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Silent No More

It is not every day you get to observe acts of pure kindness and dedication of service in today’s world. Last week, myself and Becky Isaacs founder of Aberdeen, had the privilege of observing the No Limits after-school program for deaf children.

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The (Slowly) Improving Quality of Web Closed Captions

There’s a growing trend on social media and sites like Reddit and Quora to showcase the captioning errors from television and numerous online platforms. As accessibility laws tighten and the quality standards for captioning on broadcast become more rigorous, how do these bloggers have so much fuel for their posts on captioning errors? It is a simple question with many complicated answers. Continue reading

On the importance of grammar.

grammar pronunciation entry from the dictionary

“The ability to speak does not make you intelligent.”
– Qui-Gon Jinn

One could imagine the kinds of responses people might give when asked to list humanity’s greatest achievements. A quick internet search reveals such monumental accomplishments as the building of the pyramids, the advent of flight, or the recording of Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon.” Not surprisingly, few of these lists include the creation of language — more specifically grammar — as great accomplishments, but how many of humanity’s greatest achievements would have been possible without the ability for human beings to communicate with one another in precise terms? The phrases failure to communicate or communication breakdown are commonly heard, and indeed, poor communication seems to be a handy scapegoat for a myriad of failures, including: marriages, wars, and road construction projects. It seems natural for humans to go straight to the source and blame language when things go wrong, so what exactly is the point at which language loses all meaning? Continue reading

FCC Updates the Compliance Ladder for Closed Captioning Complaints

Last month, the FCC amended a few sections of Title 47 CFR 79.1: the rule pertaining to closed captioning of televised video programming. The amendments, specifically to 79.1(g)(1) through (9) and (i)(1) through (2), along with the removal of (j)(4), are a follow-up to the proposed reallocation of responsibilities of the Video Programmers and Video Program Distributors first established back in early 2016. The updates to the rule reflect the final decisions on how a compliance ladder will operate when handling consumer complaints related to closed captioning quality concerns.

The ruling focuses on two different scenarios based on how the consumer may approach making a complaint. The FCC recommends filing all complaints within 60 days of the problem either directly with the FCC, or with the Video Program Distributor (VPD) responsible for delivering the program to the consumer. Depending on how the complaint is filed, the review and steps taken to correct the issue should follow the steps below. Continue reading

New City Ordinance Turns on the Captions in Rochester

Rochester, NY

At a meeting on September 19th, the Rochester City Council (New York) approved a new city ordinance that will now require its local businesses to enable the closed captioning feature on televisions displayed to the public. Rochester will join only a few other U.S. cities, such as Portland, Oregon, that require all city businesses to provide this service to its patrons. Continue reading

Taking a Positive Approach to Captioning in Higher Education

Closed Captioning in Higher Education

Over the past couple of years – and after several lawsuits filed against a few Ivy League schools – a growing number of universities are working toward accessibility compliance of their online video courses. Initially, the process can be overwhelming and take up a lot of resources. One university even resorted to removing their public library of 20,000 free educational videos because of a complaint filed by the Department of Justice. Unfortunately, because accessibility requirements are often met by a big-bad lawsuit when standards are not met, the whole process gets a negative designation right from the get-go. Continue reading

Facebook Live Improves Accessibility by Adding Closed Captioning

Closed Captioning on Facebook Live

The instant popularity of live video streaming apps like Periscope, Snapchat, and Facebook Live proves that authentic, in-the-moment content effectively captures the attention of audiences worldwide. Today, one out of five videos on Facebook are broadcast live and are watched three times longer on average than non-live. Considering that more than 5% of the world’s population – about 360 million people – have some degree of disabling hearing loss, there’s a significant number of users that the social networking service cannot ignore when over 100 million hours of videos are watched a day. Continue reading

Closed Captioning Internet Video: Live & Near-live Programming


The final deadline of the FCC’s Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) pertaining to online videos is quickly approaching. On July 1, 2017, video clips (both straight-lift and montage clips) of live and near-live television programming (such as news or sporting events) will need to observe the following turnaround times for posting online with captions:

  • For clips of live programming, up to a 12-hour delay is permitted in posting a captioned clip after the programming has been shown on TV.
  • For clips of near-live programming, up to an 8-hour delay is permitted in posting a captioned clip after the programming has been shown on TV.

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Meet the Winner of Our 2017 NAB Trip Giveaway: Sean Osborne!

Our Winner, Sean Osborne!

Sean has worked in Action Sports TV production for over 17 years, supervising over 300 programs airing on networks such as FOX Sports, FUEL TV, NBC, & NBC Sports Network. He currently produces programs for the Wakeboard World Series and is the Post-Production Supervisor at Nitro Circus in San Clemente, CA. Currently, Aberdeen handles all of Sean’s NBCSN closed captioning and digital delivery.

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NRB Proclaim 17 Learning Arena Talk

Learning Arena 2017

Earlier this month at NRB Proclaim 17, we hosted a brief talk with broadcasters regarding the most updated FCC laws pertaining to closed captioning. Although it was intended as a review of the laws that are already in place, it proved that many of the laws are still not known, or unclear, to many broadcasters.

The talk was hosting at the Learning Arena located in the vendor exhibit hall. The goal of the Learning Arena is to foster true interaction between exhibiting companies and convention participants to share and connect; highlighting relevant education and training. Continue reading