Municipal Meeting Captioning

By: David Titmus

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VITAC is the nation’s leading provider of accessible media services, and captions some of the most-watched content on TV and the web. However, broadcast TV is by no means the extent of VITAC’s accessible media contributions. In fact, one area of VITAC’s growth may not involve broadcast media at all.

A growing contingent of municipal and government groups, including city councils, county councils, and other community groups, are beginning to realize the advantages of closed captioning. Many are turning to VITAC to make their council meetings accessible to the deaf and hard-of-hearing, and VITAC is more than able to accept the challenge. Our Realtime and Offline Departments already provide various captioning and transcription services across the country for both major metropolitan areas and smaller government entities. These captions — whether they are for city council meetings or special town-hall events — can be delivered over a television broadcast, or simply displayed in the room in which the meeting occurs. The availability of smart phones and tablets has increased the value of municipal meeting captioning, as each entity can opt for web captions, which can be streamed to any mobile device.

The advantages of captioning council meetings extend beyond the accessibility advantages made available to the deaf and hard-of-hearing population. Just like a courtroom, a realtime transcript of a meeting provides an instantaneous record of what someone said and when, allowing the meeting participants to go back to the official record as necessary. This transcript can be used for archival purposes and indexing, allowing interested parties to look up quotable moments and talking points with just a simple word processer.

For more information about having a municipal meeting captioned, call (724) 514-4077 or email