2006 Conference General Sessions

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THE BASICS OF CAPTIONING…VIDEOS, CLASSES, & CART – OH MY!

 

Presenter #1

Kathy Furlan

Rapidtext

1801 Dove Street Suite 101

Newport Beach, CA 92660

Day Phone:  949-399-9200 ext 254

Fax: 949-399-9216

Email: kfurlan@rapidtext.com

 

Presenter #2

Gaeir Deitrich

California Community College High Tech Center Training Unit

21050 McClellan Road

Cupertino, CA 95014

Day Phone: 408-996-4636

Fax: 408-996-6042

Email: gdietrich@htctu.net

 

When coordinating live captioning (CART) services and adding closed- captions to videos have become an everyday occurrence for many veterans in the field of Access technology, it is easy to mistakenly assume that everyone in the field knows the basics. But many who offer services to students with disabilities have never had a student who requested captioning, and still others are just entering the Disability Services field. These individuals have very limited knowledge of or experience with captioning, yet the success of their next student could depend on their ability to coordinate just these services.


The goal of this session will be to provide a solid understanding of the fundamentals of both realtime captioning and captioning of video content. The session will help prepare individuals to coordinate captioning services for their students or employees, and to make informed decisions as to the kinds of captioning that would be most beneficial to their students, and the technology involved.

 
We will use handouts, Powerpoint slides, and live demonstrations to illustrate the points of this session on captioning.
The session will begin with a brief overview of regulations and compliance. The Americans with Disabilities Act and Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act require equal access to individuals with disabilities, including those who are deaf or hard or hearing. This part of the session will address issues of compliance to state and federal regulations applied to live captioning and captioning of videotapes and digital media.

 
Our discussion of live captioning will begin with an explanation of basic terminology; CART, realtime, live, onsite, remote, stenographer, etc.) . Most students who are deaf and have ASL is their primary language choose Sign Language Interpreters as their primary accommodation. When the student is not fluent in ASL, captioning is often the better accommodation. Counselors then need to decide if they will hire captioners, or outsource the work to a captioning company. That choice often is guided by the availability of captioners in the area and price. A second decision is whether to provide on-site captioner or remote captioning. The presentation will include a live demonstration of both onsite and remote captioning.


An increasing challenge on college campuses is how to provide captioning for live, synchronous Distance Learning Classes. We will clarify what is needed for broadcast, teleconferenced, and ITV classes, by addressing the two key questions; How will the captioner receive the audio, and how will the text be displayed for the students.

 
We will conclude this section with an explanation of the physical product of live captioning; the caption notes. The unedited caption notes are usually provided at no additional cost, which eliminates the need for a note—taker. We will show an example of typical caption notes and discuss typical “inaudibles” and “untranslates”.


The next section of the session will be about Video captioning. We will begin with definitions of basic terminology (rollup, pop-on, subtitles, open and closed captioning, encoding, decoding, line 21, etc.)

 
A common question on campuses is, “Which videos do I need to have captioned?” We’ll discuss access vs. accommodation, how to prioritize, and how to get instructors and academic departments to part with their videos long enough to have them captioned.


• Once videos have been selected to be captioned, the next hurdle is to obtain permission to clarify responsibilities pertaining to copyright laws and get permission from copyright holders.

 
The next fundamental question on many campuses is whether to outsource video captioning, or to purchase equipment and software to caption the videos in—house. In our discussion of the pros, cons, and how-to’s of captioning in-house, we will include information on hardware and software needed, and describe the captioning process as well as the time, space, and personnel needed. We’ll also discuss how the captioning process differs for material on videotapes, DVD’s or in digital formats.


If the decision is to outsource video captioning, how does one choose a vendor? What is included in the price? What about quality and turnaround? Are any discounts available? How long will it take? Each of these questions will be addressed in our discussion of outsourcing. We’ll include a brief demonstration of Caption Decoders to enable captions in “Smart” classrooms where the vcr is wired to an overhead projector instead of a television.


The presentation will conclude with a question and answer period (time permitting). We are confident that the content of this presentation will be informative and practical, and the information will be useful to all who attend.


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