Beth Abbott tells us why Bee Communications has joined the Ai-Media group

Posted on October 29, 2013


Bee Comms and Ai Media

Limping Chicken sponsor, Bee Communications recently announced that they were joining the Ai-Media group. As a long-time supporter of this site, we invited Bee’s Managing Director Beth to talk to us about what this change might mean.

Beth Abbott told us:

“Joining Ai-Media will mean that Bee Communications can start to offer captioning to more people, with a bigger team and better infrastructure. One of the most exciting aspects of working with Ai-Media is that we will be able to offer their real-time captioning service Ai-Live 4.

The Ai-Live captioning platform is game-changing. It offers a dyslexic font, optimised colour palettes, and enables clients to access, download and search through all of their transcripts on a secure web portal. Our clients tell us that they find it very helpful to be able to search through all of their meetings to check who said what. It’s also much easier to book and use on mobile devices such as iPads. When I’ve shown our captioners how the platform works, they’ve really liked the dictionary feature, which encourages clients to add terminology and upload supporting material before a meeting. This helps our captioners to prepare and be really accurate.

We are setting up a UK office in London and will be employing more UK based captioners. We’ll have a great team providing training, technical support and coordinating our bookings. This will mean a much more responsive service for our clients.

Over the years, I’ve seen how captioning is of real benefit to deaf people in the workplace and at universities. I now want to take captioning out to our schools. Next year we will be running a series of independently evaluated pilot schemes which I hope will prove the impact of captioning on pupils’ achievement.

I also want some independent assessment of quality standards in our industry, which is why I’ll be introducing a quality assurance programme. We will provide samples of our work to impartial consultants who will ensure we’re consistently hitting 97.5% and above accuracy standards. Many companies say they are committed to quality – we want to prove that a quality service for our clients is at the heart of all we do.

It is my belief that Remote Captioning has created an accessibility revolution for many deaf people in the UK. I think it’s amazing that a captioner based in Taunton can caption lectures for a student based in Edinburgh. Suddenly clients who would never have been able to afford live verbatim text can access it on a daily basis. Clients based in Liverpool with very few captioners in their area could use it for their conference calls. And students, previously reliant on typed up or hand written notes, suddenly have access to live captioning and a verbatim transcript of everything that was said.

Over the last three years with the support and hard work of our captioners and team, Bee has become a thriving company, providing captioning to hundreds of deaf people, many of whom had never used verbatim text before. Working with Ai-Media will enable me to continue spreading the word about captioning, whilst driving up standards and proving that it has a genuine impact of the learning of deaf children in our schools. Thank you to the Limping Chicken team and readers for all of your support.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email Beth on beth.abbott@ai-media.tv or text 07931 584 165.

The Limping Chicken is the UK’s deaf blogs and news website, and is the world’s most popular deaf blog. It is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne.

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