Whether programs are broadcast via traditional or online platforms, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) takes closed captioning very seriously. In its published guidelines, this regulatory government agency explains the importance of closed captioning.
Real-time captioning has become pervasive as digital content creators strive to make their videos accessible to all, especially the deaf and hard of hearing. While captioning used to be the bailiwick of broadcast TV, it’s now widely available on today’s media fare, including video podcasts, educational videos, and all types of entertainment.
While captioning and transcribing videos both involve converting the spoken word into text, the real difference lies in the way they are used. In the case of open and/or closed captioning, the mission is for broadcasters and podcasters to provide on-screen text that displays in sync with the spoken word. In this way, deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers, or those watching with the sound down or off, can follow along.
Some 48 million Americans suffer from some degree of hearing loss, according to the Hearing Loss Association of America. While broadcast TV captioning was invented with the deaf and hard of hearing in mind, today this service is readily available and beneficial to all.