Global Alliance Speech To Text is a non-profit working to bring together caption providers of all types with caption consumers.
Broadcast captions rules set by the FCC are outdated. Stations need to know we watch the captioning and that we turn off their broadcast when we don't have access to quality captioning. We need to be loud. Our hearing partners need to be loud.
Get in the know with our latest podcast as we sit down with Kimberly Shea and Sebrina Crosby and we talk about Global Alliances specific task force that you too can participate in.
If you're not a member, become one today at: speechtotextcaptioning.org
Hearing Loss LIVE! Talks Quality CaptioningJulia:
Good morning. Welcome to Hearing Loss LIVE! Today's podcast we are going to talk about captioning quality. And we have invited Sebrina and Kimberly from Global Alliance. They are on a taskforce there and members of Global Alliance and today we are going to discuss how you as a consumer can learn, help reach out, find out more on why quality captioning is very important. Chelle, you're on the task force. And we have done a couple of podcasts. And when we were at the state, we did some presentations during the the pandemic on how important it is for consumers to get involved. But can you give us some insight on, on what you do, why you find it important to be involved with this task force? And then we can talk about it some general stuff and questions.Chelle:
Yes. The hard of hearing are not as involved as they need to be with quality captioning. That's why I am on the task force, we tend to be very quiet and meek people. And we don't want to cause a stir. But when I'm watching TV and captions areJulia:
SO, Kimber, or Sebrina, can you tell us a little bit horribly wrong, and it's not a big deal. Really, I just write into the station, the TV station, it's usually cat quality captions or caption assistants, on their website at each TV station. And I and I'll write in and I'll say, Hey, your captions are way off. Or sometimes there's no captions. And let them know. And usually they correct it fairly fast. They do watch that. So they'll turn on captions or get somebody into captions, something like that. I'm not sure how it works behind the scenes. But I've also complimented TV stations on their captions. And we have a local station here in Salt Lake City, Utah, that, and I can't remember which one right now, because I'm not huge on cable TV. So but anyway, my husband is so I'll happen to sit with them and watch the captions. And one of the channels he watches is very good about having captions on. So I will I have written into him and said thank you for having quality, live captioning, I appreciate it. It's the only way I get my information and they email me back and thank me. So they're they're very happy to know, I think both ways good or bad. They want to fix it. That's, that's why I'm involved. And I'm trying to get other hard of hearing people involved. And this upcoming project, I really want our hard of hearing population to get involved because there is no ADA caption police. It's really up to us. And we need to step up and make sure we have quality captioning. about this taskforce? I know it's just barely rolling out, we just want to introduce it. We want to bring you back and talk about some of the results. What is it? How can other than but-- Well, you need to join Global Alliance if you're not a member, please do. So there's many taskforce that anybody can help with consumer, CART provider, broadcast captioner I don't care what you are. Get in the know. I say it all the time, get in the know. But can you guys fill us in a little on this task force goal as we roll through so that folks can keep an eye on what you're doing, and come back and learn what the results might be? Or go to Global Alliance website and see what they can help with. Does that make sense? Am I making sense? I'm rambling sorry. I'll let one of you decide.Kimberly:
I don't know if Sebrina wants to go or me? I'll go. But Hi, everyone. I'm Kimberly Shea. So the task force. You know Chelle is right, it is very important for consumers to get involved captioners can watch the news and, you know, we know, we read we recognize quality captioning and we recognize poor quality. And I will say over the years that there has been a gradual, gradual decline in the quality and it's only going to get worse. There are still stations across the country that have quality captions, but they're few and far between these days. So there are reasons for that. And even when people complain to the FCC, or they complain to the station, there is a little bit of pushback, and it's not always easy. And I understand that consumers do, they get tired. And then when we complain as captioners, you know, that's, that's a whole other can of worms. So we really thought that, if we just make a record, you know, that's the first place that we need to start is making a record. And that is by gathering data and samples from all over the country, and then evaluating them against a metric system that, that is designed for captioning, so that it addresses the quality and the usability of captions for consumers. And that hasn't been used ever. There currently is not a requirement for any caption provider to be certified, which is really a big problem. Because to provide a service like that, and an accommodation that people rely on, there should be a benchmark that people have to prove that they have that skill to at least meet the benchmark. There is still high quality captioning available. It's not being utilized, in a lot of the stations across the country. And over the last couple of years. A lot of stations, I would say probably the majority are switching over to different ASR solutions. And there have been studies done about how accurate those solutions are on on an average, many of them have been analyzed. And it's the findings are that they are not usable for for consumer so. So really, we thought it'd be a great idea to gather consumers and captioners and work together on the task force to gather the the data, transcribe those things, compare it to the captions that are being shown and keep that as, as a record and make it available to the people who need it. The people who the consumers who submit those, those files, the captioners. And the task force will evaluate those, they will give them back the, the accuracy rates and the all the technical things that they need to take with them when they complain to the station, or when they go to the FCC. So that now they're not just saying, oh, captions are bad, they're saying this is how bad they are. And there's video of those samples. And, and also, they're able to say, Hey, these are great captions. And here's an example of great captions. And we really want to highlight the stations who are putting quality first. That's the nutshell.Julia:
I have a couple of questions. So one, if any consumer came to Global Alliance and looked up your task force and wanted to submit something, can they do that? Or do they have to be on the task force? This might be for future as we grow this, right. But is that a possibility? Is that something.Kimberly:
yes, we are going to rely heavily on volunteers. And once we launch, which will be in the next in the next couple of weeks or so will be ready to go. But we have a streamlined process where you go to a website, you answer a couple of questions, and then you upload the video that you recorded. And then the task force, will take it from there. And they will analyze everything and then get the information back to the consumer. So what we would love for people to come to global alliance and to support us and join our efforts. Because we often have a lot of ideas. And our chair, Jen always says that we are never short on ideas. But we really, we really lack in manpower. So we will be putting a call out to volunteers, especially consumers all across the country, specifically in the top 25 markets, but really at this stage, I want to include every market. Because regardless of where you are captions matter, and the quality of those captions matter, and we also want to eventually address the streaming platforms, because right now the captioning on the streaming platforms, there's not much regulation there either. And the FCC the last order was in 2014. People consume their news very differently now. And, you know, artificial intelligence is not the answer to, it's not the end all be all for the future of captioning. Because there are situations where the humans, the human brain is really needed to make decisions. And it's just a better quality product. So there's a lane for each of those things. But But yeah, so we do hope that consumers will get involved, you don't have to be on the task force, we just need your help monitor your station, that kind of thing. And it'sJulia:
Awesome. I love that you guys are working out the kinks. going to be easy. And we talked a minute before the podcast sorry, Chelle I'm being the question, question Queen today. I don't do this often. But and it's interesting, because we talked about rules. And Sabrina, you're, you're, you get the rules. You, you know the rules. And I often forget the rules and just get mad. Right. So I liked that we talked about what-- Okay, so I guess I think of things like the FCC and what they have for phone captions is different from what they have for cable and TV. So there's all these rules. And so I think sometimes in our heads, we get like, well, this is the rule I know. So it applies across the board. And that's not the case. And so, and I think people need to. Okay, so we were talking about weather. And we have a local station who puts weather on whether it matches what's being said or talked about, quite regularly. They also do it with the field work, like the person in the field, they only do it onceand the prompter runs out what they wrote into it, not necessarily what's changed. My issue with all of that has to do with emergency, right. It's just, it's going to, it doesn't help in the case of emergency issues. And, and I had forgotten, I think I knew this too many years ago, I had in my head, the weather had to be ran certain times of the day there. There was some sort of, and this is like we're talking early 2000s. Right. So and Sebrina reminded me No, that's not the case, weather it's exempt. Well, my first thought consumers, you need to be on the FCC immediately about why the weather shouldn't be exempt and some of those changes. So let me ask okay, so that was sorry, a ramble on to what I'm going to ask. Sebrina, if I'm a consumer, and they're Kimberly, you can answer this too. If I'm a consumer, even if I'm not sure, or I think I know the rules. If I brought this to you and said, hey, you know, this is wrong. This is what they're doing. You guys could help them say, Well, no, you know, you can guide them back to the rule. Am I, Am I correct and mate, I don't. I'm sorry, people. I'm having a bad week, but maybe dumb it down. I don't mean dumb it down. But I mean, dumb it down like layman's terms like. No, the weather is exempt. But you know, here's how you could go to the FCC and say blah about it. You know why you feel that shouldn't be? Does that make sense? I'm really struggling guys today. I am very sorry.Sebrina:
Yes, it does make sense. So hello, Sebrina Crosby. Thank you for having us today. I think Kimber and I could talk about this subject endlessly. But we wont today. So yes, what you said if it's, it's even sometimes hard for us to make sense of the various regulations, how they're worded when it applies, how it applies, who it applies to, like Kimber pointed out, the last standards that were handed down were from 2014. And the way we consume not only news, but entertainment, just all of those things have changed drastically. That's been eight years. And I feel like even more change is ahead. So not only are the standards outdated, they're not sufficient for consumers today. But yes, if someone has a question, the Global Alliance, we have members that are caption providers, that are consumers that are captioners themselves. So--Now I will say we cannot give legal advice. I'm not an attorney Kimber's not an attorney. But we can, certainly and we're happy to help guide, I guess, and provide you with our understanding what the standard practices are within the industry, how those are applied, and/or sometimes how they're ignored. Even though there are standards from the FCC, and I've read through them many times over the years, there's no arm or agency of the FCC, or the federal government, that really holds anyone's feet to the fire, so to speak. There's not much accountability. And so which, again, going back to the task force, and Kimber's idea of just gathering this data, it's a it's a way to document rather than just saying, Oh, I'll watch the news today, and it was really bad. What does really bad mean? You know, it could mean one thing to me, as a hearing consumer, and it can mean something completely different to a Deaf or hard of hearing consumer. So this is a way to kind of even the playing field and have something tangible as some matrics to compare evenly across. But, sorry, I'm going down a rabbit hole the test for but back to your original question. Yes, we would be more than happy to help answer those questions. If we don't know the answer, we can find the answer or find someone who knows the answer. That is also part of the, I guess mission of the Global Alliance is to really be a one stop shop, if you will, for captioning information. Regardless of what role you play, in the real world, how you consume captions or how you use captions.Chelle:
So this is Chelle. Again, and we were talking about how the weather can be exempt from captioning. Because if you can see it, you don't have to hear it. Or understand it, I guess, because I can't understand anything on TV without captions. So to me, seeing the contrast and then or hearing one thing and reading a completely different thing completely blows my mind. I am so irritated, I'll have to change the channel, because, well and of course I would write in and mention something about that if I caught it. Now I say I'm not really big on cable TV, but when something happened I watch. I'm watching right now as hurricane Ian barrels through Florida and this is weather. How's that not important? Why shouldn't captioned match up with something as severe as with, with weather that severe? Another thing from the past was when we had the riots after the George Floyd thing. I think I said his name. Okay. Okay. So downtown Salt Lake is about 10 miles from me, maybe at the most, and they're rioting down there and this station had zero captions. That's, you know, how far is this riot spilling out? Is it going to come my way? Is it gonna stay downtown? So several of us. And this is how I did it. I wrote my HLAA chapter email list and I said, Hey, you guys, I need everybody to write into such and such station right now and say there's no captions and several of us did. And within, I'd say 15/20 minute captions were there. So we are important as consumers, and we really need to step upwith quality captioning. Go ahead, Sebrina.Sebrina:
Yes, well, and to your point. So back on the rules part of it a little bit. The way the standards are right now only the top 25 markets across the United States. So think New York City, Atlanta, Chicago, like these really large towns are required to have live captioning for their live broadcast. However, there are a couple of stations and cities that have very active consumers in the, in the deaf and hard of hearing communities. And those stations even though they're not in the top 25 markets, they provide live captioning for all of their live broadcasts. And the reason they do it is because, not because they're, they're legally required to by the standards handed down from the FCC, they do it because the Deaf and hard hearing community members are would not let them get by without having it. So as Deaf and hard of hearing consumers, you have so much power. You know, there's there's power in those numbers, there's power in speaking out and being active and letting your stations know whether that's like in the example, you just gave Chelle where the captions were on for that particular news report. Or if it's just a matter of you regularly watch captions, and they're just not as good as what you think they should be. Maybe they're not effective and communicating accurately. The more people the more consumers and the Deaf and hard of hearing community that speak out to their stations, it can make a huge difference. Like I said, there are stations in certain parts of the country where those communities are just very active that you're very vocal. And so the stations do it. Because if not, they might have a riot breakout in their parking lot. You know? So yes, if you think that, Oh, I'm just one person, and it doesn't matter that could not be farther from the truth.Julia:
Go ahead, Kimber.Kimberly:
Hi, this is Kimberly. So that's really, it's really interesting to, to think about the power of the voices, because there is not one year since global alliance has been in existence where we've gone through hurricane season. And there, there has not been a time where there was not a problem with the captions being delivered to people in the immediate zones. And it is and what do you tell people who are there? By the way, can you guys monitor captions while you're trying to stay safe during the hurricane? That should not be an afterthought that should be something going in, you know that they are prepared that they have captioners on staff and those kinds of things. And I know that our chair, Jen is adamant about, you know, reminding networks that are in those zones, you know, make sure that you have your captioning on standby and that kind of thing. But I do want to say that this, all of this started because I, it was tornado season, it was my first tornado season in the south last year. And I turned onthe news, and it's about 10:
30. And then it gets things get really kind of nasty about 12:15. And when I turned on, there was no captions at all, at one point. But initially I pulled up my cameras started recording because at 10:30 When I turned it on the captions were poor. At one point, the alert like the cable company spectrums alert came on. And it has like an automated announcement, right? But it wasn't captioned. And so you have the, the meteorologists with you know, the entire zones read, we're right in the middle of it. And he's saying all the things, there's poor captions being displayed, his captions were being displayed. But then here, there was no audio for him. So the only the only audio was the, the automated announcement. So now you've got an augmented announcement that's not captioned. You have poor captions of the meteorologist. And so it didn't matter whether there was a disability or not a disability, no one kind of really knows what's going on. And it's all very confusing. And so that leads me to to piggyback on what Sebrina was saying that, yes, the there's power and voices and that kind of thing. But even people who maybe don't rely on captions. It's very common to hear jokes about "oh, did you see, you know what the captioning said?" "Oh, that's funny, isn't that?" You know,'isn't that great." and they start posting that or whatever. I would encourage people to think about the fact that while some of those instances are humorous, and we've all seen it, and and even as captioners people make mistakes, there are people relying on that information. And it's not funny, especially in the moment of a disaster or, you know, riots or anything that that poses danger, those kinds of things. It's not, it's not humorous even the Superbowl the captions that were on a certain station in the southwest, I'll say that, it was all over the internet. And while yeah, the way it came out was funny, it really wasn't because that was a moment where it was during the national anthem. You know, it was a moment of I don't know, people were people really coming together, you know, and it was really, really unfortunate. And the FCC didn't do anything about it. They called the station, the station said no captions were fine, even though all these pictures are floating around the internet. So that's what we hope to stop. So we ask for everyone to get involved.Julia:
Stole my thunder, Kimber. I'm sorry. No you really didn't. You didn't. Because I always do. You know, my mind always goes is the hearing partner, right? Hearing partners have to watch the captions, too, you should want them to be right. Because I you find yourself sometimes looking down to catch up on something or did he really say that? Or did that really happen? So you're going to be watching captions, you should want them to be accurate as well. And you can have a voice with that. Support your hearing, hard of hearing, Deaf friend, whatever, family member, colleagues by, by being involved and wanting to better so I like that. Let me see. We're coming up on time. [buzzer sounding] Oh, yeah. Sorry. Blasted everybody because it was right by the microphone. Any other thoughts? You want to share? Okay. So I encourage you to go to Global Alliance dot speech to text.org. It's going to be on our podcast, it will be on the webpage. We actually have it in our in our little glossary on our our hearing loss webpage. And I think Kimberly's getting my attention, but odds are she's letting her hand flex for the next assignment. She's going to go caching do is it a hand up? Oh, okay.Kimberly:
I just want to say it's speechtotextcaptioning. speechtotextcaptioning.org Yes, sorry, I, I keep wanting to call it global alliance.org. And I know better than that. Yes, speechtotextcaptioning.org. We will have, we have the website available for you to click on. We also have FCC's website in our glossary. And I know it's on Global Alliance. If you haven't checked them out[Global Alliance], I suggest consumers captioners. Again, any of you check it out, become a member, find out more about this task force that's launching so that you can have better quality captions at your local stations. It really will take us all being very clear that we need quality captions in order for us to make a difference. And you know, maybe you don't need the captions today. But that doesn't mean you won't need them tomorrow. And it doesn't mean you won't maybe need them in 10 years. And I could go on a long road there. But, so we hope you check back in. We're going to have Global Alliance, I think pretty regularly. This is one of their tasks for task forces. And I'm sure we'll have others involved. We have in November on November 15th. We are going to do our family gathering and hearing loss workshop from six to eight. Mountain Time. Please go to-- did I get it wrong? Sixto 7:
30. Right? Yeah, okay, sorry, six to 7:30. I can I can read Chelle from my side view now. Six to 7:30. Tuesday, November 15. Bring your family members. Bring yourselves. Let's have a conversation about how to make the holidays, hearing loss friendly. And we can talk about tips, tricks and goals. And if not, come visit us November 2nd? First, November 1. Wow time to get away from me. November 1st is our Talk About It Tuesday. We'd love everybody to come to that and sign up for our E News. Remember to like subscribe and share. Thanks, guys. Bye. Join us at hearinglosslive.com for more content.