Television is an almost ubiquitous medium that provides entertainment and vital information to millions of households in Canada. Closed captioning of live television programs, which is particularly challenging, extends the accessibility of these programs to the Deaf, deafened, hard of hearing and hearing communities.

An Accuracy Standard for captioning has been part of the CRTC’s Standards for Quality in Closed Captioning since 2012, but the method of assessment defined there has proved to be ineffective and unworkable. As a result, the Commission started a new proceeding on this issue. In December 2015, members of the English Broadcasters Group (EBG) met with members of the Captioning Consumer Advocacy Alliance (CCAA), in response to CRTC Broadcasting Notice of Consultation 2015-325-2, to address aspects related to a closed captioning quality standard for live television programming in Canada.

One of the challenges was a lack of substantive research into consumers’ subjective reactions to, and preference for, different forms of live captioning in Canada, which was considered an important factor limiting the ability to improve accessibility in live television programming. The CCAA, with EBG support, decided to pursue an independent research initiative aimed at establishing users’ preferences and responses to different aspects of live captioning in Canada. This research is in answer to that challenge.

Final Report PDF