Panel approves training funds for closed captions

The Senate Commerce Committee last week approved legislation that would appropriate $20 million to train personnel for broadcast closed captioning.

Sen. Ernest Hollings, (D-S.C.), the bill’s sponsor, said the United States has only 10 percent of 3000 needed captioners to in order for broadcasters to fulfill requirements to caption all broadcasts by 2006.

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration would release the funds through competitive grants to schools, where it could be used in a variety of ways including classroom training, scholarships, distance learning and student recruitment.

Companion legislation has been introduced in the House.

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