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Captioning Consulting Services

When working with a book author, would you publish their book without an editor and a designer?

No, right?

Even the best authors need their books to be edited and designed by other specialists to make them look professional and easy to read.

It’s same with captioning and transcribing your media and events. Often people ask about where to find free or cheap services. Just like anyone can write a book, anyone can transcribe audio. But not all transcribers are created equal just like not all book authors are good.

Captioning and transcribing are more than just adding text.

Even hiring the best captioner or transcriber is not enough.

Not only good accuracy, but also proper formatting are important for improved readability. It may sound simple but has many complexities embedded in it.

Also, experience of deaf people with text readability is not the same as that of those who have good hearing to fall back on when text is missing or doesn’t make sense to them.

For those reasons, organizations like yours work with our experienced deaf consultant on ensuring optimal accessibility of their media and events.

While speech technologies have advanced lately, they are still not an acceptable accessibility solution as their accuracy rate is about 80-90% in an ideal situation and it becomes worse with noisy backgrounds, accents, people talking fast or overlapping each other, and so on.

There are certain quality guidelines that automated speech technologies cannot follow. Therefore, human labor is required, especially for formal media and events.

There are 3 types of speech to text access to media and events:

  • audio/podcast transcripts,
  • video captions/transcripts, and
  • live captions.

It’s possible to create transcripts and captions yourself for your personal videos, podcasts, and various audio files.

However, it’s strongly advised that they are outsourced to an experienced specialist for formal media and events. They can make your captions and transcripts look more professional and be universally understood.

Captioning is an art. It requires a team of experienced professionals who are familiar with quality guidelines and best practices and can produce the optimal experience of captioning access.

Our primary services are:

  • consulting services to media and event producers on captioning best practices (captioning is more than just adding text or hiring vendors – there are many moving parts to consider);
  • quality check and editing of transcripts and captions for media creators that did the work themselves or outsourced the services but want to ensure quality of their final products;
  • working with event organizers to ensure optimal communication access;
  • other services like consulting, training, workshops.

If  needed, our subcontractors may provide:

  • podcast transcripts,
  • video captions and transcripts,
  • live captions at events,

We can also work with you even if you have already been using captioners, interpreters, and other access providers for your media and events. That way we can help you improve the user experience of reading captions and event attendance in general.

It’s not enough to just hire and use access service providers.

It’s important to ensure that deaf and hard of hearing people can easily understand aural information and don’t get frustrated. Our deaf consultant can work with you on site or remotely. 

A deaf consultant collaborating with captioners is like a book editor or designer collaborating with an author. It’s important to have someone who’s not only experienced in the business side of captioning, but also has the lived experience of a deaf person.

Another reason to have a deaf consultant for event planning is that there’s a code of professional conduct for interpreters and captioners. Event organizers need to get familiarized with the CPC to ensure that providers follow the CPC and that deaf and hard of hearing people feel comfortable attending their events.

As per the CPC, communication access providers are refrained from offering counsel, advice, or personal opinions and stepping out of their roles as providers – in order to bring about accountability, responsibility, and trust to deaf and hard of hearing people.

Live captions and video captions are not the same

They follow a different set of guidelines and are provided by different types of captioners. Even if there are raw transcripts of live captions available after live events, they need to be converted into proper video captions and transcripts for post-event recordings. Live captioners are not suitable for providing video captions and vice versa.

Our deaf consultant can advise you in detail on how to properly convert raw transcripts of live captions into video captions and transcripts after an event.

Live captions can be provided either on site or remotely.

With advances in internet, remote captioning is becoming more popular and more cost-effective – as long as the internet and audio quality is good. You do not need to pay live captioners for travel and lodging if they can work remotely. You also do not need to worry about them arriving late or getting stuck in traffic or having travel issues.

Event accessibility is more than just hiring captioning or interpreting providers.

Event accessibility needs to go smoothly, so we consult on event accessibility logistics and also help you ensure that your event website and event recordings are accessible for everyone. This needs to be considered long before you plan any event.

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