WGBH News and Media Relations

 

May 3, 2017

WGBH Makes Video Captioning Accessible and Affordable with Free Software Innovation

 

Public invited to experience the captioning tool at free Boston Public Library launch event, May 11 at 2pm

 

BOSTON, May 3, 2017 — The Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) at WGBH has developed free downloadable captioning software, the Caption and Description Editing Tool (CADET), which they will unveil to the public on May 11. The new tool, funded in part by a grant from Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s Office, will allow users to affordably produce high-quality caption files that are compatible with any media player that supports the display of captions and any web browser.

“It is fitting that we are launching our newest tool, CADET, in the free and open community space of the Boston Public Library, because the software shares many similarities to the library: both are funded largely by public dollars, both provide increased access to information, education and entertainment, and both are provided free to all who choose to use them,” said Donna Danielewski, director of NCAM. “Few organizations are as qualified as NCAM to reduce the barriers to inaccessible media. WGBH has a 45-year history with developing captioning tools, beginning with the invention of captions for broadcast television in 1971.”

CADET creates captions for pre-recorded videos and can run in any web browser. After downloading the software, the user can type the audio into CADET (or import an existing transcript), then edit and time the captions to match the audio. Once the captions are created, the user can upload the video to any public or private website. Since the CADET software runs from the user’s desktop, users do not need to upload personal videos or proprietary content to the internet prior to writing the captions (as is required by services such as YouTube, for example). With its free cost and straightforward design, the tool will enable schools, government agencies, colleges and universities, and non-profits to affordably provide captions along with their video content. The resulting increase in captioned videos will benefit the broad audience of users, including approximately 40 million Americans who are deaf or hard of hearing, those for whom English is not a native language, anyone who relies on captions in situations where the volume cannot be turned on or up, and as a powerful tool for search.

CADET will be debuted to the public at a free event at the WGBH Studio at the Boston Public Library in Copley Square on Thursday, May 11, 2017 at 2pm. The event will feature a live demonstration, Q&A with the experts who built the tool, and conversation with the content creators and caption users for whom it was intended. Light refreshments will be served.

This event will be captioned using Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART) services.

About The Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM)

The Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM), part of WGBH, is a research, development and consulting unit dedicated to expanding access to present and future media for people with disabilities, exploring how existing access technologies may benefit other populations, and representing its constituents in industry, policy and legislative circles. NCAM’s staff represents the leading experts in the field and our success is exemplified by a history of accomplishments and continuous growth, the integration of innovative products and services into society at large, and the enthusiastic support of the audiences served, including 50 million people in the U.S. who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind or have low vision.

About WGBH

WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcaster and the largest producer of PBS content for TV and the Web, including Frontline, Nova, American Experience, Masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow, Arthur, Curious George and more than a dozen other primetime, lifestyle, and children’s series. WGBH also is a major supplier of programming for public radio, and oversees Public Radio International (PRI). As a leader in educational multimedia for the classroom, WGBH supplies content to PBS LearningMedia, a national broadband service for teachers and students. WGBH also is a pioneer in technologies and services that make media accessible to those with hearing or visual impairments. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors. More info at www.wgbh.org.

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WGBH Media Relations

Ellen London
ellen_london@wgbh.org
617-300-3904

Emily Balk
emily_balk@wgbh.org
617-300-5317

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