University Business October 2017 - 46

CAPTION ACTION
software used to create speech-to-text caption files that go with source video, such as
those used in online coursework, is a step
in the right direction-but the technology
requires human involvement to review
and edit the captions for accuracy.
At most universities, students first request the use of a captionist through the
office of disability services on campus. The
disability services office then coordinates
with its captioning service to ensure a live
or remote captionist is assigned for a particular class, at specified days and times. The
student is assigned a microphone to give
the professor and logs into the speech-totext system to view the captionist's work.
Live captioning out on campus
What works well in the classroom for realtime captions doesn't always translate to
larger venues or events. While the process
for requesting captioning is generally the
same, determining where captions will be
shown can be more of a challenge.
For larger events, many universities
automatically make arrangements to have
sign language interpreters on hand, and/or
captioning done, to serve the larger community. The institution assumes a percentage of the audience will be deaf or hard of
hearing and work to ensure they'll be able
to participate to the same degree as those
in the audience who can hear.
Universities that caption events rely on
existing resources to display the captioning, such as on Jumbotrons in basketball
arenas and scoreboards in football stadiums. When such devices are not available,
the captioning gets trickier.
North Dakota State University uses
a manual captioning system at its commencement, says Registrar Rhonda Kitch.
To ensure the name of each graduate
matches the person walking across the
stage, the university uses a reader header-
a card with the graduate's name and degree
on it. As the graduate reaches the stage, a
reader scans the card so that the information is captioned on the large screen as
their name is being read. This ensures ac46 | October 2017

Quality control in captions
Whether it's on-site or remote, captions will vary in quality, says Margaret
Camp, director of student accessibility services at Clemson University. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is considered the most accurate
level of transcription, which is "utterance-for-utterance," she says. The captionist types everything heard. However, this level of accuracy costs twice as much
as another form of live captioning, called "meaning-for-meaning."
"Meaning-for-meaning" captioning uses abbreviations and does not capture
every audible noise, such as "um" or laughter-only relevant information the
student needs.
But the caption process is the same: The captionist types onto a laptop and
the screen is shared with students who have requested it. C-Print (www.rit.edu
/ntid/cprint) and Typewell (www.typewell.com) are two of the most popular
software programs used.
Morehead State University in Kentucky once offered hearing-impaired students notetakers, the option to record classes and after-the-fact transcripts.
It switched to CART in 2012. "CART is far superior," says Evangeline Holly Day,
disability services coordinator. "CART was a game changer."

curacy, Kitch explains.
NameCoach, a web application that allows students to record their own names
for correct pronunciation and type in their
names for correct spelling, is used at some
commencements to replace name cards.
NameCoach is in the process of being
integrated with GradScan software from
LifeTouch so the name appears on the
screen at the moment the student walks
across the stage.
At Clemson's commencement and
convocation, the Jumbotron is used for
on-screen captioning, as well as a picturein-picture view of a sign-language interpreter. Through the use of a microphone
on stage, a captionist located in the university's broadcast services department types
what is being said and displays it on the
Jumbotron. At football games, captioning
of the broadcast is provided on the thin
video strip that encircles the stadium.
The University of Nebraska uses a
similar approach for its graduation ceremonies, with two-line captions appearing
on the big screen in the basketball arena.
In the works is a test of the app iCap
Mobile, says Scott Guthrie, broadcasting

engineer. With this app (https://eegent.
com/icap), text appears on a mobile device's browser page, which allows hearing
impaired students, sports fans and even
attendees to watch what's going on and
check in for commentary.
At events where there is no place for
captions to appear, such as the doctoral
hooding ceremony at Clemson, the university gives the audience a web address to
view live captioning, with the message, "If
you'd like to follow along on your device,
it will be captioned."
While the solution may depend on
the event and the venue, remember this:
Working out challenges so the audience-
from the student in class to the proud parent at graduation-can participate fully is
ensuring equal opportunities for all.
Marcia Layton Turner is a Rochester, New
York-based writer.
MORE ONLINE

Breaking down the roadblocks to
live captioning
UBmag.me/breakdown

www.universitybusiness.com


http://www.rit.edu/ntid/cprint http://www.rit.edu/ntid/cprint http://www.typewell.com https://eegent.com/icap https://eegent.com/icap http://www.UBmag.me/breakdown http://www.universitybusiness.com

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