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Closed Captioning Arrives on the Internet

Posted: Saturday, December 26th, 2009 at 7:33 am

Most of the television shows broadcast over-the-air feature closed captioning, but groups advocating for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community say it’s a whole different story when it comes to video on the Internet. Most sites that feature video entertainment don’t offer captioning, although there is a bill in Congress that would require them to do so. Kerry Malak of the Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing says the situation has resulted in a type of “caste system” on the Web. Malak says the recent announcement from Google that automatic caption capability is being added to videos on You Tube is a step in the right direction. According to Google, machine-generated captions will initially be available only in English, and on videos from 13 You Tube partner channels, but it hopes to extend the feature to all videos uploaded to the site.