Captioning and Subtitling Services

Posts tagged ‘realtime’

Are You Compliant with New Federal Captioning Guidelines?

New Federal Captioning Guidelines – Beginning January 18, 2018, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was “refreshed” to require that information and communication technology in the public sector, especially web content, be accessible to all.  Section 508 addresses not only federal agencies but is widely applied to state and local entities such as colleges and universities that receive federal funding.  If you represent such an agency, are you compliant with new federal captioning guidelines?


According to GCN: Technology, Tools and Tactics for Public Sector IT, Section 508 deals with electronic services including “web page content, PDF documents, and audio and video content,”  specifying requirements to ensure that all web content is accessible to people with disabilities, such as deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals.  These guidelines, which were ordered in January of 2017, are meant to keep pace with rapid advances in technology, such as the rising use of Internet video and live webcasts across devices.

New Federal Captioning Guidelines and Requirements

To achieve its goals, Section 508 incorporates the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.  WCAG 2.0 defines how to make web content more accessible to people with disabilities, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing.  Of particular interest to federal agencies using video web content, Success Criterion 1.2.2 of WCAG 2.0 states, “Captions are provided for all prerecorded audio content in synchronized media.”  Examples of prerecorded synchronized media might include video tutorials or artistic performances.  Success Criterion 1.2.4 states, “Captions are provided for all live audio content in synchronized media,” and examples include live news webcasts or realtime artistic performances.  In both cases, captions should provide dialogue AND non-speech information such as sound effects and other significant audio.

State and Local Captioning Requirements

Although New Federal Captioning Guidelines Section 508 places requirements on federal agencies, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act may also require colleges and universities receiving federal funds to adhere to Section 508.  According to the EDUCAUSE Review, institutions of higher education are now facing class-action lawsuits over the issue of accessible websites.  Based on complaints from advocacy groups such as the National Association of the Deaf and the U.S. Department of Education, “Higher education should now be on notice: Anyone with an Internet connection can now file a complaint or civil lawsuit, not just students with disabilities.”

CompuScripts Can Help with New Federal Captioning Guidelines

If you represent a federal agency or an institution of higher learning which produces Internet video content, CompuScripts can bring you into compliance with Section 508 captioning requirements.  CompuScripts offers both realtime and postproduction captioning services.  Additionally, CompuScripts is endorsed by the Described and Captioned Media Program, which is administered by the National Association of the Deaf and funded by the U.S. Department of Education.   Contact CompuScripts Captioning to help your agency or school comply with Section 508.


Requesting A Quote for Your Postproduction Broadcast Project

CompuScripts Captioning believes in offering clients the quickest turnaround for every budget.  Before we can give you an accurate quote, we’d like you to do some homework.  Having the following information at hand will allow us to start your captioning project right away!

What to Know When Requesting a Quote for Your Postproduction Broadcast Project

  1. In what format do you need your captioned master video?  This is best answered by the broadcast station airing your program.  Does the broadcaster want a videotape or digital format?  (Most broadcasters have made the transitioned to digital formats.)  If a digital format is expected for delivery, what are the specifications?  These are highly nuanced.  Your station may want high definition or standard definition video.  They will require a specific finished file wrapper and particular audio and video codecs. If your sales contact at the station cannot answer these questions, ask to speak to the station engineer.  This information is essential in building a quote that will accurately reflect the ultimate invoice for your captioned project.
  2. What are you giving CompuScripts to work with?  First, it is important that the audio of your master video meets FCC requirements.  Second, your master video has to be ready to be ingested into the station’s broadcast server complete and finished, except for the captions, when we receive it.  If it is not, we must know the specifications of your station’s broadcast server in order to create a new master.  Again, speak with your station’s engineer, as stations may use different broadcast servers for different types of programming.  Delivering your program to us in a format that meets the station’s specifications will get you the quickest turnaround and save you money by eliminating the need to reformat your video. 
  3. When does the station need delivery of your production?  This is not the same as your program’s air date.  Stations may need your program a week or more in advance, especially if they require a digital format.  For the quickest turnaround and the most budget-friendly quote, plan to deliver your program to us with sufficient time to meet your station’s deadline.
  4. Know your captioning options. Before contacting us for a quote, view our services menu at  CompuScripts offers postproduction, broadcast realtime, and Internet captions, and there are options within each category for every budget.  CompuScripts will help you choose the right option for your intended audience and get you the quickest turnaround possible.

Having this information at hand when you call will allow us to build an accurate quote that suits your quality expectations and budget requirements.