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Captioning the World, One Word at a Time

I remember the very first closed-captioning box, a special-order device that was sold at Sears. The purchase set my parents back several hundred dollars, but the captioned access was priceless. This was back in the days when only a handful of programs were captioned.

My kids have grown up viewing captions on just about every TV program, but the Internet is another story. Captioned access is a hit-or-miss affair. It's getting better and better each day, as more and more audio content is converted to the written form. The 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act will ensure more captioning on the web in the next two years. With the Baby Boomers getting older and their hearing going south, the visual access is a welcomed plus.

So when my friend Bill Graham approached me about working for a new captioning company, I didn't hesitate. SpeechText Access is a unique company. Where other companies may shy away from hiring people with disabilities, SpeechText Access is seeking people with disabilities and military vets to become voicewriters. The training is provided through Verbatim Careers Institute. All of the training and work can be done from home. For more information on becoming a voicewriter: or visit the website at

I signed up for a webinar recently and had the opportunity to utilize the real-time captioning through SpeechText Access. The voicewriter who did the captioning happened to be blind. The access was amazing. Finally, finally, I could access a webinar just like everyone else.

Equal access. That's priceless.

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