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: http://www.ncra.org/Membership/content.cfm?ItemNumber=9095&navItemNumber=11457

CCAC has this resource – good survey of adults – http://ccacaptioning.org/ccac-survey-captioning-users-describe-experience-and-value-of-captioning-inclusion/  and more information on the CCAC website, CCACaptioning.org

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). http://www.ada.gov/effective-comm.htm  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 – http://www.ncra.org/Specialty/contentCARTP.cfm?ItemNumber=9107

 (NB: The CCAC website, not this blog but the main website http://CCACaptioning.org 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: http://www.pepnet.org/


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