Confused by this caption above? You’re not alone. What the audio really said: “And, you know, maybe they just needed some time to cool off a bit, but they probably didn’t wanna be blasted with sprinklers like this. A mixed-doubles match at Wimbledon was interrupted when a sprinkler just went off.”
On July 31, the National Association of the Deaf, Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc. (TDI), the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), and the Association of Late-Deafened Adults (ALDA), the Cerebral Palsy and Deaf Organization (CPADO), Deaf Seniors of America (DSA), the Deaf/Hard of Hearing Technology Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (DHH-RERC), the Twenty-First Century Captioning Disability and Rehabilitation Research Project (Captioning DRRP), the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Universal Interface & Information Technology Access (IT-RERC), and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) petitioned the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to address long-standing quality problems with captioning for live television programming.
“Captioning in the U.S. has come a long way since the first appearance on Julia Child’s show in 1972, but captioning on live television continues to be difficult to understand especially with the advent of automatic speech recognition systems. Improving live captioning requires proactive solutions, and we ask the FCC to take on this task with new rules and metrics,” said NAD CEO Howard A. Rosenblum.
People have frequently reported serious problems with the accuracy, timing, completeness, and placement of captions on live programming, including local news, sports, and weather. In the joint petition, we ask the FCC to build on its existing standards for the quality of captions by establishing a way to determine what is acceptable quality of live captions. The petition also urges the FCC to provide guidance for new captioning systems that use automatic speech recognition (watch Howard’s previous AHA explaining what ASR is).
However, we need your help! The FCC has asked for public comments about our petition, and it’s important that they receive input from people who rely on captioning. If you’ve had experiences with captions for live TV programming and you’re willing to share with the FCC, please file comments online. Enter “05-231” in the “Proceeding(s)” field to make sure that your comment is added to the record. Comments are due by September 13th!