Reprinted from a Serious Magic press release:

Serious Magic, Inc. announced today the immediate availability of closed-captioning for its award-winning Visual Communicator 2 software. This feature currently outputs for Windows Media and is available as a free download from Serious Magic’s website. It will enable government agencies, educators, and professional trainers serving the government to be in compliance with Section 508 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act, which requires that Federal agencies’ electronic and information technology be accessible to people with disabilities.

Visual Communicator 2 is based on a video production process that eliminates traditional editing timelines allowing dramatically faster video creation while making productions that look as if they were created for a television newscast. It offers an on-screen teleprompter, customizable graphics and titles, real-time transitions and virtual sets as well as includes a professional clip-on microphone and V-Screen foldable backdrop material for green screen effects.

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“For the past three years, Visual Communicator has been used throughout the world to create informational, promotional and training productions,” states Mark Randall, Serious Magic’s president & CEO. “Because users speak from Visual Communicator’s teleprompter to create their videos, the script they have already prepared can be easily used to create closed captions. Enabling closed-captioning text in Visual Communicator is a one-click process and ensures the video messages created with Visual Communicator can be read by those with hearing disabilities.”

The ability to output closed-captioned videos has been cost prohibitive to many government organizations. It required them to outsource video footage to a third party specializing in providing skilled typists to transcribe spoken words into data encoders to produce real-time and off-line captioning. However these entities still have a legal responsibility to provide equal access to video resources for staff, faculty and students who are deaf or hard of hearing.

“It is not just about complying with Federal Law that focuses on the importance of creating online video content with captioning. It is about serving the needs of more than 22 million Americans with hearing disabilities,” says Steve Linthicum, Professor at Sierra College in Rocklin, California. “With Visual Communicator 2’s new captioning feature, we will be able to produce video lecture content for our classes that meets both the spirit and letter of the Law without incurring additional expenses.”

Availability
Current Visual Communicator 2 users can now download a free update that enables their videos to be automatically produced with closed-caption data at SeriousMagic.com. The update works with all versions of Visual Communicator 2, including Web, Pro and Studio, and those that wish to upgrade from previous versions of Visual Communicator can do so for $149.95.

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