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September 27, 2019 | Back to News and Documents

From the Chair

Image of Stephen Clark

Summer has officially ended, and that means fall is in the air for some of us and change is coming. The leaves change and then drop, the air becomes cooler and the sun sets a bit earlier each day. Change isn’t always quick, but it is constant. We can prepare for it, embrace it, be a part of it and determine how it affects our future. Or, we can ignore it, deny it and hope things stay just as we have always known them to be.

At the Global Alliance we are all about change — changing the traditional model of membership through our professional organization; changing the way caption consumers and captioners work together to decide how and in what form captions are used; and changing how we test and certify captioners and methods of captioning. Change comes from the collective knowledge and experience of our members — all at the same table, each with the same strength of voice and opinion, but working as one to bring about change.

For far too long, caption consumers have been told how others believe they will best benefit from captioning. Those same consumers have only occasionally been asked to join the discussion, to provide recommendations or input, or to serve on a committee. The Global Alliance is changing this model.

The mission of the Global Alliance is “To be the leading professional authority on speech-to-text captioning, representing all captioners, consumers and industry.” Caption consumers are D/deaf or hard of hearing; they are young and old; they are white-collar, blue-collar, retired and students; and they span the globe. Some use captions when needed, and some need captions throughout their day. The Global Alliance warmly welcomes all caption consumers to join us as equal members. All caption consumers are encouraged to serve on one of our committees or on our Board. We currently have one Board member who is hard of hearing, and two of the remaining four Board positions also will be filled by members who are deaf or hard of hearing.

With your help, we will bring about the changes needed to achieve our vision of “Universal accessibility to the spoken word via all forms of captioning.” Together — all captioners, consumers, advocates, industry, and educators — we will be the change.

I encourage you to consider joining us today as a Founding Member. Please see our website for a full list of Founding Member benefits. Remember, general membership opens on Nov. 1. General membership dues are just $195 per year, and all members have equal voting rights.
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Founding Members

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. Check out the list of benefits and join us today — just like D’Arcy McPherson did:

When I saw the initial announcements about Global Alliance I was immediately excited at the possibilities for the broader speech-to-text industry. I belong to several associations and each has value for me in different ways. Where I have found the most benefit as a professional is in the big-picture organizations that stretch beyond traditional boundaries and welcome a variety of perspectives.

I want to be part of a dynamic organization where all providers of speech capturing can work and learn together with consumers, technology experts, software developers, professional innovators, researchers and other stakeholders. Technology is advancing more quickly than ever before and yet there has been a degradation in the quality of captions that some broadcasters allow to go to air. The rights of the consumer of realtime captions and the need for quality providers are core to the mission of Global Alliance.
Today’s speech capturer is expected to provide a wide variety of services and be a multi-dimensional professional. In addition, the consumer has a variety of options and should know what works best to achieve the greatest level of accuracy and accessibility. The opportunities for learning, growth and advocacy that the Global Alliance has the potential to offer was something that I wanted to be on the ground floor of not only for myself but for my clients and co-workers.

I am proud of the long professional relationships I have developed with other organizations and I will continue to support them. However, the dynamic and inclusive principles of Global Alliance are compelling. To be one of the growing number of founding members of Global Alliance is an exciting prospect and I encourage others to read the vision statement and learn about the mandate and philosophy of Global Alliance.

D’Arcy McPherson
Editor-in-Chief and Manager of Debates and Publications /
Éditeur en chef et Gestionnaire des débats et publications
Debates Services | Service des débats

From the Vice Chair

Image of Karyn Menck

The Global Alliance met today with a representative from one of the U.S. captioned phone companies to discuss synergies between our two groups. We share many goals, the most important of which is quality captioning for all caption consumers. The Global Alliance is happy to extend membership to these caption providers.

Steve Clark, Chair, and I were thrilled to represent the Global Alliance this week at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Disability Advisory Committee (DAC) meeting in Washington, DC. DAC committee members reported on recommendations regarding realtime text integration with video relay services for point-to-point and relay calls. This is the first of many FCC meetings the Global Alliance will attend and take part in as we ramp up our advocacy and legislative involvement at the federal, state and local levels.

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