NCRA launches “Captioning Matters” campaign

National Court Reporters Association has launched a new campaign to increase awareness of captions and advocate for the increased need for accurate, understand­able, and timely captions. “Captioning Matters” will begin as a branded, online advocacy campaign and resource center and is expected to grow over time. The campaign will explain how captions em­power the American public in addition to explaining the many parties who are involved in providing captions, from the content creator to the captioner to the broadcaster.

The website, CaptioningMatters.com, will be housed independently of NCRA’s own website and will be built to provide information for consumers. It will also serve as a clearinghouse of the latest in­formation related to captioning, including news, regulatory updates, legislative up­dates, videos, and other content of inter­est. In addition, NCRA’s captioning best practices, which were drafted by the Cap­tioning Quality Standards Subcommittee in 2013, will be prominently featured on the site to offer both those responsible for generating captions and those who use captions a source for discussion.

The Captioning Matters campaign will serve as a resource for people with hearing impairments as well as those people involved in providing captions. Further, the campaign will seek to impart the numerous benefits of captions, such as raising reading levels for schoolchil­dren and aid individuals who are learning English as a second language. In addition, the campaign will seek to educate relevant parties on a number of other aspects of captioning, as follows.

ENCOURAGE ADOPTION OF BEST PRACTICES

As a core part of the campaign, NCRA will seek to build relationships through the Captioning Matters campaign as a way to encourage broadcasters and other service providers, as well as appropriate and relevant interest groups, to support quality captioning. When television sta­tions, community organizations, and so on agree to provide captioning according to NCRA’s best practices, they will be des­ignated a supporter of Captioning Mat­ters and will be entitled to logos and other insignia that indicate their support of the Captioning Matters movement.

EMPOWER CONSUMERS WHO NEED CAPTIONING

Captioning Matters will also provide ac­cess to advocacy tools that can be lever­aged by captioning consumers to contact broadcasters, cable companies, and other key players to encourage them to sign onto the Captioning Matters campaign. As one example, we will provide template letters that consumers can use to request caption­ing of their local television stations, com­munity organizations, and elected officials.

LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

With Captioning Matters, NCRA will cre­ate an online resource center in which interested parties, including members of the deaf and hard-of-hearing community, can find information about captioning services, contact outlets to request ser­vices, stay informed about regulatory and legislative updates, and access best prac­tices to help ensure proper captioning is made available when needed. Users seek­ing a captioner or CART provider will be directed to the NCRA online Sourcebook, thus promoting the use of skilled NCRA members.

AWARENESS

Captioning Matters will put a face on the real people who benefit from captioning services through the use of profiles; these photo profiles are likely to include the el­derly, non-English speaking citizens, chil­dren, students, and others. The profiles will tell personal stories and explain vari­ous needs for captioning services.

For additional information or to provide information for the website, visit CaptioningMatters.com.