Using a GREAT Captioner for Online Accessibility is Money Well-Spent
There are good captioners and there are GREAT CAPTIONERS.
What makes a great captioner?
In this new world where everyone is working remotely, learning remotely, more organizations are thinking about captioning. However, there is still a long way to go to make sure that accessibility is at the forefront of planning.
Educational institutions are struggling on many levels right now. Students with IEPs would traditionally have support in place for their education in the classroom. But what is the reality of transitioning those supports to a remote learning environment? Students with hearing loss who may not have needed additional aid in the classroom now need that accommodation online. Same with employees in the workplace.
Finding a great captioner
Once you get over the sometimes-unfortunate hurdle of getting accommodations approved, then you need to find a service provider. How do you know who to call? More importantly, is finding a great captioner at the top of your list? Sure, you can do a Google search and call the first company at the top of the list that has spent a lot of money to make sure you see their name there. That is the easy solution.
But ask yourself: How important is this child’s education? How important is this employee’s success in your company? Do you want to give them every tool to help them be the most successful they can be? Isn’t that money well-spent?
What to look for in a captioner
What makes a great captioner? Talent and skill are the obvious answer. When you peel the onion and go a little deeper, one of the contributing factors is the “why.” Why are they a captioner? Is it just a job? Is the captioner just writing the words they hear? That is the main goal of captioning, isn’t it?
However, to Jen Schuck, President and lead captioner of Caption Pros, those “words” are so much more. When asked why she was a captioner, she responded,
“It’s an honor and privilege to be a part of someone’s life for that brief period of time when I am captioning for them. I’ve been invited to be their ears. Every word is important to them. Thus, every word is important to me.”
Does your captioner:
- Have a passion for providing great captions?
- Try to be better tomorrow than they are today?
- Know the technology for providing the best captioning experience possible?
- Attend continuing education to keep up with advancements in technology?
- Customize the captioning solution based on your needs, or do they only have one way of providing captions?
- Include speaker identification by name for all events, even on the fly?
- Ask for prep material?
- Do their homework in advance?
- Offer a demonstration so you can assess the quality of their captions?
Has your captioner proven they have the speed and accuracy to provide great captions?
Do you know your captioner’s first name?
Do you have to talk to a salesperson to solve a problem?
When choosing Caption Pros, you can be confident that your student or employee will get the most out of each class or meeting. We guarantee it will be the best captioning you’ve seen.
Jen Schuck has said multiple times, “It is my belief that the passion of ‘why’ influences how good your captioner is.”
Currently, there are no metrics to be able to assess the quality of captioning. Be on the lookout for this in the future by the Global Alliance! If you know what questions to ask and select a GREAT captioner, rest assured that the accommodations you provide are worth the money spent.