Caption First was founded in 1989 for the purpose of providing realtime captioning for local television news programming. Our focus soon changed from serving large audiences through broadcast captioning to serving individuals by providing CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) services for students, business people and Deaf organizations.
Information about our accessibility services quickly spread among students, small groups and corporate employees who needed access to excel in their work settings. The demand rose quicker than the supply of local writers, and the solution to this problem was the advent of remote CART services. This allowed one writer to serve many consumers in multiple locations by eliminating the need to travel from site to site. The first remote CART services were instituted before there was common use of the Internet, so the technology was based on telephone lines and modems to connect writer and consumer computers. As the Internet became more sophisticated, we adapted then-existing Internet application sharing programs used for meetings to also provide remote CART services. As more clients learned about remote CART services, the consumers’ needs and expectations became greater. Caption First was integral in the development of several Internet-based text streaming applications. The primary focus of these applications is to provide remote CART services.
Concurrent with growth in education and corporate settings, there was a growth seen in local government meetings via cable access broadcasts. Captioning opened up these meetings to thousands of residents who previously could not participate in their local government. Caption First worked with several innovative towns nationwide to set up the technology and provide equal access.
Demand for realtime text in the conference setting also increased, and Caption First has been very innovative in working with associations and organizations to have onsite and/or remote CART and captioning services in an effort to meet this growing communication access need of conference goers.
In our third decade of services, we continue to be on the cutting edge of technology and offer innovative solutions to real-world communication challenges. Caption First is now a worldwide leader in providing instant written text for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, and for people whose native language is not English.