How Live Captioning is Done

Live Captioning - How it's Done in Canada

Closed captioning of television programs is an important way for making programming accessible to people who are Deaf, deafened, hard of hearing and also to people who can hear. Live captioning is particularly challenging because captions have to be created in almost real-time without the captioner having the benefit of a prepared script to follow.

When live captions are generated, the captioner is faced with some tradeoffs between different factors that affect how captioning is delivered. For example, for a captioner to capture every word that is said on screen may mean that the caption speed is too fast for most people to read, or people watching the program may need to spend most of their time reading captions rather than looking at what is happening on the screen. If the captioner cannot caption at the speed of what is being said on the screen because it is too fast, there will be a delay between the spoken word and captions, or the captioner may need to paraphrase what is said, which may make it difficult to understand what is happening on screen.

The videos below were produced by the Canadian Association of Broadcasters to provide some insight into how live captioning is done in Canada. After you have watched one of the videos, please help us shape the future of live captioning in Canada by completing our User Preferences Survey, which you can access here. Survey participants will be eligible to win one of five $250 prepaid Visa cards.

Educational Video - Closed Captioned

Educational Video - American Sign Language (ASL)