New rules for TV programs will mean thousands of new jobs in telecommunications, and at least one Iowa school is ready to train the workers. Joan Bindel, vice-president at AIB College of Business in Des Moines, explains now there are captions added to pre-recorded programs and TV nmovies. All new, LIVE television broadcasts will have to carry closed-captions by 2006, including sports games. Bindel says the school is experienced at seeking out trends in the business world and designing training programs for jobs where a lot of new workers will be needed. Broadcasters are telling educators there will be tens of thousands of hours of captioning work to do each week, with all the satellite, cable and local stations, and a need for about three-thousand “captioners” working by 2006. The new jobs will require training on an old system to write spoken words down fast. They’ll use a stenograph machine, just like court reporters have done for years. AIB recently got an $800,000 federal grant to recruit and train students in realtime captioning. She credits Iowa’s US Senators for passing the legislation, saying it helps both hard-of-hearing viewers but people in bus stations, restaurants and other places where they can’t hear but might want to know what’s going on — and she uses the example of travelers in public places on September 11th. In addition to training captioners, the business school will offer continuing education to help court reporters polish their skills and qualify for jobs in the newly expanding captioning field.
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