Next week is Court Reporting and Captioning Week, which celebrates the contributions of captioners and court reporters and all the benefits we gain from their hard work.
Captioners provide a vital service for tens of millions of people, and the captions our talented professionals create right here at VITAC each and every day supply a critical link to entertainment, education, news, and emergency information for millions in the deaf and hard-of-hearing community as well as countless others who simply prefer to watch content with captions. In fact, last year our amazing captioners captioned nearly 600,000 hours of programming!
Captioners also enable a broad range of organizations, from global tech firms to financial service advisers to educational institutions, help employees, customers, and partners access and navigate the world around them.
VITAC is proud to employ the largest team of qualified, trained captioners in the United States. Men and woman who genuinely care about their work and the accessible services – and accessibility for all – that they provide. Our captioners treat their work as more than just a job – for many, it’s a passion and an extension of who they are.
But don’t just take our word for it.
“I love knowing that my work is helping so many people! As someone who always has to have the captions on, I really enjoy getting to be one of the people behind ‘the words on the screen.’” − Sebastian Andrade-Miles, VITAC voice captioner
“Early on, when I started captioning, I captioned an accessibility meeting. There were several deaf and hard-of-hearing members in the meeting, and they all stressed the importance of being able to read what was happening when their TVs were filled with flashing lights, people running, emergency weather, etc. And one person asked the hearing people in the room to imagine seeing flashing red words like ‘fire’ or ‘evacuation’ on the TV and not being able to hear anything to tell them if that emergency affected their safety, or their family’s safety. The importance of what we are doing stuck with me.” − Brandi Stanton, VITAC voice captioner
“What I love about being an offline captioner is the variety of assignments I work on every day, from news and current events to pop culture, sports, and documentaries. I’m constantly learning new things on the job. And with a flexible scheduling and the privilege to work from home, along with the opportunity to volunteer for overtime that fits my schedule to earn extra money, I am very satisfied with the work-life balance the position offers.” – James Elkins, VITAC senior offline captioner
“I love the fact that I’m able to keep up with all the latest news and provide a valuable service to the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. I’ve loved captions on my TV long before I ever finished court reporting school.” − Jarneka Epps, VITAC steno captioner
“The favorite part of my role is learning something new every day through captioning news, health, or entertainment. What makes me laugh is when friends or family come up to me and say, ‘Did you hear about this?’ Sadly, I burst their bubble by saying, ‘Yes, I heard about the product recall or latest scam because I already captioned it on the news today.’” − Roxanna Ciolek, VITAC voice captioner
“I love my job because the work matters. It’s really satisfying to know that viewers in the DHOH and ESL community utilize our captioning every day. I carry a great sense of pride for what I do. VITAC’s captioners strive to produce accurate programming with proper research because we know that on the other end of our work someone is counting on us. In a world with many issues, I’m glad to know that the work I do today will better someone’s tomorrow.” – Sarah McPartland, VITAC offline captioner
“I love the fact that we are providing a service for those people who are hard of hearing or may be disabled. My son is severely autistic and nonverbal. He learned to read just from having the captions on when he watches his videos. So to know that we may be making someone’s life a little easier means everything to me.” − Brooke Silvas, VITAC steno captioner
And make no mistake, it’s no easy job.
Captioners follow rules set out by the FCC for all captioned television programs that the captions must be complete, accurate, match the spoken words/dialogue, in synch with their corresponding spoken words and sounds, properly placed on the screen, and displayed at a speed that can be read by viewers.
Oh, and for live, realtime captioners, that sometimes means hitting all those benchmarks while typing at speeds of more than 200 words-per-minute.
In recognition of Court Reporting and Captioning Week 2020, we would like to thank all of our captioning professionals for their hard work and dedication this and every week in creating the best-quality captions. You truly are the best in the business!