Ah, June. High school exams are finished. Graduation has been celebrated. There’s nothing left for the college-bound student to do but choose a roommate and learn the school fight song.
Unless we’re talking about a deaf or hard-of-hearing (HOH) student.
Then, there are meetings with disability services offices. Accommodations to classroom lectures must be arranged before the start of the new semester. In the past, the only options would have been the employment of a sign language interpreter or a note taker. Thankfully, advances in technology have given the deaf or HOH student another option: Communications Access Realtime Translation, or CART.
CART is best thought of as realtime captioning outside the broadcast realm. It is often utilized in business meetings, conferences, religious services, or medical evaluations in which an HOH participant is present. It also allows a student who is hearing challenged to immediately access a spoken classroom presentation.
While the CART provider may be in the classroom with the student, it is now possible for the provider to work from a remote location. In this arrangement, the classroom instructor wears a wireless microphone during the lecture, and the student’s laptop is connected to the microphone base station. The student and the CART provider connect via SKYPE, and the provider uses a stenomachine as well as special software to convert the instructor’s speech to text. This text is then streamed to an Internet browser-based application, giving the student almost instant access to the lecture content.
If you are a deaf or hard-of-hearing student who is interested in CART accommodation in the classroom, have your college’s disability services office contact CompuScripts Captioning. If you are a representative of a college disabilities services office and are in need of a CART provider, contact CompuScripts Captioning’s president, Deborah Dusseljee, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 1.888.849.9698.