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GLOBAL ALLIANCE UPDATE - June

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FROM THE CHAIR

Here we are embarking on summer – except for our friends in the southern hemisphere who are headed into their winter.  There are many issues in the world that need advocacy.  Here in the U.S. it is Pride Month which celebrates the diversity of the LGBTQ community.  It also shines a spotlight on the work that needs to be done all around the world to create a diverse and inclusive community in everything we do.

The Board met in May.  At this board meeting, there was a very important discussion about forming a Quality Captioning Task Force.  Subsequently, there was a vote which approved going forward with this initiative.  The purpose of this task force is to gather data from realtime captioning on broadcast networks to evaluate the accuracy.  This is a multiyear initiative and will require the work of many people.  Do you want to make a difference?  This is how you can do it!  Join the Global Alliance today and sign up for this committee.

At our next Board meeting on August 17, 2022, we will say farewell to Directors Ronald Drach and Raja Kushalnagar.  We are grateful for their service.  This will open up two board seats that will ideally be filled by consumers.  Are you interested?  Do you know someone who is?  We accept self-nominations.  Find more information here.

Other positions that will become available are Chair-elect and Treasurer.  Kimberly Shea’s position as treasurer will come to an end at the August board meeting.

To become a board member, you need to be a member of the Global Alliance which is easy to do online.

Lastly, we will bestow our deepest appreciation to Stephen Clark as he ends his term as Immediate Past Chair.  Not only was Stephen a Founding Member and the inaugural Chair, without his vision the Global Alliance would not exist.  While we will say good-bye, we are not letting him go too far as he is crucial to the NCSP certification administration.

Lastly, we are currently planning our next Empower Hour.  Stay tuned for the next date and time.  If you missed our last Empower Hour for Medical Professionals, you can view it on our YouTube channel.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE NEW NCSPs!
Congratulations to these additional members who stepped up to the plate to get certified.
Having earned the NCSP proves their commitment to quality!
Christine Ales
Kimberly Shea
CORRECTION:  Melissa Hines  
WHY DOES THE NCSP MATTER?
What is the NCSP?  It is the NER-Certified Speech-to-Text Provider assessment.  The NER is the method used to grade the assessment. NER stands for number, edition, recognition – the type of errors realtime captioners make.  Chris Ales and Stephen Clark explain it in this short video.  This assessment is real world for the job duties of a realtime captioner. 

But why is this assessment important?  Consumers and clients need to have a baseline to be able to make informed decisions when hiring captioning services.  The NCSP is available for every method of captioning: stenographic, voice, or automatic speech recognition.  Some certifications are for specific methods.  How is a consumer or potential client to determine the difference between different methods when the testing requirements are different?  The NCSP offers an apples-to-apples comparison. 

Differentiate yourself from the competition!  If you have questions, check out the FAQ page on our website, or email us at info@speechtotextcaptioning.org.
WALK4HEARING - FUNDRAISING!
There are only two spring Walks4Hearing left this spring:  Connecticut on June 11 and Florida on June 25.  Form a team, raise some money for hearing loss education as well as the Global Alliance by choosing the Global Alliance of Speech-to-Text Captioning as the alliance.  We will then receive 40% of the money raised.  Even if you can’t physically make it to the Walk, help us advocate!  Find more about the Walks here.
BOARD DIRECTOR RON DRACH HELPS SPREAD AWARENESS
   
   
Board Director Ron Drach is Chair of the Military Committee of Disability:IN Metro DC’s Chapter and shared the following in their newsletter:

What follows is an article about the need for quality captioning for those of us with hearing impairments. Shortly after the Global Alliance of Speech-To-Text Captioning (GA) was formed I joined their Board and have been on the Board for more than two years.

Many of you who know me know I have a severe hearing impairment and rely on captioning. I rely on captioning for several aspects of my life that include telephone captioning (land line and smart phone); TV, and meetings both in person and virtual.

Disability:IN DC Metro has been very accommodating in providing captioning.  I joined the Board of GA because, as a consumer with a severe hearing impairment, I support what they are doing to improve the lives of those of us with hearing issues.

When I was Chair of the Board at Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) they provided me a personal captioner which made chairing and attending meetings much easier and didn’t leave me guessing what was being said. The staff told me that an unintended consequence was they had a transcript which made it extremely easy to write up the meeting minutes with increased accuracy.

In all likelihood, you have one or more employees who could benefit from quality captioning. We all need the help and support of you to help make quality captioning in all walks of life a reality.

The following article contains a link to their website and please consider making a donation or joining us as a member.
 
It has been more than two years since the Global Alliance of Speech-to-Text Captioning was founded for the purpose of bringing together the captioning community to empower consumers who rely on captioning. Together this community is also educating the general public on the importance of quality standards related to captioning.
The Global Alliance makes resources available for policymakers to make informed choices. These decisions require the knowledge and understanding of different captioning methods. Standards must be set in order to provide “equal and effective access,” as defined by the Office for Civil Rights in the United States.
COVID-19 has changed our world in many ways, including bringing to light the magnitude of how inaccessible our world is to communities with disabilities. Quality captioning is equal access. Collectively we can educate every day to show how universal design makes the world inclusive for communities that have been an afterthought or excluded entirely in the past.
Consumer choice should remain top priority for everyone, and that choice should always be accompanied by quality options. Currently, there is no requirement setting a level playing field for individuals using captioning. Consumers with disabilities are being denied equal and effective access every day. However, creating a quality standard and a way to measure it is a way to resolve this. The Global Alliance's new certification, the NER-Certified Speech-to-Text Provider, is the standard. This certification is available for all captioning methods, including automatic speech recognition. A quality standard regarding all methods of captioning is critical. With the advancement of technology, all methods of captioning input have a lane for consumer equal access, but all of those lanes should meet a quality standard, which they currently do not. Otherwise, captions are useless.
It is vital for the public to understand what method is appropriate for their need along with the importance of consumer choice. Poor-quality, unusable captions cannot be an option as a way to check off accessibility requirements. 
What do employers need to know about realtime captioning? With 48 million hard of hearing Americans (www.hearingloss.org), chances are good that some of your employees have some level of hearing loss. In order to make the employee the most effective at their job, they may need realtime captioning for meetings as an accommodation. With many jobs now being remote, or a hybrid setting, understanding in meetings is crucial to getting any job done. It is possible to use a human-generated captioning service or some automatic speech recognition apps. Each employee has different needs, and setting them up for success is beneficial to both the company and the employee.
Many companies have a disability resource/accommodations department. However, not all managers of such departments are aware of the ability to have human-generated captions. The Global Alliance is a nonprofit organization that represents the service of captioning, regardless of the method used. Anyone using captions is entitled to equal access and accurate information.
Employers may also be able to use payment for such services as a tax deduction. It is always recommended to check with your tax professional before doing so.
Please visit https://speechtotextcaptioning.org to learn more about how you can get involved.
 
 
Are You a Captioning Service Provider?
Are You Looking for Captioning Services?
If you’re a Global Alliance member, and you provide captioning services, be sure you’ve added your information to our captioning service provider tab. Sign in at our website, then click "My Profile" and choose yes to “Display my contact information in the public directory.”
 
Are you looking for captioning services? Click the link below and visit our website. Global Alliance members in this directory are ready to provide you the highest quality captioning services, both realtime and post-production. 
https://speechtotextcaptioning.org/Find-a-Captioning-Service-Provider
 
Not yet a Global Alliance member? Join now:
https://speechtotextcaptioning.org/join
 
Newsletter Assistance Needed
If you have a talent for writing and editing, we need you! We’re looking for one or two Global Alliance members to take over preparing our newsletter, which is sent every two to four weeks. Your time commitment will be about four hours a month. 
Interested? Email us at info@speechtotextcaptioning.org today!
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