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.”

Link to main story: Higher ed takes actions on captions

“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 and  Typewell 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.”

Marcia Layton Turner is a Rochester, New York-based writer.


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