NCPD Board: Statement on Captioning 

We, the Board of Directors of the National Catholic Office for Persons with Disabilities, in our ongoing effort to increase access for Catholics with disabilities, endorse the captioning of films, videotapes and television programming. We urge that professionals charged with development of these medium within the Catholic Church be encouraged to utilize the following information to make their productions available in captioned formats.

Background: Captions can increase access to films and videotapes not only for deaf and hard of hearing individuals, but for those with language disabilities and for whom English is a second language. Captions provide a written display of words or sounds which are scrolled across a display unit such as a television, blank monitor, movie screen or small hand-held receiver. Captions may be either open or closed; and are produced either pre-programmed or real-time.

Types of Captioning

a. Open. Open captions are included as part of the regular programming and viewed by all.

b. Closed. Such captions are visible only after being decoded. Televisions manufactured after 1990 automatically decode these signals, displaying the message on the screen. Separate decoding units are available for systems that don't include this technology.

c. Pre-programmed. Captions prepared in a studio to accompany a pre-produced program. Such captions are then encoded onto the video track in either open or closed format.

d. Real-time. Captions which are displayed instantaneously with the event or broadcast, such as sports events, newscasts, many PBS shows, trials, speeches or theater productions. Increasingly, real-time captioning is used as an alternative to sign language or oral interpreters.

Production Issues

There are firms locally and nationally which specialize in both open and closed captioning work. Consult those listed below or check your local telephone listings or Association for the Deaf for referrals to services in your area.

Prices and procedures will vary among agencies. Provision of a transcript and 1/2" VHS exact dub with time codes will save time and money. Captioning should not add significantly to production time, particularly if a script is available. Generally, it takes one to two weeks to caption a 60 minute video.

Captioning Producers

National Captioning Institute
1900 Gallows Road
Vienna, VA 22182
800/533-9673, ext. 0 (v) or 800/950-0958 (TTY)


National Captioning Institute
303 N. Glenoaks Boulevard
Suite 200
Burbank, CA 91502
818/238-0068 (v/TTY)

312 Boulevard of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
412/514-4000 (v) or 412/232-6344 (TTY)


733 15th Street, N.W.
Suite 420
Washington, D.C. 20005-2112
202/782-7333 (v/TTY)

Silent Word Media Resources (not-for-profit organization)
7400 West Augusta Street
River Forest, IL 60305-1499
708/209-3341 (v/TTY)

Closed Captioning Services

2215 Oak Industrial Drive
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
616/456-6794 (v/TTY)

Computer Prompting and Captioning Co.(CPC)
1010 Rockville Pike, Suite 306
Rockville, MD 20852
301/738-8487, 301/738-8489 (TTY), 800/977-6678


Adapted with permission from Technical Assistance Guide, TAG-5-84-4, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Washington, D.C. 


Approved by NCPD Board of Directors

March 16, 1996

Open Captioning with