Captioning and Subtitling Services

Posts tagged ‘arena captions’

Sports Captioning Interview

As the University of South Carolina heads towards its last home football game of the 2014 season, we’d like to introduce you to one of our most experienced captioners, Joniel. This is the second season of Gamecock football for which Joniel has provided stadium captioning. The addition of stadium captioning at Williams-Brice Stadium allows the deaf and hard-of-hearing community to enjoy the public address announcements, song lyrics, videos, halftime performances, and anything else that is heard over the P.A. during breaks in the action. Below, you’ll find Joniel’s thoughts on love (of sports), loss (of one of her favorite players), and the “magical” names on the Gamecock roster.

CompuScripts Captioning: How did you get into closed captioning?

Joniel: I got into closed captioning when, during my work as a deposition reporter, I was encouraged by my then-boss (who is a true sister of my heart) to embrace the discipline, purchase captioning software, and provide services for a new client of her firm that required captioning. This occurred during the mid-1990s.

CC: What types of programs have you captioned during your career?

Joniel: My initial focus was government: council meetings, school boards, commissions. It has expanded to financial calls, news programs, sports-centric programs, both games and recaps, educational, devotional, local entertainment, cooking, and local-interest programs. I caption high school and college football games.   I also use my captioning skills for onsite CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) presented to either individual participants who need text of a meeting or to a large audience. I have captioned the gamut of programs!

CC: You mentioned sports-centric programming. Are you a sports fan generally? What are your favorite teams?

Joniel: I am a sports fan. My particular interest is the Cleveland Indians because I caption their games often, and I admit to having a private connection: When I was a teenager, my sister’s husband was an outfielder on one of the Cleveland Indians’ farm teams. I avidly follow their progress each year, whether I caption their games or not. My 15-year-old grandson is quite a good little league player. I also follow the Seattle Mariners and Seahawks, as well as the Cleveland Browns and, of course, the USC Gamecocks. I have become a football fan mostly because I am now involved in captioning the Gamecocks’ home football games, and that has led me to follow and appreciate other teams.

CC: What are the greatest challenges in stadium captioning?

Joniel: The challenges relate mostly to not having a “view” of what the audience is seeing. I communicate with [CompuScripts’ owner] Debbie Dusseljee via text message, along with the control person onsite.

CC: What do you enjoy most about stadium captioning?

Joniel: I enjoy the football games I stadium caption because I feel more like a spectator than a captioner. The actual game-time captioning is less stressful because the audio I receive is a synopsis of the action rather than a play-by-play version, as is the case for network sports captioning. However, my pregame and halftime responsibilities include assembly, proofreading, and presenting a detailed script of the ceremonial events which occur during each game.

CC:   Have you developed any favorite Gamecock players while captioning?

Joniel: Since I have captioned the Gamecocks for two years, I’ve developed favorites for each year. I thought Jadeveon Clowney (of course!) was a HERO last year. Sadly, he’s graduated. This year Sharrod Golightly and Pharoh Cooper are my favorites, mostly because I think their names are magical. I have no way of “seeing” other than through “hearing.”

CC: What have you learned about the University of South Carolina and Gamecock football while providing the stadium captioning?

Joniel: I have learned that the tradition of USC Gamecocks football is as close to a spiritual belief as I’ve ever witnessed. The Gamecock Crow, 2001 Space Odyssey, Sandstorm, the Mighty Sound of the Southeast, as well as the student-athletes all factor into the tradition, and the spectacle becomes complete and absorbing. It is welcoming and nurturing as well.

Joniel's Captioning Suite

Joniel’s Captioning Suite and Stenomachine

Is your sports franchise interested in bringing captioning to your stadium’s deaf and hard-of-hearing audience? CompuScripts Captioning has been providing stadium captioning since 2011. We’d love for you to contact us about providing stadium captioning to your team’s fans!

Tackling Stadium Captions

2014 can’t come soon enough for college football fans in South Carolina.  USC will face Wisconsin in the Capital One Bowl on January 1, and Clemson takes on Ohio State at the Discover Orange Bowl on January 3.  For the fan lucky enough to attend, certain elements of Game Day are requirements:
1. Body paint in team colors
2. Uncle (his name here)’s famous chicken wings
3. Photos with Cocky or the Tiger (or a Badger or Buckeye, if you must)

Example of Stadium Captions on a Ribbon Board

Example of Stadium Captions on a Ribbon Board

These are aspects of the stadium experience that are available to everyone.  Now, thanks to sports stadium and arena captioning, things like public address announcements or half-time ceremonies may also be enjoyed by the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing community at sporting events across the country.

From the University of Arizona’s Sun Devil Stadium to the Washington Redskins’ FedExField, more and more sports stadiums and arenas are offering captions to their fans.  In 2012, the University of South Carolina began captioning Gamecock football at Williams-Brice Stadium.  A ribbon board below the “Beast Board” positioned on the right-hand side displays captions of the pregame show, the halftime show, announcers’ play-by-play, sponsors’ ads, and officials’ calls.  CompuScripts Captioning is proud to be the captioning service provider for the Gamecocks.

“I am so excited about this addition to our football stadium,” said Dr. Karen Pettus, director of the office of student disability services at the University of South Carolina, in “Gamecocks Online.”  “The addition of the closed caption ribbon board will ensure that everyone who attends a home football game has the full South Carolina game day experience.  It is a pleasure to work with an athletics department that values the diversity of our university community.”

Sports stadiums and arenas that do not offer caption services are finding themselves under increased pressure to do so by advocacy groups such as the National Association of the Deaf.  In September, NAD lawyers filed suit against the University of Maryland and several of its officials, citing “…a failure to provide captioning of announcements and commentary made over the public address systems during athletic events at Byrd Stadium and the Comcast Center.”  The suit was filed on behalf of two Deaf fans who regularly attend University of Maryland sporting events.  In 2010, pressure from the NAD was instrumental in Ohio State University’s agreement to provide captioning at its football and basketball games.

CompuScripts Captioning is experienced in providing the most accurate sports stadium and arena captioning and text-streaming services.  If you are a representative of a sports stadium or arena and would like more information about our sports captioning services, please contact Deborah Dusseljee at 1.888.849.9698 or ddusseljee@compuscripts.com