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Frederick News

Posted on: May 7, 2021

City to Expand Closed Captioning to Multiple Languages

At the Mayor and Board of Aldermen Public Meeting on Thursday, May 6, 2021, the Board of Aldermen voted unanimously to approve the purchase of Video Services of America LINK Closed Captioning software. The software, which is part of the Communications Department's work to increase equity in communications from the City,  will produce closed captions in English and Spanish for Channel 99 productions (both through cable and the internet feed). Currently, the City offers closed captioning in English through a separate website. This software implementation will combine current efforts to make it easier for constituents to view as they need or prefer. 

"This step is an important one as our community continues to grow, but it is just the beginning of our vision for communications coming from the City," shared Mayor Michael O'Connor. "Ensuring our constituents have access to information is critical for engagement, transparency, and open conversation."

City Communications Manager Ashley Waters also shared what is projected in the FY22 City budget to continue these efforts as part of her presentation. "The Communications Department has developed a set of improvements that includes three major efforts to ensure equitable communications. In addition to the closed captioning enhancements, if approved in the FY 22 budget, we will be expanding the number of written materials provided in Spanish and supporting in-person communications at our front desk locations for non-English speakers through additional technology enhancements."

 With the approval, the City expects the closed captioning efforts to live for constituents to use by the end of June. An announcement will be made when the product is available. 

For more information on this approval or additional communication efforts, please contact Ashley Waters at awaters@cityoffrederickmd.gov.

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