Students face an abundance of challenges throughout the school year, with many juggling their academics, extracurricular activities, jobs, family life, and more. But for those who are deaf or hard of hearing, there often are additional challenges that they — and their schools — may need to overcome.
As distance learning and virtual teaching became commonplace in 2020 – nearly 55 million students nationwide continued their educations remotely while schools were closed – instructors had little choice but to rely on video instruction and online course materials. And just like in the physical classroom, it was important for teachers to engage all of their students, and give each equal access to the lesson and equal opportunity to learn and succeed.
Thankfully, a growing number of primary and secondary schools, colleges, and universities have begun working towards greater ADA-compliant classrooms for deaf and hard-of-hearing students, and opened the door to educational accessibility.
A webinar hosted by the National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes discusses how captions created by automatic speech recognition programs don’t effectively accommodate students who are deaf and hard of hearing.
Many of today’s inclusive classrooms have sign language interpreters, audio described videos, and captioned course materials, lectures, videos, and presentations, with one of the most commonly offered services being CART captioning.
CART captioning is the real-time display of verbatim speech-to-text for anyone who needs communications access. CART captioning services can be offered either remotely on in-person. VITAC offers remote CART services to hundreds of universities across the country.
Remote CART captioning involves a captioner joining the class along with the student, listening via IP audio (such as Zoom) and quickly sending captions to a dedicated URL. The captions then can be viewed on an Internet-connected device like a tablet, laptop, or smartphone. Remote CART captioning also has a few additional advantages – multiple students can use it and captions can be streamed directly to the college or university’s Learning Management System (LMS) so that an accessible version is available for future reference.
Our most popular method of delivering captions is through our Internet Captioning Services (ICS), a streaming service that allows users to view captions on a separate window or screen. Additionally, VITAC will work with schools to solve any remote technical issues (such as classroom wiring or LMS access) and ensure compatible technology.
Captions also provide the added benefit of transcripts, a written summary of all that was said during the class or presentation, which can be used as a study guide or shared with classmates who might have missed the class or didn’t quite understand all that was being discussed.
Remote CART also is often used in meetings, seminars, conferences, and presentations.
It’s easy to work with us! Schools can book captions through our order site, and have the option to integrate with Zoom and/or view using our ICS services via a dedicated URL. We allow for multiple people to be copied on orders, so a teacher may copy a student or administrators can copy a teaching assistant.