VITAC: Providing Captions, Accessibility Solutions for 35 Years

Mar 15 2021 David Titmus
Overhead image of VITAC office building, complete with satellite dishes in the foreground for our 34 birthday

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A lot certainly can change in 35 years – fashion, pop culture, technology − but one thing that remains timeless is the need for accessible communications and accurate, synchronous, complete, and readable captions.

VITAC was founded on the vision that technology could deliver a new level of accessibility to those in the deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHOH) community. Our company seeds were sown in 1982 when Joseph Karlovits, a court reporter, tested realtime captioning technology for the first time in a public forum as a deaf attorney defended the rights of disabled children to fair access of public education before the Supreme Court.

Understanding the potential for captioning technology to change lives, Karlovits started American Data Captioning in 1986, laying the foundation for our company’s unwavering commitment to accessibility. The company was subsequently renamed Caption America, and then VITAC in 1993.

Since that time, captioning has become central to media consumption in the United States — whether it be via traditional broadcast, social media channels, or through streaming media — and it continues to proliferate across all platforms. From the conference room to the classroom to the living room, captioning makes information attainable and retainable for the tens of millions of people in the DHOH community as well as the broader viewing markets who choose captions over sound.

Organizations from broadcast networks to federal government agencies, Fortune 100 companies, education institutions, event centers, professional sports teams, and countless others recognize the importance and responsibility of captioning.

And VITAC’s skilled professional live and offline captioners have been there every step of the way.

VITAC has seen – and played a role in – lots of changes in the past three decades, and we’ve always grown and adapted with industry and consumer needs, enhancing and expanding our service offerings and continuing to make significant investments in our people, process, and technology.

VITAC provides a host of multi-language services, including the creation of captions and subtitles in more than 50 languages, including, but not limited to, English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, Chinese, Arabic, Japanese, and Russian.

We offer extensive caption integrations for both live and offline captioning. From social media streaming and processing platforms to video management systems and workflows, VITAC provides a wide range of client-specific processes and solutions.

We offer encoding and audio description services, too, and we’ve been actively involved in accessibility legislation, seeking ways to help customers and the community stay current and comply with the latest regulations.

VITAC started with a small staff and today employs hundreds of people at our Greenwood Village, Colorado, Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, and Montréal, Quebec offices, and remotely all over the country. We are proud of our first 35 years, and look forward to serving our clients and customers for many, many more.