The Professional Development group at Perkins School for the Blind provides continuing education courses for educators of students with visual impairments and additional disabilities through online, onsite, and blended coursework. As the program grew to include more multimedia content, such as recorded lectures, webinars, and webcasts, Perkins’ commitment to full accessibility remained strong. Before too long, however, the amount of content needing captioning had far outgrown the team’s capacity to caption in-house.
Demonstrations from potential captioning vendors highlighted another complication: the program’s annual workload – which was enormous from an in-house perspective – seemed small to most captioning service providers, resulting in high pricing estimates.
Perkins’ first discussions with 3Play Media occurred face-to-face at a conference. In addition to expressing an interest in the Perkins program itself, 3Play Media offered a “pay-down balance” option, which allowed Perkins eLearning to allocate a fixed amount to captioning services and monitor its progress throughout the year. It was this fee structure that made caption budgeting possible for Perkins, while at the same time covering a range of additional services such as transcription, caption embedding, and audio description on an as-needed basis.
With 3Play, Perkins also had access to an easy-to-use Account System, flexible rush-standard-delayed turnaround options, and the ability to include a “cheat sheet” for complex terms. This made 3Play Media the practical choice to serve Perkins as a captioning partner.
Pricing flexibility at a fixed amount was exactly the formula Perkins eLearning needed to support the program’s multimedia content volume. The course design team can efficiently manage available captioning funds, and institutional leadership can count on the funds allocated for accessibility to remain within expectation. Since Perkins eLearning formed its partnership with 3Play Media, other departments have used the service as well, by sub-contracting through the Perkins eLearning division or by creating their own 3Play Media accounts with separate pricing and billing plans.
Accessibility remains a top priority for Perkins School for the Blind. The organization shares 3Play Media’s outlook that captions and transcripts aren’t just for deaf and hard of hearing people, instead, they benefit many people in various ways.
Perkins + 3Play Media
“Accessibility is really important for Perkins. We’re a community of people with a lot of different disabilities and needs, and I think 3Play has been very forward-thinking about this and a thought leader about the fact that captioning is not just about deafness.”