For many, closed captions are simply those big blocks of text that flow across the bottom of the television, capturing the onscreen dialogue.
For others – namely the nearly 50 million Americans in the deaf and hard of hearing community who rely on captions – the fact that words appear on the screen is not nearly as important as the quality of those words, and that they accurately and quickly convey the intended message.
Captions provide a link not only to entertainment, but also to education, news, and emergency information. Captions enable a broad range of organizations, from tech firms to financial service advisers to educational institutions, to help employees, customers, and partners access and navigate the world around them.
In short, captions play a crucial function in the daily lives of millions. And there is little doubt that clear, concise, accurate captions are essential.
And though technology is making great strides, the best approach to captioning remains rooted in the human experience of the spoken word. Professionals trained to provide captions bring human sensitivities and contextual awareness to the captioning table that no automatic caption or speech recognition programs can.
A TV Technology article by VITAC Chief Executive Officer P. Kevin Kilroy discusses the importance of accurate, high quality captions and why human captioners − those who provide the “art” behind captioning technology − remain the key to successful captioning. Click here to read more.