NBC Olympics selects VITAC Closed Captioning Services for its coverage of the winter games

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklySportsvideo.org posted on Feb. 9 that VITAC Closed Captioning Services was chosen by NBC Olympics, a division of NBC Sports Group, to provide closed-captioning services for its production of the Winter Olympics, taking place in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

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TribLive.com also posted an article on Feb. 15 about the captioners who work for VITAC who are assigned to caption the Winter Olympics with the headline “Closed captioning live sports is an Olympic task for Pittsburgh-area firm.”

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College football coach talks so fast, watching closed captions try to keep up is exhilarating TV

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklySBNation.com posted an article on Dec. 29 that interviews Kristen Humphrey, a captioner with ASAP Sports, about what it was like to caption Jimbo Fisher, the new coach for Texas A&M football, who was interviewed recently on ESPN.

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NCRA members show off speed at Cotton Bowl

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyThe Star-Telegram, Dallas, Texas, posted an article on Dec. 28 about NCRA member Jennifer Schuck, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC, Scottsdale, Ariz.; NCRA member Darlene (Rodella) Pickard, RDR, CRR, CRC, Marysville, Wash.; and NCRA Director Karyn Menck, RDR, CRR, CRC, Nashville, Tenn. Schuck, Pickard, and Menck attended the Cotton Bowl college football game to transcribe media interviews with players and coaches.

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Debilitating disease no deterrent for dedicated Astros fan

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyAn Oct. 19 article in the Houston [Texas] Chronicle spotlights Victor Lombrana, a Houston Astros fan who is blind and deaf due to Type 2 Usher syndrome. The article mentions NCRA member Susan Henley, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC, a freelancer in Houston, who captions the Astros’ and Rockets’ home games.

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University of Nebraska fans with hearing loss pushing for captioning services in stadium

JCR: Journal of Court Reporting, TheJCR.com, JCR WeeklyThe Lincoln Journal Star posted an article on July 29 about requests for captioning by Husker fans with hearing loss at the University of Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium.

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VITAC joins Sports Group Video as a corporate sponsor

JCR logoA press release issued June 13 announced that VITAC, based in Canonsburg, Pa., has become a corporate sponsor of the Sports Video Group.

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SVG venue initiative white paper adds section on in-venue closed captioning

jcr-publications_high-resThe Sports Venue Group announced on Jan. 12 the release of its latest section of a white paper that summarizes closed captioning regulations, reviews technical and operational requirements, and offers examples of quality in-venue captioning from several professional and collegiate teams.

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Deaf woman says Pepsi Center not in compliance with disabilities act, files lawsuit

jcr-publications_high-resFox News 31 in Denver, Colo., aired a story on Nov. 12 about a class-action lawsuit that has been filed against Kroenke Sports and Entertainment and the Pepsi Center. The suit was filed on behalf of a woman who is deaf who said the facility is not in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act because it does not providing closed captioning at events.

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NBA teams to provide closed captioning at home games

JCR publications share buttonThe Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx basketball teams announced in a press release issued Nov. 2 that the organizations will provide closed captioning at all future home games. Captioning will be provided by Paradigm Sports Captioning, which is led by NCRA member Jan Ballman, RPR, CMRS.

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I write the Stanley Cup every day

Photo by Connie Lee

Photo by Connie Lee

By Connie Lee

I love hockey. I especially love the Pittsburgh Penguins. They are my team. I have been providing in-stadium captioning for the Pittsburgh Penguins for five seasons now. Lucky me!

I had the distinct pleasure of writing game five of the 2016 Stanley Cup final. The Penguins were winning the series 3-1, and game five was going to be the night that Pittsburgh won a championship at home for the first time in 60 years. I was completely giddy to get to the arena from the time game four was in the books. I woke and dressed in my most professional version of black and gold that day. I had a short deposition in the morning before heading to the Consol Energy Center arena, strategically parking near the exit that would lead to the quickest way home. After all, 60,000 people, both inside and outside, were expected that night.

As I passed through the security gate and waved hello to my colleagues, just as I have done for the last five seasons, it dawned on me how very ordinary it was that day. The same aroma of pizza and hot sausage filled the air. A billion more TV people and trucks blocked my path, but everyone was calm.

When I arrived at media level, I expected pandemonium, people running from emergency to emergency. I expected high levels of anxiety. I got none of it. Until, that is, it was time for rehearsal. Routinely, everyone involved in game-night production meets in the director’s room, which is the size of about three large conference rooms. It’s about 30 people. When the game director, Billy Wareham, started to speak, I knew it was time to get serious. Billy is pretty jovial and cracks a lot of jokes. But when he started the meeting with, “I need to give you all some instructions,” I gulped.

What was so amazing to me was that Billy started his instructions by saying, “The people that are here in this room are here because I trust you. You are the best of the best.” That’s what made me realize, I write the Stanley Cup every day. Like the hockey players, I practice and hone my craft. I invest a minimum of 40 hours a week to my career. I don’t waste my time doing it half-way. Everything counts: every stroke, every interaction with my clients, every conversation with my support staff, every time I speak with the subcontractors – everything counts every day.

I get tired, sure, and sometimes I think of walking away, but what I do is important to more than just me. My team is counting on me: my family, my office manager, my scopists, my proofreader. More than anyone, the people who hire me and trust me with their work are counting on me.

When I write for the lawyers, I may not be the superstar on the ice, but I most equate myself with the equipment manager, making sure their skates are sharp, so that the litigators can go out and win. When I write for the Penguins, an entire fan base of people is counting on me to be their ears and to give them the full game-night experience. I pride myself on being the one both groups can rely on to do my absolute best every day.

My sweet Penguins did not win game five. It broke all of our hearts. The responses to the interviews after the game were not of the team giving up. They were of each player filled with resolve to get the job done, to come back next game and win the Stanley Cup in game 6. I’ll be there with them. Let’s go, Pens!

Connie Lee, RPR, is a freelance reporter in Baden, Pa.