This week is National Court Reporting & Captioning Week, a celebration of the profession that brings court reporters, captioners, court reporting firms, schools, and others together to highlight the many perks that make court reporting and captioning a viable and important profession.
Now in its ninth year, the weeklong event is hosted by the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA).
“Court Reporting & Captioning Week is our time to shine the light on what we do, why we do it, and what makes us, human court reporters and captioners, so vital,” said NCRA President Christine Phipps. “Whether we are preserving records of proceedings, gathering the stories of our war veterans, or ensuring that the spoken word is made available through captions to members of the deaf or hard-of-hearing community, the skills we employ as professionals are dynamic and unique and cannot ever be replaced by artificial intelligence or electronic recordings.”
Captioners provide a vital service for tens of millions of people, and the captions our talented realtime, offline, and multi-language professionals create right here at VITAC each and every day supply a critical link to entertainment, education, news, and emergency information for millions in the deaf and hard-of-hearing community.
They also enable a wide variety of organizations − from global tech firms to financial service advisers to educational institutions − help employees, customers, and partners access and navigate the world around them.
Captioning is more than just a profession. It’s a true art, a skill honed through years of practice, experience, and continuous learning. It requires the individual to listen, understand, translate, and transcribe the spoken word, and, in the case of live, realtime captioning, do so while typing at speeds of more than 200 words-per-minute.
In recognition of Court Reporting & Captioning Week 2021, we would like to thank all of our captioning professionals for their hard work and dedication this and every week in creating the best-quality captions. We’re proud to employ the largest team of qualified, trained captioners in North America − men and woman who genuinely care about their work and the accessible services that they provide. You truly are the best in the business!
“Our team is the gold standard when it comes to captioning. No matter the content – television, educational classes, government, or corporate meetings – our captioners make the audio accessible to the masses.” – Doug Karlovits, VITAC Chief Business Development Officer
“Each and every day our realtime captioners provide communication access to millions of consumers who rely on closed captioning and CART services in their daily lives. Being a realtime captioner is a profession that requires continuous skill development, a great deal of focus, and attention to detail. Through their event preparation, work ethic, and dedication to the profession, our captioners make a very tedious and challenging job look easy. I am honored to call them my colleagues. It has been very rewarding to work alongside our skilled and talented captioning professionals.” – Crystal Cermak, VITAC Director of Steno Captioning
“Captioners have to be self-starters, ferreting out subject matter on the internet to gather the appropriate terms and correct spellings of subjects with which they must quickly familiarize themselves. Captioners must be adaptive to ever-changing schedules, and have great perseverance to caption events that they sometimes have no prep material or difficult audio to work with. Captioners are a special breed of perfectionists having all of the personal attributes mentioned above, and always pushing themselves to be better in a very challenging job that touches the lives of millions daily.” − Chuck Karlovits, VITAC Chief Captioning Officer
“I have the utmost respect and appreciation for our offline captioners. It’s hard to fully understand and appreciate all that goes into offline captioning until you’ve actually done it. Some shows are entertaining, while others are just plain tedious, but the process, dedication, and commitment required from offline captioners to caption them is always the same. Every spoken utterance has to be correctly transcribed, punctuated, and researched. Sound effects and speaker IDs have to be added. Text has to be broken and placed onscreen to distinguish between speakers and avoid onscreen graphics, and every caption has to be timed to coincide with audio and video changes. The whole captioning process is very time-consuming and requires a great deal of concentration. To put on headphones and focus intently on a single program for several hours can be daunting. Captioners often equate a day of captioning to a long drive in the car. It can be mentally and physically exhausting! That’s why this job not only requires someone with a unique skillset, it also requires someone who is committed to serving millions of deaf and hard-of-hearing people every day.” – Dina Smith, VITAC Director, Offline Operations
“Our captioners are a group of diverse, amazing, and kindhearted people. They provide a service that many across the country rely on. From news to sports to breaking news/weather updates, our captioners provide access to those who would otherwise be unable to get the information in real time. Happy Captioner Week, we celebrate you daily for your hard work and dedication!” − Sharra Shedletsky, VITAC Director of Voice Captioning