that I’m deep in thought.

The menu system is accessed in two ways. There is a touch screen on the side which can be swiped back and forth, up and down, and you tap to select the option you want.

DOJ pushes rules for movie theaters on serving blind & deaf

July 29, 2014 in Captioning / Relay, Disability Law



The Hill
By Benjamin Goad
Article Source

The Justice Department moved Friday to open up the nation’s cinemas to the visually and hearing impaired with a slate of draft regulations requiring movie theaters to offer closed captioning and audio description technology. 

“This proposed rule will allow all Americans, including those with disabilities, to fully participate in the moviegoing experience,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in unveiling the plan.

The DOJ’s bid to amend the Americans with Disabilities Act comes four years after the agency signaled plans to move forward with new regulations, drawing more than 1,000 public comments. 

The agency is seeking to require all theaters with digital screens to comply with the new regulations six months after the rule is finalized. The proposal asks for comment on whether a four year compliance date is appropriate for theaters with analog screens, or whether regulations for those movie houses should be shelved until a later date. 

Estimates of the costs of the rule fall somewhere between $177.8 million and $225.9 million over 15 years, the agency said. 

Under the rules, captions would be delivered directly to the seat in a manner only visible to only a requesting patron. Audio description, transmitted via a wireless headset, allows individuals who are blind or have low vision “a spoken narration of important visual elements of a movie, such as actions, settings, facial expressions, costumes and scene changes.”

The Justice Department stressed that the regulations would . . .

Read more:
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FCC Requires Closed Captioning Of IP-Delivered Video Clips

July 23, 2014 in Advocacy & Access, Captioning / Relay, Community News, Disability Law



News Release – July 11, 2014
Proposed Ruling Released – July 14,2014

New Rules Will Require Captioning of Certain Online Video Clips Beginning in 2016

Washington, D.C. – The Federal Communications Commission today approved new rules that will require closed captioning of video clips that are posted online. The new rules further the purpose of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA) by helping to ensure equal access to all forms of programming by individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing when they watch video content online.
Specifically, the rules extend the Commission’s IP closed captioning rules adopted in 2012, which cover full-length videos online, to video clips if the original programming was shown on television in the United States with captions. The new rules apply to video programming distributors that air programming – including broadcasters and cable and satellite distributors— on television and then post clips of that programming on their own website or via their own mobile app. The new rules do not extend to third party websites or apps. Compliance deadlines vary based on the type of video clip. Specifically, a deadline of:

  • January 1, 2016, will apply to “straight lift” clips, which contain a single excerpt of a captioned
    television program with the same video and audio that was presented on television;
  • January 1, 2017, will apply to “montages,” which occur when a single file contains multiple straight lift clips; and
  • July 1, 2017, will apply to video clips of live and near-live television programming, such as news
    or sporting events. Distributors will have a grace period of 12 hours after the associated live
    video programming was shown on television and eight hours after the associated near-live video
    programming was shown on television before the clip must be captioned online in order to give
    distributors flexibility to post time-sensitive clips online without delay.

Finally, the requirements do not apply to video clips that are in the distributor’s online library before the
applicable compliance deadline because compliance for this category of video clips is considered to be
economically burdensome.

The Commission also issued a Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that asks for comment on
four related issues, including:

  • Application of the IP closed captioning rules to the provision of video clips by third party distributors not subject to today’s Order;
  • Whether to decrease or eliminate over time the grace periods that apply to video clips of live and near-live programming, as technological advancements facilitate the prompt online posting of such clips with captions;
  • Application of the IP closed captioning requirements to “mash-ups,” which are files that contain a combination of one or more video clips from captioned programming that has been shown on television along with other content (such as online-only content) that has not been shown on television with captions; and
  • Application of the IP closed captioning rules to “advance” video clips, which are those that are added to the distributor’s online library after the applicable compliance deadline but before the video programming is shown on television with captions, and which then remain online.

Action by the Commission July 11, 2014, by Report and Order and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FCC 14-97). Chairman Wheeler, Commissioners Clyburn and Rosenworcel issuing separate statements. Commissioner Pai concurring and issuing statement. Commissioner O’Rielly approving in part and concurring in part and issuing statement.



List of related documents, background information and announcements:

FCC July 11, 2014 News Release (PDF) 

iDeafnews announcement from NAD (ASL video with captions)

Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology (COAT)  announcement

FCC Commission Document FCC 14-97 Released July 14, 2014

CEA Study Announcement – Arlington, VA – 06/05/2014 Change is in the Air: U.S. Households Viewing TV Programming only via the Internet are Poised to Surpass those Viewing only via Antenna