CU Boulder Graduation Captioning

Assembling Accessible Graduations

Tis the season for graduation! It is that time again; annual academic graduation ceremonies are among us. Captioning can be an important part of education for people who are deaf/hard of hearing. It is all about the accessibility and equality for people who are deaf/hard of hearing, especially during times of academic acknowledgment, such as graduations. Captioning in these instances provide accessibility and involvement for the rest of the public, including the students.

 

Why Do It?

  • Almost 100% of students in the United States agree that closed captioning helps in the learning process.
  • Closed captioning is helpful to people who do not know the English language that well.
  • Increases retention, ability to read what was said in case it was missed somehow, and is a reference for visual learners.

How To Do It?

VITAC’s Event Center offering provides the perfect solution for large ceremonies.  We can connect to any large event center stream, add captions to your video and even send caption direct to a link to be accessed by phones or laptops.

Video of Captioning for Graduations

  • Captioning graduations is one of our many specialties. The video below shows how captioning in special events such as graduations proves to be helpful.

 

Captioning in education makes a difference in the students’ lives. Captioning educational videos in the classroom aids in a higher retention rate, which can promote a better understanding of the material.

 

Check out the services we can incorporate on campus

desk, workspace

Remote Spotlight: Maya Meadows

This week, we sat down to chat with Maya Meadows, one of our remote voice captioners, for some insight into what life is like for her at VITAC! Let’s see what she had to say.

 

 

Q: What’s your role here at VITAC?

A: I am a voice captioner with VITAC.

 

Q: In a few words, what does that entail?

A: I happily serve as the liaison between television stations and the deaf and hard of hearing by captioning what I hear as it translates into written text.

 

Q: In general, what does your workday typically look like?

A:  I wake up (Thank God), get both an 8 and 3 year old off to school, head downstairs to my office in my comfy pjs, and caption away (with a few breaks here and there) until it’s time for me to go and sit in the carpool line.

 

Q: What is the most engaging or your favorite part of your role? What makes you laugh, if anything?

A: I absolutely LOVE the flexibility this career offers!! Being able to work from home has done wonders for my road rage while having the privilege servicing the deaf and heard of hearing.

 

Q: What is the most challenging part of your role?

A: The constant challenge is continuing to perform at a high level, maintaining my accuracy, increasing my WPM and rating, and exceeding expectations all while simultaneously maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

 

Q: What do you get up to when you’re not working?

A: When I’m not captioning, you can probably find me in the stands at the baseball field. I am an active baseball mom ( Go Bears) who also loves to stay fit, so chasing after our 3 year old during practice definitely helps with that. Our family is blended (I have a son from a previous marriage), and people always ask me how we “make it work”, so I recently started a blog at BlendedEverAfter.family in hopes of showing people what really matters the most… THE KIDS 😉

 

Q: What’s making you happy this week?

A: I survived!! I survived both of my children’s birthday parties with millions of kids (two weeks apart), it’s spring time already, I was able to successfully match all socks in a recent load of laundry (huge), and the 3 upcoming vacations I’ve been planning for a while are just on the horizon. Life is good.

 

Q: How long have you been in captioning? 

A: After onboarding with 3 lovely ladies (we call ourselves the FAB 4) in October 2016, I went “live” in November, I have been captioning for 4 months total, and I haven’t looked back! This, without question, is one of the best decisions I have ever made.

 

 

Meadows-Family

Maya is from Atlanta, and has spent the past 4 months working remotely from Lawrenceville, Georgia, where she lives with her husband and 2 children, Dylan, 8 and Parker, 3.  A sports fanatic, Maya speaks fluent football, cheered professionally for 5 years, and still believes in handwritten thank you notes. She never meets a stranger, and is ecstatic about her new career here at VITAC.

pexels-photo-325229

When Digital Content is King, Security is Paramount

 

As Netflix copes with their current breach, the fear of leaking content is always on the horizon.

It’s exciting to work in the television industry. For instance, a captioner might have worked on an episode of Jeopardy! or Wheel of Fortune a few days before air, then look like a genius when watching with their family. That’s about as far as it goes though — a little bit of silliness after hours, behind closed doors. Beyond that, every employee understands the sensitivity of what information we see. Be it high-profile prestige television or internal corporate webinars, we go to great lengths to ensure clients’ information is secure.

 

Firewall 1: Access

Our operations floor is key-card protected, serving as a literal barrier. Though, our networks also include complex interdepartmental systems permissions, keeping sensitive file directories open only to those who require access. We also keep drives such as USB ports locked down as well, keeping computers from recognizing flash drives.

 

Firewall 2: Exposure

For some programming, sequestered teams are created for the entire series with watermarked videos. The projects can include NDAs, code names, or even discrete computer setups to restrict exposure to passersby. While we like to promote the exciting work we do, and are proud of all that goes into getting these shows to air, there are plenty of studios and projects with which we don’t acknowledge involvement. We know the nature of gossip is to propagate itself, so limiting exposure is a key way to address security.

 

We understand that we’re providing accessibility for industries requiring high-efficiency solutions at the quickest of turnarounds. As content grows online and over the air, peace of mind and security are assets of immeasurable value. At VITAC, we like to keep our doors closed and lips sealed.

VITAC Power Connect to Hardwire Continuous Live Programming from Real-Time Captioners to Broadcasting and Cable Networks

First of its Kind Cloud Service to Insulate Media and Entertainment Industry from Caption Outages

 

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. — April 25, 2017 — Captioning real time and offline to give all people accessibility for life, VITAC Corporation today announced VITAC Power Connect™, a new cloud service that hardwires continuous programming from real-time captioners to live broadcasting encoders. First of its kind, this new cloud service solves one of the most critical live captioning issues — the threat of captioning loss due to ISP outages and modem drops.

 

“With three decades under our belt, VITAC is a proven industry leader with a history of delivering advanced captioning solutions,” said VITAC CEO P. Kevin Kilroy. “VITAC Power Connect is yet another demonstration of our ability to innovate, underscoring our continuing investment in people, process and advanced technology to meet the requirements of our customers and their audiences who rely on their services.”

 

VITAC Power Connect is being previewed for the first time at a VITAC reception coinciding with the NAB Show in Las Vegas on April 24-25, 2017.

 

“Always-on is the name of the game,” said Ted Collins, CTO of VITAC. “Caption outages are the number one threat to our powerhouse team of 500+ real-time captioners at VITAC and to encoders at virtually every major broadcasting company and cable channel in America.”

 

While the U.S. network and telecommunications grid is unmatched in failover capacity and reliability, VITAC Power Connect fortifies that grid with a secure gateway for reliable connectivity by “hardening the workflow.” Highlighted benefits of VITAC Power Connect include:

 

  • Connection: reduces disconnects for encoder due to captioner ISP issues
  • Security: implements heightened encryption gateways between captioner and encoder
  • Legacy: eliminates the need for traditional phone lines, even for older encoders
  • Visibility: enables broadcasters to monitor, route and schedule captions
  • Failover: serves internet, wireless, and telephone lines simultaneously

 

Revolutionizing Captioning Connectivity

 

VITAC Power Connect works by “hardening” the network or connections between the captioner and encoder, providing redundant paths for video, audio and caption data. Those redundant paths are monitored in real time and managed automatically to ensure uninterrupted service delivery. The VITAC Power Connect service will also immediately enhance existing audio coupler technology to harden VITAC’s secure connection to the broadcaster.

 

An important component of the VITAC Power Connect service is its cloud-based Control Tower, which monitors all of the highly available network connections and adds modules for:

  • Intelligence to monitor captions and extract detailed compliance reporting
  • Planning to schedule or review upcoming programming
  • Control to route caption data to any and all encoders with the push of a button

 

For major media and entertainment companies, reliability and security are paramount in delivering continuous live programming, today. VITAC Power Connect addresses these requirements by:

 

  • Eliminating the need for broadcasters to upgrade equipment
  • Enhancing broadcast network connectivity across all transport mechanisms
  • Adding layers of encryption to ensure the safest available data transfer systems
  • Opening and reinforcing secure gateways to bypass outdated equipment

 

VITAC Power Connect is scheduled for availability Q2 2017.

 

About VITAC

 

VITAC Corporation is the largest provider of real-time and offline captioning products and services in the United States. Responsible for captioning more than 500,000 live-program hours per year, VITAC also creates verbatim, precisely timed captions for 57,000 pre-recorded programs per year. VITAC’s customers include every major broadcasting company, most cable networks, program producers, corporations, educational institutions and government agencies. Founded in 1986, VITAC employs more than 500 of the most skilled and tenured captioning professionals in the industry. For more information, please visit www.vitac.com and follow the company on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

 

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VITAC Power Connect is a trademark of VITAC Corporation. All other brand names and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

 

 

Media Contact:

Dottie O’Rourke

TECHMarket Communications

(650) 344-1260

VITAC@TECHMarket.com

 

Captioning Live Online Video the VITAC way

open captioning, closed captioning, streaming media, online video, accessibility
Source: Streaming Media

The March edition of Streaming Media included a comprehensive guide to the intricacies of captioning live video online written by Heather Hurford and Matt Szatmary, and we’re here to tell you we’ve got you covered. Streaming Media describes online captioning as the “Wild West” and “requir[ing] a fair amount of effort.” Well,  the sheriff’s here to ensure law, order, and minimal effort in bringing accessibility to your online video. Many of VITAC’s clients are already simultaneously transmitting live captions via broadcast and online, which is necessary as more viewers turn to the web for their news and video content.

We cannot tout the benefits of captioning online video enough, and Hurford and Szatmary sum it up wonderfully in their article:

  • Captions increase inclusion. Captions make your content more accessible to more people. While it may not be mandated today by the FCC unless you are a broadcaster (more on this later in this article), sending a message of inclusion is likely to have a positive impact on the way your audience views your brand or program. Reading also improves comprehension for some, especially second-language viewers, which means your message will come across more clearly.
  • Captioning means more viewers and more engagement. Videos with captions are more consumable by everyone. Facebook leadership has predicted that the platform will be all video in 5 years (for.tn/1ZTbrab), and company reps shared that internal tests indicate a 12 percent increased view time on captioned video ads (bit.ly/1Pr3AN5). Now is the time to get ahead of solving your captioning challenges so you will be ready for a video-driven future online.
  • Captioning is venue-agnostic. Whether your video is playing on a mobile device or on a monitor in a noisy airport terminal, the message is still conveyed. Nowadays, many public lobbies and spaces feature displays. Captioning your video makes it relevant and consumable regardless of the environment.
  • Captioning enhances visibility to search engines. Captioning gives you the highly valuable benefit of your content surfacing higher and faster in searches, because search engines can index the text in your video. Live captions go a step further, letting your PR team quickly pull quotes for the press and your marketing team efficiently publish companion ebooks and blog posts. You can also flag inaccurate or inappropriate content for swift removal if needed.
  • Captions improve content analysis. Data mining possibilities are infinite when you have the full transcript of your program immediately available. For example, you can easily determine term frequency to see what words are coming up most often in your programs.

The reasons are there, and VITAC has been taking the stress out of captioning for over 30 years. With the latest FCC mandate requiring closed captions on live and near-live clips coming due July 1, we’re ready to help you exceed compliance and deliver your message as inclusively as possible. Get in touch today to see how we can help.

Are You Making Your Stadium Accessible
to Deaf and Hard of Hearing Fans?

stadium captioning, event center captioning, closed captioning, MLB captioning, accessibility

Whether you’re creating accessible sporting events, concerts, speeches, conventions, shows, or anything else, there’s a way to include everyone. Don’t let ADA requirements throw you a curveball. Throw a hail Mary for accessibility and start captioning your event-center programming. With lawsuits for accessibility becoming more common by the day, we thought we’d share with you some of the perks of captioning your stadium events.

The DOJ has indicated in past lawsuits that what is announced over the PA system include captioning, such as:

  • All play descriptions, scoring, and player information
  • Referee and penalty announcements
  • In-game promotions, contests, and entertainment action
  • Advertising and commercials
  • Emergency messaging
  • Song lyrics
  • End-of-game announcements and next-event information

By captioning your events in these spaces, not only do you account for the deaf and hard of hearing, but those times when the crowd may drown out PA announcements or any of the hundreds of other distractions pulling for attention. The solution is simple: meet federal requirements, broaden your audience, serve your fans, and relax.

VITAC, the country’s largest provider of closed captioning services, is ready to help you meet ADA requirements and bring the country inclusive games and events.

Our exclusive Even Center Solution connects our skilled employee captioners with your scoreboard, ribbon board, and/or in-stadium CCTV system. We also stream captions to a URL, allowing your fans to access the captions on their mobile phones or tablets. Join the over 50 teams and stadiums creating inclusive experiences for everyone in attendance. Brenda Nowicki, VP Sales, is our Event Center Expert and has helped the Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, and Colorado Rockies make their games accessible, among others. Reach her at Brenda.nowicki@vitac.com to learn more about our exclusive offering and low-priced solutions.

Pittsburgh’s Inclusive Innovation Week Highlighting Accessible Art & Technology

“If it’s not for all, it’s not for us.” – Mayor Bill Peduto

It’s Inclusive Innovation Week in Pittsburgh, which kicked off on March 31st and runs through April 7th, and there are a ton of events around the city in which to participate. From free museum hours and a hands-on tour of digital accessibility to talks titled “Open Up. Fix It. Unconscious Bias” and “Inclusion & the Importance of Intersectionality,” there are countless ways to engage.

The Childrens Museum is holding free events all week, such as “Tot Spot: Curiosity and Nature!” on April 5th, and the Banksville Civic Association is holding a workshop focusing on introducing seniors to social media. The week is full of fun and thoughtful events for people of all ages.

Mayor Bill Peduto wants this inclusive mindset to be an integral part of what makes Pittsburgh great. He writes, “Too few cities directly address the goal of innovation through the lens of inclusivity. Our decision to be one of those cities will make the Pittsburgh Innovation Roadmap a tool that will not only better the city, but also its community.” We believe inclusion and innovation are inherently tied to one another, and this week highlights the many Pittsburgh organizations committed to unique approaches to accessibility.

The week ends with NextFest on Friday at 4:30, where “Steel City Codefest and Inclusive Innovation Week are teaming up to bring you a fair of tech for social good in Pittsburgh.” And this isn’t the only First Friday event in the city; be sure to scour the events list and follow #WeInnovatePgh on Twitter for more!

Inclusive innovation, Pittsburgh, accessibility

source: Pittsburghpa.gov

Behind the Scenes with Captioner and Writer D.J. Shoemaker

Capture
by Johnathan Moore ©

We’re here to give you a peek into our offline department and what it’s like to write captions for prerecorded content! We recently sat down with DJ Shoemaker, Senior Offline Captioner, to chat about his work…

 

What’s your role here at VITAC?

Senior Offline Captioner, and once they make it an official position, Senior Executive of Dad Jokes and Puns.

 

In a few words, what does that entail?

Mostly I do transcription work for pop-on captioning, but lately I’ve been handling a wider range of responsibilities like roll-up, automation reviews, short forms, and reformats.

 

In general, what does your workday typically look like?

Since becoming a remote captioner, my day often starts the night before with downloading videos for my assignments the next day. Oddly enough, having the cheapest Internet package from my provider doesn’t allow for fast download speeds. My daily work shift itself doesn’t change much from one day to the next. My time is spent juggling scheduler assignments with short form orders that come in on a regular basis. I prefer the NFL ones, particularly deep into the offseason when the lack of games being played requires some creativity to fill up the air time.

 

What is the most engaging part of your role? What makes you laugh, if anything?

The most engaging part of my role is also the same thing that makes me laugh, and that is captioning cartoons. I thrived in the cartoon section of sound effects training because it’s the kind of assignment that gives me the most freedom in flexing my imagination, especially in a show like The Amazing World of Gumball where the pitch of their voices will change in an instant or when they make noises that can be as hilarious as the description itself. I tried captioning [ Leaf blower blows ] in a Gumball episode, but it didn’t make it past review. I’ve also recently been able to work on We Bare Bears, SuperMansion, and an episode of the new Samurai Jack series. Spoiler alert: it’s good.

 

What is the most challenging part of your role?

When I’m captioning a show set in a foreign country and there are no graphics for spellings. There have been numerous occasions where I found myself Google mapping an obscure village in Poland or mashing keys into Google translate in the hopes it might form an actual word.

 

What do you get up to when you’re not in the office?

A good portion of my off time is devoted to fiction writing. It’s what I got my degree in, and I managed to get one short story published in a lit journal a couple years ago. I’ve been looking for an elusive second publication ever since. Outside of that, you can usually find me wedding planning with my fiancée.

Offline, prerecorded, captioning, DJ Shoemaker

 

DJ is a creative writing graduate from Penn State Behrend who lives in Beaver County. When he’s not captioning, he splits his time between writing fiction, watching cartoons, or doing both at the same time.

March madness, basketball, captioning, dunking view from under net

Beware the Ides Madness of March

It’s that time of year, and we’re in the thick of it here at VITAC, making sure we’re keeping you up to date with captions, even if your bracket is a thing of the past as Wisconsin bested Villanova and as Duke was taken out by South Carolina. As the remaining teams are warming up for the round of 8, our realtime captioners are making sure they’ve got accurate dictionaries prepped full of every roster and statistic you might hear (or see). About the work, Chief Operations Officer and General Manager, Chuck Karlovits, said, “The Canonsburg office is captioning all of the March Madness coverage on broadcast television for TBS, TNT, and TruTV, and a second separate feed of those same games plus the games on Turner’s iStream web platform with a different set of captioners. That is a total Madness of 60 games this week and 269 total hours.”

Mad enough for you?

 

 

Why Your Company Should be Captioning its Video Content

meetings, webinars, conferences, closed captions

In the digital age, content is king. YouTube alone generates 72 hours of new video every minute, and captioned video should be the first weapon in the corporate arsenal to cut through the noise and reach your audience. Captioned videos allow web crawlers to index the transcripts, thereby boosting SEO and ranking content higher in search results.

Anyone within the company using video to communicate—be it through webinars, conference calls, all-hands meetings, town halls, or external marketing efforts—can benefit from all closed captions offer. Amplifying engagement through captioned content is the cornerstone of giving employees every tool at a company’s disposal for success. The same goes for external marketing materials, be they televised or through the many online platforms. Captioned video holds a viewer’s attention longer. In a recent study, Facebook found that “captioned video ads increase video view time by an average of 12%.” Facebook is also a platform prone to public, muted use, and without closed captions, videos posted become virtually meaningless.

Autocaptions don’t work, especially for the complex, terminology-dense content corporations work with. VITAC has solutions ready to enhance all your corporate video content, so be sure to check out our processes for webinar captioning, conference captioning, and global-reach subtitling today.

by Johnathan Moore ©