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You Do What?

By gsmadmin December 1, 2010

Deanna “Dee” Boenau wakes up at 3:45 a.m. most mornings so she can write captions for the hearing-impaired for the 4:30 a.m. newscast on WFLA Channel 8 in Tampa. Her workday can extend as late as the 11 p.m. news, with Boenau snatching sleep when she can. Vice president of AmeriCaption of Sarasota, she was love-struck with the profession the moment she saw a steno machine at a high school career day. “I just knew that my brain worked that way,” she says. Boneau, who works for other stations and for governments, too, recently won the National Court Reporters Association’s 2010 Realtime Contest with speeds up to 250 words a minute with nary a mistake. She and her husband, Jack, also a closed captioner, once worked 60 hours nonstop during a hurricane to make sure the hearing-impaired had the information they needed. Salaries for closed captioners range from $40,000 to $90,000, but that’s not the prime motivation for Boenau. “I consider it my music—my music is my words,” she says.

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