Every word counts

Live subtitles and revoicing

Live subtitles, known as speech-to-text transcription (STT), is a way of providing access to talks, meetings and conferences for deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people who are comfortable reading English. Stagetext uses live subtitles for post-show discussions in the theatre and for talks in museums, galleries and other cultural venues.

Speech-to-text reporters (STTRs) are highly trained professionals who use a special electronic shorthand keyboard designed to let them type phonetically (how words sound rather than how they're spelt). The specially-designed software then converts these phonetic chords back into English so that deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people can read it.

Have a look at our short film on live subtitles in action.

Find out about the work of speech-to-text reporter Claire Hill.

Read about Ginny Kanka's experience here.



Revoicers, also known as respeakers, repeat clearly what is being said during unscripted events using special software that’s trained to recognise their voice. Their speech is then converted into text which appears on a caption unit, an LED or large screen.  For this kind of access to work well, revoicers should be seated in an area separate to the event where they can hear clearly, but can’t be heard by the audience. This means that a good sound feed is essential. Revoicers also need to pare down (edit) the live dialogue or conversation, which means the text that appears isn’t verbatim, although it will always give a good idea of what’s being said.



The Arts Council
The Arts Council
The Arts Council