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April 28, 2006

Latest technology for deaf/hard of hearing now reality

From: Lenoir Rhyne College - Hickory,NC,USA - Apr 28, 2006

A captioning studio that can turn any video or DVD into an open- or closed-captioned version is now a reality at Lenoir-Rhyne College . For more than a year, members of Lenoir-Rhyne College ’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing Support Services have met with experts, selected software options and learned how to operate the newly functioning studio.

Captioning offers deaf and hard-of-hearing students fuller and fairer access to information on videos. It also helps students with learning disabilities and those whose second language is English.

The studio was funded through a $242,000 grant from The Charles A. Cannon Charitable Trusts. The grant also funded captioning display systems, learning software and assistive learning devices that utilize the latest captioning and speech-to-text technology.

Captioning display systems provide real-time transcription of speech onto large screens. The systems are located in P.E. Monroe Auditorium, Belk Centrum, McCrorie Center ’s Fintel Classroom, Mauney Music Building ’s Choral Room and in the Cromer Center Dining Hall. Two units serve as message boards.

Computer-assisted speech-to-text software helps hard-of-hearing students who do not use sign language as their primary mode of communication. The system allows a trained speech-to-text specialist to simultaneously transcribe and display a professor’s lecture and student comments on a laptop screen. The technology provides another communication option as well as better in-class notes for deaf and hard-of-hearing students.

Several assistive learning devices are also in use. ALD’s have been permanently installed in P.E. Monroe Auditorium and the Belk Centrum. Other devices help students improve reading skills. All the technologies offer first-hand experience to those majoring in deaf education, early intervention for the deaf and hard of hearing, and communication.

Individual headsets are available upon request for community members as well as L-R students, faculty and staff. For information, contact Scott Woodard at 828-328-7234 or by email at woodards@lrc.edu. woodards@lrc.edu.

Since the 1970s, the college has been a beneficiary of The Cannon Trusts’ philanthropy.

For more information about the support services for deaf/hard-of-hearing program at Lenoir-Rhyne, contact Shawn Frank, director, at 828-328-7298.
http://www.lrc.edu/deaf/index.html

© Lenoir-Rhyne College