Real-time Captioning: Innovation in Classroom Accessibility
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Real-time Captioning: Innovation in Classroom Accessibility

[ Inaudible Background Conversation ]>>If a professor who loves teaching can’t literally use his voice then it’s difficult to teach. How can you be online? How can you be in a classroom if life has offered you a speech defect that you didn’t have until you were in your 50s?>>I recognize that I have a disability, although I prefer to say I’m differently-abled as opposed to disabled. I have a speech enhancement, and I would say not an impediment. My speech has been largely a result of having a stage four tonsil cancer. I’m a survivor and my diagnosis was in 2005. A lifetime dose of radiation that saved my life has had a long term negative impact on my nerve that affects my tongue.>>It was possible that he’d have to give up teaching, which he loves, and it seems that the people he teaches love to have him as their professor. So someone over in the disabilities office who knew I was captioning thought maybe I could listen to Steve’s language and hear it well enough that I could write it for his classes, whether they’re online or face to face. Real time captioning of his speech as he is saying it so that what he is saying can be understood by everybody in the class. So in a way I’m an access bridge; that’s really what I am. I’m a translator.>>It’s helpful if you’re missing something or you’re writing down notes and you weren’t able to catch what the instructor was saying you have something you can look to and make sure you gathered everything that you needed to know.>>It’s been a good opportunity for me to get a second source of information as the instructor speaks just because sometimes it’s hard to– to understand him.>>The first week was very helpful because it gave me reference points to figure out a word and how you pronounce them but now you– I’ve adapted to it and I don’t really use it as much but it still is a nice reference point.>>Yeah definitely the technology’s pretty good that we can be able to do something like this and to be able to just use it in the classroom right away and I hardly even notice it anyway so it works really good.>>My equipment is my writer, my computer, whatever cables I need that’s up to me to have. I don’t have to integrate with the PowerPoints and everything that he’s doing. We can use a projector. The screen is placed right next to the PowerPoint screen that Steve uses and it’s simple. Now the computer can be taught to read my strokes. It gives me the ability to have that phrase, which would be long to write out in shorthand or in English typing, condensed into two strokes so that instead of thinking about how I’m going to write this technical phrase I can listen to what is actually being said and get that because that’s the point.>>I teach business law and with international students English is a second language; they have to learn the law language and then they have to learn my language and so I thought that if the college is willing to help me on accessibility issues related to my speech online how about in face to face, and I said it would be very helpful for international students especially and anyone else with a disability.

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