True for Sign Language Users Also – English is Vital

October 28, 2014 Comments Off on True for Sign Language Users Also – English is Vital

This article (see below) caught our attention today – it’s about a place in England – where teaching English is important, but of course.

English – Or – the Language of your own country – is vital.

image of key and text says "language is key"

Fact – Language is life.

Fact – Millions of people have a hearing loss, many millions.

Myth – All or most people with hearing loss use sign language.

Fact – Most people with hearing loss don’t use sign language.

Fact – Even for those who must and do use SL, learning English is still most important.

Fact – To thrive though the years, form meaningful relationships, learn, work, “be happy” –  language is a vital human ingredient.

Mega-millions of world citizens use captioning for language – if there’s a hearing loss (one in five globally!), to learn to read, to learn a new language (very useful!), in noisy environments, to have a ready record (transcript) and for other good reasons – better believe it.

Sign languages are vital for some born deaf. These children, and adults, want to learn the language of their country too. It’s vital, and if, in the past it was rare to see, it’s growing now and this “bilingualism” is the place to be.

Along with the CCAC – the place to be for captioning advocacy. Join and become involved.

Here’s the article:

Here’s where to find the CCAC –

What can you do to help? The CCAC mission – inclusion of quality captioning universally.


Why Pay for Captioning? Case Studies and Comments

October 23, 2014 Comments Off on Why Pay for Captioning? Case Studies and Comments

Why Pay for Captioning – Case Studies in Education and Applicable for Life 

Schools, businesses, non-profits, professionals and families ask this question all the time. Even captioning providers ask the same question in order to help educate those educators who don’t understand why a student needs quality live captioning and good media captions in school in order to learn, in order to keep up, in order not to struggle and fatigue, in order to have what they have a full right to – equal communication access. 

While the best answer may be “Why not pay for inclusion, because the costs of exclusion are huge for everyone.” – there are some studies and reports that illustrate how captioning improves learning and participation, reduces isolation, and along with this, increases “giving back” of course. Just because a student or client or employee has a hearing loss or needs quality captioning for other reasons (there are many), does not mean that person will not add huge value to your activities.


NCRA pages online has an older study – but it’s a good one, here:

CCAC has this resource – good survey of adults –  and more information on the CCAC website,

In education, yet general resources also, from PepNet:

The DOJ published final regulations implementing ADA for Title II (state and local government services) and Title III (public accommodations and commercial facilities).  The section titled Effective Communication Provisions may provide good information though it is not a case study.  

Another resource is an article by Peter Wacht posted in the CART Community section of the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) website.  The article discusses the rights of consumers to request and receive CART services and includes a link to testimonials from CART consumers –

 (NB: The CCAC website, not this blog but the main website also has several testimonials (all real) on the pages of advocacy, membership, and resources.) 

Regarding research and case studies – much of the research focuses on faculty or student perceptions of specific systems (e.g. Elliot, Foster, & Stinson, 2002; 2003). This literature indicates that some students may prefer speech-to-text services in comparison to a combination of sign language interpreters and notetaking services. Some studies of CART use in the classroom suggest that improved retention (Stinson, Elliot, Kelly & Liu, 2009) and learning from lectures (Marschark et al., 2006) may be possible, but Marschark et al conclude that there does not appear to be one clear advantage of one service over another for all students. Rather, accommodation use is best considered on a case-by-case basis, to fit deaf students’ individual needs (e.g., Cawthon & Leppo, 2013).

A general caveat (still using with thanks the PepNet information here) for using captioning systems (CART, C-Print, ViaScribe™), is that students may have difficulty attending to multiple sources of visual information (Mousavi, Low, & Sweller, 1995; Mayer & Morena, 1998; Mayer, Heiser, & Lonn, 2001). This may be especially difficult if the instructor uses visual aids (e.g. PowerPoint) or the student simultaneously uses an interpreter to access class content.

 (NB: CCAC points out that many students have no trouble with multiple visual sources, and the newer TextonTop system reduces this issue for many. Students today, even a few years newer than some 21st century studies, may also have much better preparation for learning than in past years, both SL users and oral deaf, deafened, and students with hearing loss.) 

The PepNet2 research team also put together a list of suggested readings:

Cawthon, S. & Leppo, R. (2013). Assessment accommodations on tests of academic achievement for students who are Deaf or hard-of-hearing: A qualitative meta-analysis of the research literature. American Annals of the Deaf.

Elliot, L., Foster, S., & Stinson, M. (2002). Student study habits using notes from a speech-to-text support service. Exceptional Children69(1), 25-40.

Elliot, L. B., Foster, S., & Stinson, M. (2003). A qualitative study of teachers’ acceptance of a speech-to-text transcription system in high school and college classrooms. Journal of Special Education Technology18(3), 45-59.

Marschark, M., Leigh, G., Sapere, P., Burnham, D., Convertino, C., Stinson, M., . . . Noble, W. 2006). Benefits of sign language interpreting and text alternatives for deaf students’ classroom learning. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education11(4), 421.

Stinson, M. S., Eisenberg, S., Horn, C., Larson, J., Levitt, H., & Stuckless, R. (1999). Real-time speech-to-text services. Rochester Institute of Technology, National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Northeast Technical Assistance Center.

Stinson, S., Elliot, B., Kelly, R., & Liu, Y. (2009). Deaf and hard-of-hearing students’ memory of lectures with speech-to-text and interpreting/note taking services. The Journal of Special Education43(1), 52-64

Chapter 7: Current and Future Technologies in the Education of Deaf Students in The Oxford Handbook of Deaf Studies, Language, and Education (vol 2) also provides a good summary of speech-to-text services for deaf students.

—————–end of PepNet information—————-

New case studies are needed. CCAC encourages readers here to think about talking to NCRA, NVRA and other captioning groups and providers to carry out an unbiased study soon. Keep us posted please – yes, your voice counts in the CCAC!

Members’ forum open 365 days a year, 24/7 – join us.

Thanks again to PepNet and all they do for so many students. Read more here:

An App That Lets You Converse With The Deaf, No Sign Language Necessary – Poor Headline :-(

October 17, 2014 Comments Off on An App That Lets You Converse With The Deaf, No Sign Language Necessary – Poor Headline :-(

Lots of discussion among CCAC members and friends about this. See new story below from another. Problems arising include:

accuracy? real realtime? machine speech to text still in early stages for many voices – and the headline? Hear this – most people with hearing loss, deafened, or deaf do not use sign language. (Sure, some do, maybe even ten percent, at most.)

Good luck to this one too yet – areas of concern also include:

do we want to give money to market something? or do we prefer to give money to boost usefulness? – you decide.

CCAC has recently been sent information about this one, Roger Voice, Google’s own, and another from MIT…buyer beware. Donor beware. More will come along too. Nothing wrong with them, yet let’s be honest – and ask – are they good enough? In some situations, probably yes, up to a point. For your doctor visit? Probably not, yet for some voices, perhaps even there.

A professional captioner (human being) may be what you really need. The cost needs to be covered. (Yes, we know it’s not easy at times, but you are worth it.)

We are not anti-these devices – not at all – but hype and marketing, well…it creates the wrong new myths.

Can You Hear Me? No? Do You Read? Yes? Captions Capture Communications!

October 13, 2014 § 2 Comments

Nothing cures hearing loss! That’s still the reality.

Hearing aids do not cure hearing loss – and they are expensive. Many never use their hearing aids even if they have them. Ever wonder why? They don’t help enough for many.

FM systems are not terribly expensive, and some of us have tried many of them (costs adding up!). They help some people, but do not help everyone.

Looping is not cheap. It helps some, but not all. There are issues, and it’s mainly for folks with hearing aids. Get the problem?

CAPTIONING is heaven. It costs, yes. We’re worth it. What does it cost to exclude anyone? To exclude one in five globally? To offer your programs without captioning? It costs too much NOT to include captioning if you care about what you are doing and if you care about serving your community.

People who need captioning are good people. They have many talents! They may become a huge asset to your group if they are included.

If you are part of any group, it’s important to budget for live captioning for your meetings, and for your media (videos). Build it into your annual expenses. Raise money for it. Figure out how. Work at it. Inclusion and access is the right thing to do.

text WITH visual

And! For eligible official non-profits, CCAC will get you started with up to three hours of free live captioning for your next meeting. CCAC will pay the captioning provider for you.

Captioning is the world’s language. Devices such as aids, loops, and other systems, even implants, they are not language. They do not serve all. Captioning serves all who can read. It also teaches reading! Ask for the captioning you need now. Show others, Help them understand. It’s not too expensive.

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