New committee aims to promote court access for people with disabilities

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting,, JCR WeeklyA Sept. 26 press release by the Hon. Lawrence K. Marks, chief administrative judge of the New York State Unified Court System, announced the formation of the Advisory Committee on Access for People with Disabilities. The committee is charged with “developing an action plan to improve access to the New York State courts for all persons, including those with visual, hearing, communication, mobility, cognitive and other disabilities.”

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Website accessibility in the hot seat

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting,, JCR WeeklyThe captioning firm VITAC posted an article on Sept. 26 that addresses recent issues surrounding website accessibility and how it is enforced through the ADA.

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Court workers report erosion in public access

jcr-publications_high-resThe February issue of the community news magazine for the Sonoma County Gazette includes an article about the serious deterioration in working conditions and the subsequent erosion of public access to the legal system at the Sonoma County Superior Court, Calif.

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Kentucky Center to host Cultural Accessibility Summit

Insider Louisville posted an article March 22 announcing a Cultural Accessibility Summit being hosted by the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts on March 26. The center is a national leader in making programming accessible. The summit will bring together community leaders, center patrons, and participants in the city’s vibrant arts scene to discuss removing access barriers throughout the city.

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Broadcasting Accessibility Fund announces project grant

On Jan. 26, the Broadcasting Accessibility Fund announced that it will award $723,500 in grants to seven innovative projects designed to advance accessibility to broadcasting content for Canadians with disabilities, according to an article posted the same day by Broadcaster magazine.

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Internet video captioning standards earn Emmy Awards

An article posted Jan. 22 on Microsoft’s Accessibility Blog reported that on Jan. 8, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences held the 67th Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards. During the awards, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers and the World Wide Web Consortium were honored for their pioneering development of industry standards enabling closed captions on Internet video.

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Captioning grant available to NC State faculty

On Jan. 21, North Carolina State University posted on its blog that it has established a captioning grant to assist faculty in creating accessible videos. The grant provides funds for faculty to obtain captions for instructional videos used in their online, blended, and face-to-face courses. In addition to providing content to people who are hard of hearing, captions create a learning environment that supports Universal Design for Learning.

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Captioning advocacy group offers funds for captioning of two live events

The Collaborative for Communication Access via Captioning announced two new Captioning Advocacy Projects for 2015. For the two projects, CCAC will pay for up to three hours of live captioning. The first is for eligible official nonprofit organizations. The second is for any large national or international conference. Both exclude meetings of people with hearing loss, deafness, or disability groups that are already accessible.

CCAC’s goal is to educate and reach many new audiences through this offer and to encourage more events to provide greater inclusion by providing captioning. According to the organization’s president, Lauren E. Storck, “One in five people has a hearing loss or deafness, and live speech-to-text is our language. CCAC is pleased to offer this new advocacy project as a way to address the need for education and inclusion of live captioning.”

CCAC is a nonprofit volunteer organization with more than 800 members where consumers, providers, and others work together to advocate for the CCAC mission: “inclusion of quality captioning universally.” It is not a captioning provider and does not sell services.

Click here for details on how to apply for project funds. Project One is for eligible non-profit events. Project Two is for larger national and international conferences. Email

Local televised council meetings get realtime captioning

Niagara This Week posted on Oct. 30 that residents watching city council meetings on TV Cogeco that serves the Niagara, N.Y., area communities will soon benefit from realtime captioning during live broadcasts. The article notes that the realtime captioning effort reflects the City of St. Catharines’ commitment to making its facilities, programs, and services accessible to everyone.

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