Canine Companions for Independence Southeast Region held their February 2017 graduation ceremony at Universal Orlando Resort’s Animal Actors on Location outdoor auditorium. Their February class was made up of 44 graduates — of the people and puppy variety — and All Good Reporters gladly provided the CART/Captioning services.
In the weeks leading up to the ceremony, Melinda Sowers, of Canine Companions’ Southeast Regional office, supplied the majority of the scripts – for which we can’t thank her enough for all her time and effort. This enabled us to import, convert and format the scripts into our captioning software ahead of time. There was one script
supplied onsite the morning of, but we quickly stroked the text using the steno machine and set up a script file in our Eclipse Accucap software.
The evening before the graduation ceremony, representatives from Canine Companions, Universal Orlando Resort, their AV team and All Good Reporters met for onsite testing of all the equipment necessary for the next day’s graduation ceremony: Projectors, audio, screens, Text on Top wireless captioning software, laptops and steno machines. Not to mention our trusty RocknRoller cart to transport all our CART equipment. We did the evening’s dry run with our CART provider sitting on the lower level of the auditorium with the AV team up in the production booth. Later, for the production crew’s benefit, we agreed our CART provider should set up in the production booth the next day.
The next day, when we realized our CART provider would be sitting with their back to the ceremony with no TV monitor to watch the captions, we made the last-minute decision to move me out of the booth and on to the top bench of the outdoor auditorium with a makeshift table on which to set our CART provider’s equipment and personal amplifier. We quickly set everything up between the top row of benches, making every effort not to place the machine too far forward, causing the tripod legs to tilt like a pinball machine. Have machine; will travel we always say.
At the appointed hour, the ceremony began and from our perch at the top, we were able to easily follow and observe the proceedings below. After having CARTed CCI’s graduation these past couple years, our favorite part comes at the end when mingling with the graduates, their canine companions and their families. So much excitement and energy in the air! It’s impressive how laid back the dogs are with all the activity going on around them.
Founded in 1975, Canine Companions for Independence® is a non-profit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships.*
Graduations are held four times annually in the Southeast Region and are open to the public, except on occasion when the ceremony is held at a special venue. Join the new Canine Companions for Independence graduates and their new assistance dogs as they team up and embark on their new lives with enhanced independence.*From CCI’s website
Be sure to mark your calendar for CCI’s 21st annual Tales & Tails Fundraising Gala on Saturday, October 14th, 2017. Please consider volunteering for this worthwhile event. Just click this link to get started: Volunteer for Canine Companions Southeast Region