Stenocaptioning

Governments are toughening up on public sector web accessibility

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State and Federal Governments around the globe are toughening up on public sector web accessibility. The latest case is the Alaskan Juneau School District, which felt the wrath of that state’s Government because of a complaint from the public that their websites aren’t inclusive for all needs.

close up of a man writing on some documents

After receiving the disability discrimination complaint, Alaskan authorities undertook a rigorous investigation and found out that ten other schools, educational groups, and institutions (including the Montana School for the Deaf and blind) also had accessibility issues on their websites.


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New Zealand holds an inquiry into captioning

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New Zealand’s Government Administration Committee has announced an inquiry into captioning, and is seeking submissions from the public.

Remote control being pointed at a TV with captions at the bottom of the screen

The inquiry’s terms of reference include:


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The stenocaptioning speed test

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An American captioner is competing to become the world’s fastest court reporter. The Guinness World Record attempt is part of this year’s National Association of Court Reporters (NACR) convention.

As reported by the North West Indiana Times, Kathy Cortopassi runs a captioning studio in Crown Point, Indiana. She can transcribe at a rate of over 300 words per minute with 99.8 per cent accuracy.

The current Guinness World Record for stenotype writing was set at the NACR convention in 2004 by Mark Kislingbury. On the day, Kislingbury achieved 360 words per minute with 97 per cent accuracy.


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Shadow Minister for Disability shows support for captions in schools

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Shadow Minister for Disability, Carers and the Volunteer Sector, Senator Mitch Fifield showed his support for captions in education this week in a visit to captioning supplier, Red Bee Media.

The visit follows a motion co-sponsored by the Minister in March which called on the Government to commit to a pilot captioning program in classrooms.

Senator Fifield said, “Captioning technology is proven to deliver transformational results for students. This is the sort of support that could be purchased for students under the Coalition’s Education Card Policy which allows families to choose the services right for their child.”


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‘Media Watch’ puts the spotlight on poor captioning

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Last night’s episode of Media Watch on the ABC looked at the state of news captioning on Australian television, and found that all too often the quality is so poor that captions are incomprehensible.

The program, which can be viewed on ABC's iView service with captions, noted that many of the problems stem from an increased use of ‘voice captioning’ (where a captioner re-speaks dialogue as a program goes to air and speech recognition software converts it into captions). Previously, live programs and live segments of news bulletins could only be captioned by highly-paid, highly-trained stenocaptioners.


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