Captioning and Subtitling Services

Archive for the ‘Accessibility’ Category

JOIN US AT ALDACON 2012

CART Services to be Donated at Conference for Late-Deafened Adults

Onsite CART

Columbia, S. C., October 17, 2012

CompuScripts Captioning, Inc. is proud to announce that they will be exhibiting their services at ALDAcon 2012, a conference hosted by the Association of Late-Deafened Adults, October 17-21 in Columbia, S. C.  In addition to greeting visitors in the exhibition hall, CompuScripts will also be donating two sessions of CART. Communication Access Realtime Translation services provide captioning of the spoken word in the classroom, boardroom, courtroom, and other environments for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community.

Deborah Dusseljee founded CompuScripts to offer services to various entities in need of effective communication with predominantly hard-of-hearing and Deaf persons to include real-time closed captioning, offline and live display captioning, CART, subtitling, and text-streaming.  Deborah was instrumental in launching the closed captioning of local news programming in the Columbia area through her work as the Shatter Silence Committee Chair for Quota International’s local chapter.  Later, Deborah worked with the South Carolina Association of the Deaf in launching realtime closed captioning services for the South Carolina Senate and House of Representatives, as well as four news stations located throughout the state.  Since its founding, CompuScripts has provided complimentary CART services to local charitable organizations.

“Today, CompuScripts’ community involvement extends to supporting the Oliver Gospel Mission, Harvest Hope, Heartworks, and Pets, Inc.,” Ms. Dusseljee said. “We believe this helps us stay connected with South Carolina area residents and helps to create a more tightly-knit community.”

Mobile and Accessibility Experts Begin Tour

G3ict Lauches Global Briefing Tour

June 4, 2012, the FCC hosted the inaugural session of the M-Enabling Global Briefing Tour entitled “New Milestones for Mobile Accessibility: How Innovation Benefits Users and Transforms the Global Accessible and Assistive Technologies Eco-System.”  The G3ict is an advocacy initiative of the United Nations Global Alliance for ITC and Development.

With the fast-pace of new apps and services appearing on the market for mobile users, there are many opportunities for the aging population and persons with disabilities to benefit from the latest innovations for mobile phones and tablets.  Click here to access the open captioned archive for this informative exchange among mobile and accessibility experts as they discuss global accessible and assistive technologies.

Garbled or Missing Closed Captions

There are many reasons that captions can be garbled on your television.  The problem could lie with the reception of your television, the transmission from your cable or satellite provider, or it could be originating from the actual broadcast.  During a live broadcast, the problem with captions could also originate with the captioner or equipment and system used to deliver text to the broadcaster.

A good troubleshooting strategy is to start with your television.   Are garbled captions the problem on one channel or more than one?  If more than one channel is involved, go to the back of your television and make sure that all of the cables are securely attached. Be sure to check the wall connection also.  Another thing to keep in mind related to the reception of your television signal is that if the video picture is not crisp, then captions may display as unusual characters or garbled captions.

If the garbled or missing captions involve only one channel, then the problem may be occurring somewhere along the distribution system.  There are many places along the distribution system where a broadcast signal can be degraded or dropped.  A lot of equipment is used to bring a television show into your home or business, as well as different facilities may handle the broadcast feed before it reaches your home.  Nature may also be interfering with the transmission.  Solar flares can interrupt a broadcast signal.  Rainwater may be infiltrating a piece of equipment or hard wire connection.  If you are viewing a show in a public place, such as a bank, bar, or gym, the signal may have been split among many monitors by the business owner.  If the signal is split enough to substantially degrade the picture quality of a show, it will also degrade captions.

The best way to get your issue with captions resolved is to complain to your local service provider.  If you have cable, complain to your cable provider.  If you have satellite, complain to your satellite provider.  If you do not have cable or satellite, complain directly to the station that is transmitting the garbled or missing captions.  The FCC does accept complaints, but you stand a better chance of having the captioning problem resolved quickly if you complain to your local service provider.  You may want to complain to your service provider calling through your local Relay Service so that the provider understands that you are deaf or hard of hearing.  You also may want to ask if there are any signal problems because that can sometimes cause captions to be garbled. In your complaint, be as specific as possible, whether there were missing characters, unusual characters, or whether the captions were completely unreadable or missing.

The FCC has an online complaint form at http://esupport.fcc.gov/complaints.htm or you can email your complaint to fccinfo@fcc.gov.  You can fax your complaint to 866-418-0232, call toll free at 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) voice or 1-888-TELL- FCC (1-888-835-5322) TTY, or send a written complaint to the Federal Communications Commission at the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau, Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, DC 2055. Your complaint must be made within 60 days of when you saw the bad or missing captions. The FCC will need to know the name of the television program, the station, video programming distributor, and the issue with the captions.

 

You’re Not Dreaming. It’s Quality Captioning.

by Kim von Keller, CompuScripts’ Caption Editor

Many people have not only favorite movies, but favorite movie scenes. If you’re a fan of science fiction, you remember the big reveal in “Star Wars, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back” when Darth Vader stuns Luke Skywalker — and the audience — by saying, “I am your father.” Maybe you enjoy a courtroom procedural. In that case, you likely recall the heated exchange in “A Few Good Men” in which Colonel Jessup yells at Lieutenant Kaffee, “You can’t handle the truth!” But if you’re a fan of the family sports film, you can repeat Described and Captioned Media Program Captions Iconverbatim the last lines from “Field of Dreams.”

In this story, Ray Kinsella is given the opportunity to meet a much younger version of his deceased father, John, from whom he was estranged in life. As the two men stand on a baseball diamond, John tells Ray that there is a heaven. “It’s the place dreams come true,” he says. As John turns to leave, Ray calls out to him. “Hey, Dad… you wanna have a catch?”

Thanks to closed captioning, the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities are able to view and understand televised movies like “Field of Dreams,” plus a full complement of series, news programming, and sporting events. But the quality of the viewing experience may depend on the quality of the captions. The National Association of the Deaf refers to the act of closed captioning as “Making sounds visible.”

In addressing the quality of closed captioning, the NAD states that captions are not limited to the display of the spoken word. Captions also include speaker identification, sound effects, and music description. These captions should be displayed as close as possible to the “corresponding visual information.” In other words, captioned speech is placed onscreen near the speaker. Captioned sound effects are placed near the source of the sound. In addition, captions should be synchronized to the audio. (http://www.nad.org/issues/technology/captioning) The complete description of sound plus the accurate placement and timing of pop-on captions attempt to match the experience of the hearing viewer by enriching the experience of the deaf or hard of hearing viewer.

It is the continuing goal of CompuScripts Captioning to provide a complete viewing experience to those who rely on closed captioning. CompuScripts is proud to be endorsed by the Described and Captioned Media Program, which is administered by the NAD and funded by the U. S. Department of Education. Achieving DCMP “Approved Captioning Service Vendor” status is a prestigious honor in the captioning industry. Of those who participate in the rigorous evaluation process to acquire approved vendor status, only half actually earn the distinction

Now let’s imagine that moving final scene from “Field of Dreams,” this time with sound description. It is twilight, and birds twitter from an Iowa cornfield. Orchestral music plays softly in the background as the two men discuss heaven. Footfalls are heard as they walk upon the packed dirt of the baseline. John drops his catcher’s mask, and it slaps the chest protector that he’s left on the ground by home plate. As the conversation pauses, the music swells. Ray looks toward his home, and his daughter giggles loudly as she sits on a porch swing with her mother. John begins to walk away, but Ray calls to him, his voice breaking, “Hey, Dad… you wanna have a catch?” John and Ray toss the ball gingerly at first, and then the ball whacks the leather mitts. A heavy switch clicks as Ray’s wife turns on the outfield lights, and father and son continue their long-overdue game. Makes you cry just reading it.

To view a clip from “Field of Dreams” that does not include captions, click here.

CompuScripts Captioning has been providing NAD quality captions and sound effects since 1997.  We’d be honored to add quality captions and sound effects to your production’s media!

Do I Need to Closed Caption My Program?

Although much attention is being paid to new Federal Communications Commission regulations concerning the closed captioning of Internet video, it is also important to understand the legislation that first mandated the captioning of television video, the Telecommunications Act of 1996.  The provisions of Section 713 of the Act are intended to “ensure that video programming is closed captioned and accessible to persons with hearing disabilities.” (FCC Report and Order, August 22, 1997)  That accessibility goal notwithstanding, the Commission did provide exemptions to the captioning requirement.

Some exemptions are self-implementing, meaning that a programming provider does not need to seek Commission approval through petition.  Programming that is exempt from captioning requirements includes, but is not limited to, that which is in a language other than English or Spanish, that which consists mainly of non-vocal music, and that which is shown between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. local time.

There are also two exemptions based on the annual revenue of the programming provider.  FCC rules exempt all programming providers with annual gross revenues of less than $3 million per year from the captioning requirement. This is based on the conclusion that it would be economically burdensome for these providers to offer captioning. If their revenues exceed $3 million per year, programming providers are permitted to limit their spending on captioning to 2% of their annual gross revenues.

If the programming provider does not meet any of the standards of self-implementing exemption, the provider may petition the FCC on grounds that closed captioning is economically burdensome.  The factors that will be considered upon examination of the petition include the nature and cost of the closed captions for the programming, the impact on the operation of the provider or program owner, the financial resources of the provider or program owner, and the type of operations of the provider or program owner.

For a full list of television programming exemptions, please go to http://transition.fcc.gov/cib/dro/ccfactsh.html.

CVAA of 2010

Captioning for Internet Videos

The Federal Communications Commission released final rules for implementation of the Twenty-first Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA) on January 13, 2012.  These new rules require video programming owners to send required caption files for IP-delivered video programming to video programming distributors and providers along with program files and set January 13, 2012, as the date to which compliance deadlines are linked.

The FCC defines a video programming owner as “any person or entity that either (i) licenses the video programming to a video programming distributor or provider that makes the video programming available directly to the end user through a distribution method that uses Internet protocol; or (ii) acts as the video programming distributor or provider, and also possesses the right to license the video programming to a video programming distributor or provider that makes the video programming available directly to the end user through a distribution method that uses Internet protocol.”

In issuing final rules, the FCC set the schedule for compliance with the CVAA:

“All prerecorded programming that is not edited for Internet distribution and is subject to the new requirements must be captioned if it is shown on television with captions on or after the date six months after publication of these rules in the Federal Register;”

“All live and near-live programming subject to the new requirements must be captioned if it is shown on television with captions on or after the date 12 months after publication of these rules in the Federal Register;”

“All prerecorded programming that is edited for Internet distribution and is subject to the new requirements must be captioned if it is shown on television with captions on or after the date 18 months after publication of these rules in the Federal Register.”

The FCC also defines the video programming distributor or provider.  For purposes of the CVAA, the VPD or VPP is considered to be “any person or entity that makes video programming available directly to the end user through a distribution method that uses IP.”  Of special interest to the VPD or VPP is the regulation regarding archival programming:

“Archival content must be captioned according to the following deadlines:  Beginning two years after publication of these rules in the Federal Register, all programming that is subject to the new requirements and is already in the video program distributor’s library before it is shown on television with captions must be captioned within 45 days after it is shown on television with captions.  Beginning three years after publication of these rules in the Federal Register, such programming must be captioned within 30 days after it is shown on television with captions.  Beginning four years after publication of these rules in the Federal Register, such programming must be captioned within 15 days after it is shown on television with captions.”

Visit www.fcc.gov for more information.