VITAC Participates in FCC Hosted PEG Roundtable Discussion


VITAC’s VP of Marketing, Heather York speaking at the FCC’s roundtable event to discuss closed captioning of PEG programming

Universities and local governments are increasingly making their PEG (Public, Educational, and Government) programming accessible with closed captions. This type of programming can range anywhere from a locally produced talk or magazine show to a city council meeting that is either streamed or broadcast on a local access channel.

VITAC‘s own VP of Marketing, Heather York, was invited to provide remarks for the second of three sessions at the FCC’s roundtable event to discuss closed captioning of public access and governmental programming on Thursday, November 10, 2015.

The event panelists consisted of local government professionals, policy makers, captioning vendors, consumer groups, engineers, and video programmers.

The first session touched on reasons and benefits of captioning PEG programming. The panel featured FCC Deputy Chief of the Disability Rights Office Eliot Greenwald, Deputy Chief of the Disability Rights Section in the Civil Rights Division in the U.S. Department of Justice Amanda Maisels, Executive Director of Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. (TDI) Claude Stout, and President of the Alliance for Community Media Mike Wassenar.

The second session’s focus was best practices for captioning and technical issues for PEG programming. In addition to our own Heather York, panelists featured were Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at the National Cable and Telecommunications Association Diane Burstein, President of LNS Captioning Carol Studenmund, VP of Marketing at 3Play Media Tole Khesin, and Associate Professor and Director of the Technology Access Program at Galludet University Christian Volger.

Heather spoke about realtime captioning, and what PEG channels should consider when hiring a captioning company, and streaming program via Internet Protocol (IP). She touched a bit on the FCC Caption Quality Best Practices, and how programmers should measure quality. She also stated that IP captioning is no longer a challenge.

The third and final session’s topic was on how to expand closed captioning of PEG programming. These panelists were President and CEO of Flarean Jason Barnett, Operations and Production Manager at the St. Paul Neighborhood Network Steve Brunsberg, Media Services Manager and Executive Producer for County Cable Montgomery Donna Keating, Executive Director of the National Association of the Telecommunications Officers and Advisors Steve Taylor, and Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator for the Massachusetts State House and member of the Mayor’s Commission for Persons with Disabilities in the City of Boston Carl Richardson.

The goal of the event was to promote discussion about benefits of captioning PEG programming and to, “raise awareness of the issues surrounding captioning of public access and governmental programming.” You can read more or watch full video of the discussion on the FCC’s event page.

VITAC is proud to caption many types of PEG programs in both our offline and realtime departments and is dedicated to helping make it accessible for all. Contact us for more information.

By Brittany Bender