Frequently Asked Questons
The Global Alliance of Speech-to-Text Captioning, or the Global Alliance, is a not-for-profit corporation whose purpose is to be the leading professional authority on speech-to-text captioning, representing all captioners, captioning consumers, and industry.
It is a “captioning” organization - not only a “captioner” organization. The belief is that professionals and consumers and advocates together can bring about more change when coming together. We advocate for effective communication.
Our vision: Accessibility to the spoken word via all forms of captioning.
There is no other organization on the planet whose mission is to be the authority on every aspect of captioning. Technology is advancing. There are many methods to captioning - as well as types of captions. If you have questions, we have the answer!
Because we can’t do this without you! The Global Alliance recognizes the importance and value of all captioners, consumers, and industry. As a captioner, you want to ensure your professional interests are represented. Consumers are vital members as they provide direct feedback that helps the Global Alliance set and refine the standard. With technology changing and improving at a rapid pace, the Global Alliance realizes it is imperative to have industry involved as well. Together this community can effect change, but it is a collective effort!
Yes! Generally, there is an accepted accuracy rate of 98% for realtime captioning. But what does that mean? How does one arrive at that percentage? This is all debatable. Each captioning company measures it differently. That does not create a standard for the industry at large. There needs to be one way for all methods – that is the NER-Certified Speech-to-Text Provider (NCSP).
The NER-Certified Speech-to-Text Provider certification sets the bar. Passing is 98% using the NER grading model. This method was created by Pablo Romero-Fresco, Founding Member and researcher. It is a proven model for grading accuracy of realtime captioning This certification can be administered to all methods of realtime captioning to allow for an apples-to-apples comparison of quality. The NER model is already in use in countries outside of the U.S. Read more about the NCSP here and register today to earn it if you are a captioner!
Without certification, there is no standard. Certification sets the bar of what is considered an acceptable accuracy rate. As well, it allows consumers and entities to make an informed decision when choosing a service provider. Consumers and entities hiring services are entitled to a captioner or a method of captioning that demonstrates the skills, knowledge, and ability to produce captions in a real-world setting while meeting the Global Alliance’s standards. Earning the NCSP designation demonstrates a commitment to maintaining high standards and providing complete accessibility via captioning.
The Global Alliance is committed to representing all speech-to-text captioners and all forms of captioning, including postproduction, and all those who produce captions, benefit from captions, or support the captioning profession. Together we can better support those who rely on captioning in their everyday lives.
The Global Alliance Board of Directors will determine when it is necessary to lobby or advocate for the profession to meet consumer needs. As a small organization, we partner with other organizations and sign filings to the Federal Communications Commission in the United States.
To this end, as of June 2022, the Quality Captioning Task Force was created to gather data with regard to good, average, less than acceptable captions across the United States. The purpose is to develop statistics about the current state of quality captioning on broadcast networks in the United States.
A “consumer” refers to anyone who uses realtime captioning in any environment.
Realtime captioning is the live, simultaneous display of text to match the spoken word and includes parenthetical information to alert the consumer to nonverbal sounds or actions.
Postproduction captioning is when captions are added to recorded material after the event has occurred. Parenthetical information is added to alert the consumer to nonverbal sounds or actions.
Open captions – always displayed without the ability to turn them off.
Closed captions – need to be turned on to be able to view.
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