VITAC Talks Internet Captioning

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Media coverage of online captioning and subtitling is expanding. VITAC's President speaks about pending legislation and the growing need for online captioning.

Web Captioning: Flash Video with Captions

"There are those within the industry who recognize the inherent value of captions, but there are others who see it less as a benefit and more as a cost." Pat Prozzi, President, VITAC

VITAC, the nation's largest provider of closed captioning solutions, was featured this week in an article discussing the future of broadcast television programming accessibility on the Web.

Adrian McCoy's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article "Captions on the Web" expressed the need for captions and subtitles on Web-based video. VITAC is seeing increased requests for their Web-captioning service, providing both live and on-demand Web captions to broadcast networks and government agencies, though most online video remains inaccessible to nearly 36 million viewers who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.

"There are those within the industry who recognize the inherent value of providing captions online, and they've found a cost-effective way of putting it out there," said Pat Prozzi, President of VITAC. "But there are a group of program providers that see it less as a benefit and more of a cost."

The "Equal Access to 21st Century Communications Act" is expected to be signed by President Obama before the end of the year. This legislation is meant to increase access to modern communications, including captioning and subtitling services for Web videos, for people with disabilities. It will include a requirement that programming broadcast on TV with captions be presented with captions on the Internet.

Another benefit of captioning on YouTube and other video websites is that the text is searchable, making captions a strong part of any Search Engine Optimization campaign. VITAC also provides Web caption services in over 45 languages - allowing local videos to reach an international audience.

“Twenty years ago, the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) made broadcast television accessible for millions of people that had never had access before, and this new Act will open access to programs on the Internet – which hearing viewers often take for granted – where the deaf and hard-of-hearing would otherwise be denied,” said Heather York, VITAC’s Director of Marketing.

ABOUT VITAC

VITAC Corporation, a Merrill Communications Company, is the nation's leading provider of accessible media services. The company serves every broadcast network and most cable channels, including BBC America, BET, CBS, NBC, CNN, C-SPAN, Discovery Networks, FOX, FSN, MSNBC, PBS, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Turner Broadcasting, Warner Bros. Television, and the Federal Government.

Merrill Corporation, founded in 1968 and headquartered in St. Paul, MN, is a leading provider of outsourcing solutions for complex business communication and information management.

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Heather York
VITAC
703-807-2873
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