Transcription, Captioning, Subtitles, Accessibility, and Chicken Soup

Making sure that all forms of media, be it audio, video, or printed material are accessible to every person is critical across all platforms. There are numerous and varied ways to enable people to reach content across these essential formats. Transcription, captioning, and subtitle services play a pivotal role in making sure that these forms of content are available to all.

A Personal Touch

Sandy Poritzky (Mr.), owner and founder of the Audio Transcription Center, offers his first-hand perspective on accessibility. Sandy is legally blind and hard of hearing. As someone who is legally blind, Sandy utilizes equipment that assists him with the tasks he completes on a daily basis while running his business. These include but are not limited to a reading machine, hearing aids, and his wife Janice who helps him with a plethora of tasks each day.

Grandma Janice

Janice is also known as “Grandma” of Grandma’s Chicken Soup, an online company that ships soup as gifts for occasions such as get well, bereavement, or new baby gifts. They also make great gift packages for college students! (Visit Grandma’s Chicken Soup to order some delicious soup!)

In regard to his reading machine, the LyriQ Reader, Sandy notes, “It’s a God send for someone who doesn’t see very well, it’s a God send. I can put a whole book on here, page by page, and it will read the book too. I love the machine!

LyriQ Reader, 16-hour battery life, 3 lbs.

Transcription services provide a text-based rendering of audio and video content. Captioning services provide an on-screen overlay of the words being spoken, along with descriptions of other non-speech and sounds like music and sound effects. They serve as a tool for accessing spoken dialogue for communities including those who are deaf, hard of hearing and those who have other accessibility concerns. Subtitle services add written text to audio or video to display the spoken content. They are especially useful for non-native language speakers. Sandy is able to digest this information through the use of his reading machine (pictured above). It helps him listen to printed text by scanning documents and reading them out loud. He is able to control the speed at which the machine is reading, as well as the volume, allowing for greater flexibility and making it more customizable to each user. This is just one assistive technology device that exists in making content inclusive. Other kinds of assistive technology devices that exist to enhance the digestion of material include (but are not limited to): screen readers, screen magnifiers, assistive listening devices, reading pens, braille displays, and other adaptive software.

Transcription and captioning services are crucial in promoting inclusivity and reachability across all platforms of media. These services empower individuals from all communities to be able to engage in most aspects of the digital and printed world.

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