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August 13, 2019 | Back to News and Documents

From the Chair

Steven Clark, headshot

Steve Clark, Chair

Welcome to the first edition of the Global Alliance of Speech-to-Text Captioning newsletter! Thank you for signing up to receive our newsletter and thank you for your support.

This has been a whirlwind week for the Global Alliance. Our launch on Monday, August 5, generated great enthusiasm, support, and buzz from captioners, consumers, advocates, educators, and industry in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.

We thank you for your emails and phone calls requesting additional information and asking questions. Our website and social media are living documents, and your questions help us further explain our positions and goals. Many of you have asked about our bylaws. Our bylaws are available to anyone; they’ll be posted on our website soon.

Your feedback on social media has been amazing. Please keep sharing, posting, and spreading the word about the Global Alliance!

Our Founding Members Campaign is entering its second week. A list of our Founding Members to date is included in this newsletter.

Remember that your Founding Member contribution is a one-time contribution and is payable monthly or in one payment. Your membership then continues through 2020, and on January 1, 2021, you will be invoiced for annual dues of $195.

A reminder that General Membership will open on November 1. The date you join during General Membership is your renewal date.

One of the first orders of business for the Global Alliance will be creating certification and credentialing for all forms of captioning. This will not be an easy task! You are the experts, and we need your help.

After General Membership opens, we will reach out to members to serve on various certification and testing committees. We need your membership, and we need your input. We hope you will join us!

Those of us serving on the Global Alliance Board of Directors volunteer our time. We receive no salary or compensation from the Global Alliance. We are all professionals with full-time jobs, but we volunteer our time because we are fully committed to the mission and vision of the Global Alliance. We believe transparency is vital to our success. If you have any questions or ideas, please email or call us at any time. We want to hear from you!

We are all very excited as we enter our second week. Thank you for your support of the Global Alliance of Speech-to-Text Captioning.

Steve Clark, Chair

Founding Members As Of August 12, 2019

Founding Member Global Alliance logo

The Founding Members Campaign is the fund-raising effort to start achieving the goals of the Global Alliance.  We are grateful for the support of the Founding Members to date.  With each pledge of support, we build our membership.  The diversity of our membership is what will help us make captioning better for those who rely on it.

We asked Beth Frazier, stenographic captioner and our first Founding Member, why she wanted to be part of the Global Alliance.  She shared, “When I first learned about the Global Alliance, I knew I wanted to be part of it.  Having known and worked with Jen, Karyn and Steve for many years, I know the love and passion they have for captioning and the consumers being served.  I have full confidence in these leaders, along with the guidance and input from Global Alliance members, to do great work in progressing the captioning industry.  It was with no hesitation that I became a Founding Member to help with this mission.”

Beth Frazier – Supporter
D’Arcy McPherson – Supporter
Cheryl Little – Supporter
Tori Pittman – Supporter
Marcia Ferranto – Supporter
Michelle Houston – Supporter
Caryn Broome – Supporter
Karyn Menck – Premier
Jennifer Schuck – Premier/Contributor
Steve Clark – Premier/Contributor

Thank you for being a Founding Member!

From The Secretary

Immediately after the launch of the Global Alliance, we received interest from individuals all over the world to help us fill the four remaining board seats. It was exciting to see the news about the Global Alliance truly spanning the globe in its very first week. We are committed to having a diverse board, one that represents all facets of captioning.

The board to date was selected based on category of representation and commitment to the mission and vision of the Global Alliance. The Board was hopeful the interest for the other four board seats would reach far and wide. This has proven to be true!

If you are interested in a position on the Board of Directors, please email us with your interest. After general membership is open, all candidates will be contacted to fill out a questionnaire. Interviews will be conducted. Four individuals will be selected and presented to the membership for approval. The remaining seats will be filled by consumers and representatives from voice writing or industry. It is expected that the board will be confirmed by the end of the year.

Jen Schuck, Secretary

Why Captioning Is Important To Me By Gael Hannan, Director

Although they may have been available before, I didn’t tune in to TV’s closed captions until the early ‘90s. By that time, my hearing loss was such that I really needed to see the words. Then, in the mid-90s, I discovered the joy of realtime captioning, or CART (communication access realtime translation). I was the guest speaker at a meeting of people with hearing loss and I could barely take my eyes off the screen beside me, where my own words were appearing almost the instant that I uttered them – this was magic to me!

Since that time, I have depended on text translation of audible sounds, to fill in the blanks of what I cannot hear. But sometimes I forget that, behind this wonderful text, is a trained and skilled caption provider or stenographer or, increasingly, an advanced speech-to-text software system. I accept the captioning as a basic need in my life and look for it everywhere – even where it can’t be. A young woman once told me about having a heated discussion with her partner. She was having difficulty following his words as he yelled and moved around, and she found her eyes sliding toward the nearby TV, in the absurd hope that it would capture his speech and display his words on the screen.  That’s how I feel now; I feel bereft when text translation is missing and in equally absurd situations such as family dinners or in restaurants.

And when captioning does provide the words – on the screen, on TV, or on my phone, life becomes brighter and clearer. Because I understand – because I’m not on the outside looking in. I have the easy comfort of comprehension and participation.

I’m excited for the future of the Global Alliance of Speech-to-Text Captioning and the increased quality of life it will bring to people like me.

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