Captioning Corner: How many phone lines are necessary to caption from home?

By Deanna Baker

The answer is twofold depending on the work that you're captioning. What would apply to all scenarios would be what is called designated phone lines, meaning no call-waiting beeps or other interruptions.

First scenario: If you are captioning a program that you can see on television or satellite, one phone line will be necessary to send your data (captions) through your computer/captioning software to the TV station. Another phone line would be necessary for you to be contacted during the program to advise of any changes or problems. That line could be a cell phone.

Second scenario: If you cannot see the program you're captioning, the above applies except a third phone line is needed for your audio source. You would also need a headset and an amplifier connected to your phone to hear the audio. In addition to all of this, consider your household. Do you want to trust everyone in your household not to pick up these lines while you're captioning? If not, another line would be necessary for them.

About the author

Deanna Baker, FAPR, RMR, is from Flagstaff, Ariz. If you have a question about captioning, you can ask her at