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General Resources

What is Captioning?

Just as a caption in a book is the text under a picture, captions on video are text located somewhere on the picture. Since there is no way for a television to put text outside the area of the picture tube, captions do end up covering a portion of the picture (there are non-broadcast applications where this can be done).

CLOSED captions are captions that are hidden in the video signal, invisible without a special decoder. The place they are hidden is called line 21 of the vertical blanking interval (VBI).

OPEN captions are captions that have been decoded, so they have become an integral part of the television picture, like subtitles in a movie. In other words, open captions cannot be turned off. The term "open captions" is also used to refer to subtitles created with a character generator.

-Closed Captioning FAQ by Gary Robson National Captioning Institute

NCI is a non-profit corporation which develops television closed captioning services for the benefit of deaf and hard of hearing people.

Closed Captioning Web

Information about captioning services, technology, careers, laws, movies, and Deaf opinions.

Captioning Companies

Broadcast Captioning & Consulting Services, Inc.

Broadcast Captioning & Consulting Services, Inc. is a full service closed captioning corporation. BCCS has been in business for over ten years and has been providing the highest quality of closed captioning services to its broadcast clients in both Canada and the United States. BCCS has over 60 real-time/off-line captionists and support staff that enable us to meet the 24 hours, seven days a week caption requirements of the broadcast industry. Our real-time captionists work remotely and exclusively with us, and are geographically located from as far west as Hawaii to as far east as Boston which allows us to cover a 24- hour clock quite readily. We pride ourselves in being available 24 hours a day and able to accommodate our clients in last minute emergency situations.


CaptionMax is a team of highly skilled experts dedicated to absolute professionalism in closed captioning. Whether your job is a 30-second spot or an entire film collection, your project will be delivered on time, on budget, and exactly to your specifications. Our promise to you is to provide captioning that exceeds national captioning standards. CaptionMax offers one-stop captioning services. We have our own engineering facility, enabling us to create worktapes, write captions, AND digitally encode--all under one roof. CaptionMax combines the best equipment with a talented, friendly staff to ensure that you are completely satisfied on every job.

VITAC (VITal ACcess)

VITAC is known nationally for providing high-quality captioning services and other related value-added services. VITAC provides complete captioning services to the top producers, broadcasters, webcasters and syndicators in the entertainment, governmental and educational fields. VITAC also provides video description, subtitling, video indexing, interactive TV links, and V-Chip encoding. VITAC is a division of WordWave, Inc.

CART Services & Realtime Captioning

What is CART?

Communication Access Realtime Translation is the instant translation of the spoken word into English text using a stenotype machine, notebook computer and realtime software. The text appears on a computer monitor or other display. This technology is primarily used by people who are hearing-impaired or who are learning English as a second language.

The Americans with Disabilities Act specifically recognized CART as an assistive technology which affords "effective communication access." Thus communication access more aptly describes a CART provider's role and distinguishes CART from realtime reporting in a traditional litigation setting.

-Cartinfo.org National Court Reporters Association

NCRA is committed to being the leader in advancing the profession of those who capture and integrate the spoken word into a comprehensive and accurate information base for the benefit of the public and private sectors. NCRA accomplishes this through ethical standards, testing and certification, educational opportunities, communications, government relations, research and analysis, and fiscal responsibility.

Communication Access Information Center

The primary purpose of CAIC is to provide information of use to people employing or in need of Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART), also known as realtime captioning. CAIC resources include: How to Locate a CART Provider, What to Expect From a CART Provider, CART in the Classroom, Meeting the Communication Needs of Children in School, Meeting the Communication Needs of Postsecondary Students, CART in the Courtroom, Remote CART, Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing Resources, CART Legal Decisions, Benefits of CART, & CART Environments

Communication Access Realtime Translation

CART information and resources from the National Court Reporters Association

Machine Shorthand Information Site

The Machine Shorthand Info Site provides directories to aid court reporters and court reporting students with information on State Associations and Organizations, Reporting Agencies, Captioning Companies, CART Providers, Scoping and Proofreading, Law Enforcement Transcription, Business Transcription, Schools, Seminars and Workshops, Educational Product Vendors, Software and Hardware Vendors, Product Vendors, Service Vendors. We also provide links to individual reporter and student sites and related reference sites. The History Center contains photos of various Steno machines used through the years of the court reporting industry.


Caption First is a privately held corporation that was founded in 1989 for the purpose of providing realtime captioning. There is a tremendous need for CART services. We provide CART at many different events including counseling sessions, meetings, teleconferences, seminars, classrooms and conventions.


What is C-Print?

C-Print is a computer aided speech-to-print transcription system developed at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) as a support service option for some deaf and hard-of-hearing students in mainstream educational environments. It was developed by NTID researchers eager to improve the classroom experience for students at both the secondary and college levels, and is being used successfully in many programs around the country.

Research supports the idea that some deaf and hard-of-hearing students prefer printed text of lectures the basis of the C-Print system over sign language interpreters or notetakers as a means of acquiring information. Other students prefer an interpreter. It is an individual choice the Disability Support Service provider must work with.

Additionally, C-Print is cost effective and can be more readily available than stenography-based services that a university or secondary school may provide.

-Cprint.rit.edu C-Print

NTID Website about C-Print guidelines and trainings

C-Print: Notetaking System

Tipsheet from the Northeast Technical Assistance Center

Captioned Films

Captioned Media Program

The mission of the Captioned Media Program is to provide all persons who are deaf or hard of hearing awareness of and equal access to communication and learning through the use of captioned educational media and supportive collateral materials. Entering the twenty-first century, the ultimate goal of the CMP is to permit media to be an integral part in the lifelong learning process for all stakeholders in the deaf and hard of hearing community: adults, students, parents, and educators.

InSight Cinema

InSight Cinema is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing the big screen movie-going experience to the 30 million deaf, hard of hearing, and English as a second language audiences in the U.S. Check www.insightcinema.org for captioned films in theaters near you. If there are no captioned movies provided in your local theater, InSight Cinema may help you request these services.

TRIPOD Captioned Films

Tripod Captioned Films is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing the Big Screen Movie-Going Experience to Deaf and Hard of Hearing Audiences across the U.S.