A group of court-reporting students from the Community College of Allegheny County toured the VITAC headquarters October 3rd, a visit entry-level students make with their professor, Mary Beth Johnson, every fall. Led by Realtime Captioner Trainer Sharon Siatkowski, students listened to an overview of the realtime and pre-recorded captioning departments before seeing demos of each. Of the visit, Sharon said, “They got their first look into what it’s like to have a career as a captioner and how it’s a wonderful opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives.”
Here, we see Production coordinator Brian Bruneau explaining the Back-to-Back units, used for seamlessly transitioning between captioners mid-show.
They also got to see Realtime Captioner Adrian Jonas write “NFL Primetime”. One student remarked, “That’s intense,” at seeing Adrian on air. These students are in their first month of the court reporting program and enthralled by the speed and responsibilities of realtime captioning. Some questions concerned average writing speeds in each respective department, where realtime steno captioners write around 225 wpm and pre-recorded writers write about 80 wpm. The group was also interested in learning about various protocols for caption content and delivery, engaging excitedly at the unique challenges presented by VITAC’s role in video post production.
Here, students watch Offline Supervisor Nathan Appel demo the process for pop-on captioning.