World Cup 2018

Vitac Captions 2018 World Cup Action, Covers Deadline Extension of FCC Audible Emergency Alerting Rule

Vitac has covered a wide array of topics in the last month. Here is a full, comprehensive list of all that the company has done in June.

Vitac Making the FIFA World Cup Accessible for All
Vitac has provided captioning for all of the games and select pre-/post-game broadcasts on Fox and Fox Sports 1, as well as Spanish-language captions for live matches on Telemundo, NBC Universo, and rebroadcasts on Fox Deportes.

The real-time captioners are prepping for the matches, having researched team rosters and stats, and adding names and spellings into their dictionaries; sports supervisors and real-time coordinators test network and web connections with captioners before each contest, and real-time schedulers assign captioners for each match. Vitac will be captioning more than 200 hours of World Cup soccer action this month alone.

FCC Again Extends Deadline for Audible Emergency Alerting Rule
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) again extended the compliance deadline for a long-discussed rule that would require broadcasters to present aurally via secondary audio all emergency information shown visually during programming outside of regularly scheduled newscasts and breaking news cut-ins.

The “Audible Crawl Rule,” which went into effect in May of 2015, requires that local emergency information (such as alerts for tornadoes, hurricanes, and heavy snows as well as school closings, road closures, and local shelter updates) visually broadcast during non-newscast programming also be made aurally accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired through the use of a secondary audio stream. The rule applies to both visual emergency information content that is textual (on-screen crawls) and information that is non-textual (radar maps or other graphic displays). If visual, non-textual emergency information is shown during non-newscast programming, the aural description of this information must accurately and effectively convey the critical details regarding the emergency.

In May, however, the FCC OK’d a joint petition from the American Council of the Blind (ACB), the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) for a five-year extension, pushing the compliance deadline to May 2023.

Vitac Proud To Sponsor National Association of the Deaf’s 54th Biennial Conference
VITAC sponsored the National Association of the Deaf’s (NAD) 54th Biennial Conference. The conference, which was held July 3-7 at the Hartford Marriott Hotel and the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, CT, featured professional development, training, and networking opportunities for members of the deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHOH) community as well as governance meetings, receptions, and events.

NAD is the nation’s premier civil rights organization of, by, and for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals in the US. The group works to ensure that the needs and concerns of the nation’s DHOH community are well represented on the federal level through collaborative and cross-disability efforts with consumer and professional organizations.

Will the FCC’s Allowance of ASR for Captioned Telephone Service be a Help or Hindrance?
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) took initial steps to reform the Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS) in an effort to modernize the system and resolve compensation and funding issues. A popular critical communications service for people who are deaf or hard of hearing who communicate by speaking, IP CTS enables a person with hearing loss to call another person and simultaneously read captions of what the other party is saying via a special display screen on the phone or other web-enabled device.

Among the items in its recent report and proposed rulemaking, the FCC determined that improvements in ASR technology have made the use of speech recognition by itself an acceptable alternative to the CA-assisted method described above. The FCC also argues that ASR would provide faster, more private captions than those created by voice captioners and a lower cost.

Expanded Video Description Rules, Hours Take Effect on July 1
The rules governing the number of hours of video-described programming that networks are required to provide have changed. Beginning July 1, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) will require the top four broadcast networks and the top five non-broadcast networks to provide 87.5 hours of video description per calendar quarter.

The updated rule requires ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC to provide 50 hours of video description per calendar quarter during prime time or children’s programming, as well as an additional 37.5 hours of video description per calendar quarter between six a.m. and midnight.

In addition to the expanded description hours taking effect this weekend, the FCC also announced changes to its list of the top five national non-broadcast networks subject to video description requirements. Also beginning July 1, the new top five national non-broadcast networks, based on Nielsen ratings, will be USA, HGTV, TBS, Discovery, and History. The commission updates the list of top five non-broadcast networks – cable and satellite channels – every three years to account for changes in ratings.

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