Three question for Alf Lindberg

Three questions for Alf Lindberg, responsible for policy work at the Swedish Assocation of Hard of Hearing People, who has succeeded in making a new symbol for captioning accepted by the Swedish Standards Insitute (SIS).

Why is it important to have a symbol for captions in languages where “cc” (closed captioning) doesn’t work?

Getting the spoken word in text in real time gives hearing impaired people the opportunity to be involved in many contexts where you would otherwise be completely excluded. Lectures, video meetings, association meetings, televised press conferences, webcast council meetings - there are many use cases. A standardized symbol makes it easy to show that written interpretation exists.

How does the Federation work to ensure that the symbol is accepted internationally?

Captions are increasing in many countries. National standardisation is the first step, the next being getting the symbol accepted by the European and  international standardisation organisations, CEN/CENELEC and ISO. As the symbol doesn’t use letters, it has the potential to work everywhere.

What is the most important issue for the Association of Hard of Hearing People right now?

The pandemic has shown that digital accessibility needs to be improved in many areas. There is good technology, but it must be used - healthcare must have chats and video receptions, public information such as press conferences must be subtitled in real time, the parliament and other democratic assemblies must put captions on their broadcasts.

New symbol for written interpretation (text in Swedish), opens in new window