Captioning the HLAA Convention

Captioning the HLAA Convention

Editor: One of the really wonderful things about the hearing loss conventions is the accessibility provided for virtually all activities. For most people with hearing loss, real time captioning (CART) is the accommodation of choice, and it’s ubiquitous at the conventions.

One of the evening activities this year is a performance of the Grand Old Opry, and even that will be captioned (for the first time ever!)

Here’s a press release from the National Court Reporters Association about captioning at the convention.


June 2009

Specially trained court reporters using realtime translation will share their skills for events at the Hearing Loss Association of America convention June 18-21 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center. Among the events to be captioned is a performance at the Grand Old Opry, the first time open captions will be used there.

Virtually everyone attending the convention has some degree of hearing loss. The court reporters will use computer assisted realtime technology (CART) and captioning to capture all of the presentations and seminars and project the words onto screens as readable text as they are spoken. CART and realtime captioning instantly translates a court reporter’s stenographic notes into English and transmits them onto screens. The same skills are used to create captions of live television programming and to provide instant access to transcripts of court proceedings.

About 350 convention participants will attend Saturday’s performance at the Grand Old Opry, where open captions will be used for the first time to make the performance more accessible to people with hearing impairments. Karyn Menck, of Tennessee Captioning in Nashville, will provide the captioning.

The HLAA convention in Nashville is expected to draw about 1000 people from across the country and internationally. The keynote speaker will be computer scientist Vint Cerf, recognized as the ‘father of the Internet’ and now a vice president of Google.

HLAA is a nonprofit, educational organization dedicated to the well-being of people of all ages and communication styles who do not hear well. As many as 36 million adults in the U.S. have some degree of hearing loss, making CART and realtime captioning important communications tools for many Americans.

“Realtime has been used throughout the United States to help hard-of-hearing and deaf people participate in college and even high school classes, conventions, meetings, gubernatorial and presidential addresses, congressional hearings, and other public and private events,” says Deanna Baker, of Flagstaff, Ariz., a court reporter who has coordinated realtime services for the HLAA convention for more than 15 years. Baker and a team of CART providers and captioners will cover events at the HLAA conference.


Communication Access Realtime Translation: