Tech Talk #3: Captioning

If there was a slogan that I could see myself getting behind it would be: Caption Everything!

Actually – that would be a great t-shirt logo, considering that it could start up a great conversation with those who aren’t aware just how much we rely on captioning/subtitles to accumulate knowledge.

Do I have your attention? A snippet of what you could be watching/reading now… read on!

This will be a quick crash course for you to explain captioning/subtitles to the masses – with some interesting information to pique their interest!

  1. There are different types of captioning. For real. They are:
    1. Real Time Captioning: the kind that can dictate word for word speech to text, usually using a steno machine. Accurate Real Time Captioning is one company that does this. Commonly found in Post-Secondary Institutions/the Workplace/Public Events.They are $$$$
    2. Typewell: kind of like real time captioning, except everything gets abbreviated for brevity.  Commonly found in Post-Secondary Institutions. They are $$$ (not as much as above!)
    3. Speech to text tech on computer programs (like Skype): less accurate, but still gets the point across – and allows for conversations to happen with face to face interaction too. They are FREE.
    4. Theatre/Video Captioning: There are actually two types – open and closed. Someone else wrote it better than I ever could, read it here.
  2. Some Fun Facts:
    1. Real-Time Captionists can transcribe at 180 to 225 words per minute with a 98% verbatim accuracy rate (source: CHS)!
    2. If there’s an outdoor movie coming to your hometown, you can actually write to them to request captioning! Learn how this can happen in a past PSP article called “The Little Advocacy that Could”.
    3. has held several focus groups to improve captioning services for D/HH people. They are at par with Netflix for this service. Check out some more Canadian TV shows this way! Simply click on the ‘CC’ icon and it will show up.


This isn’t a comprehensive list of all the amazing things captioning that’s going on – but it’s a great starting place to gauge your interests without wondering if you’re missing out on more.