WGBH News and Media Relations

 

May 12, 2016

WGBH Receives $70,000 from Attorney General to Develop Innovative Captioning Tool

Software Will Increase Number Of Accessible Videos For People Who Are Deaf, Hard Of Hearing

 

BOSTON, May 12, 2016 — WGBH announced today that the foundation’s Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) will receive $70,000 in grant funding to develop a free captioning tool for online and offline videos. The grant is part of Attorney General Maura Healey’s one-year grant program, Innovating to Improve Access and Opportunity for Individuals with Disabilities.

“We are pleased and proud that the Office of the Attorney General has recognized the need for this tool,” said Donna A. Danielewski, Ph.D., Director of NCAM. “By investing in NCAM’s technology development, the Commonwealth is also investing in its citizens, providing support to content creators and access to the broad audience of caption users. We’re grateful for the vote of confidence in our continued dedication to the underserved populations that this award represents.”

NCAM will use the grant to develop a free downloadable captioning tool, the Caption and Description Editing Tool (CADET), that will allow users to easily and affordably produce high-quality caption files that are compatible with any media player and any web browser. CADET will enable schools, government agencies, colleges and universities, and non-profits to affordably provide captions with their video content. The resulting increase in captioned video content will benefit the broad audience of caption users, including people who are deaf or hard of hearing, those for whom English is not a native language, and those who rely on captions in situations where the volume cannot be turned on or up, and as a powerful tool for search.

“When people with disabilities cannot actively participate in our society, we lose the benefit of the special talents and gifts each person brings,” said AG Healey. “Our grant program is helping organizations like WGBH create tools like CADET that will improve the lives of families across our state by improving access to information for individuals with disabilities.”

WGBH is a pioneer in technologies and services that make media accessible for people with disabilities, having pioneered closed captioning for broadcast television in the 1972 and Described Video Service (DVS) in 1990, with related research and technology development continuing through today.

The AG’s grant program, which will award a total of $315,000 to organizations across Massachusetts, is funded through a settlement with ATM owner and operator Cardtronics, Inc., resolving claims relating to the company’s failure to comply with a court order requiring it to make the company’s machines accessible to blind and visually impaired consumers.

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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 36 million people in the U.S. who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind or have low vision.

About WGBH Boston

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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