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Irving Public Libraries And North Texas Teen Book Festival Prioritize Accessibility By Providing Live Captioning Technology

The captioning will be available at noon on March 5th when this panel begins.

For the first time since its inception in 2015, festival organizers for the The North Texas Teen Book Festival (NTTBF) will make the event more accessible by providing live captioning technology from VITAC, the nation’s leading industry for captioning and subtitle services.

NTTBF, which strives to connect the reading community through diverse author panels and dynamic discussions, is the region’s largest book-related event hosting 93 authors for the middle grade and young adult readers.

In 2022, the festival is a mix of virtual and in-person, with a full slate of author panels and keynote speakers on March 4-5.

Saturday, March 5 is entirely in-person at the Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas with keynotes, book sales, swag shops, Speed Dating with a Book, giant author signing, and panels with live captioning streaming technology.

Pia Pulido, a teacher and writer at Irving ISD’s Travis Middle School, is a first-time moderator for a panel of three authors this year.

“I am so pleased that Irving Public Libraries and NTTBF are prioritizing accessibility and inclusivity for the deaf and hard of hearing community this year. As a hearing-impaired lip reader, I am excited to use VITAC’s live captioning service to lead a panel discussion about topics that are important to me.”

Her panel, called “Body Talk: All bodies are good bodies,” covers multiple themes such as body positivity, disabilities, and overcoming obstacles to achieve self-confidence with the following authors:

  • Alyson Gerber (Braced, Focused, Taking Up Space)
  • E. Charlton Trujillo (Fat Angie, Rebel Girl Revolution, Homecoming)
  • Julie Murphy (Dumplin’, Puddin’, Pumpkin, and many others).

This panel starts at noon on Saturday March 5th at the convention center in the junior ballroom on the third floor. Attendees are encouraged to use their smart devices to scan special QR codes to access the live captioning service.

“It’s an exciting time for reading and technology,” Pulido said.

For a full schedule of over 20 in-person panels, visit the festival website. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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