Deaf/hearing impaired Education news

Live captions in education made more accessible

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A new version of Ai-Media’s live captioning system Ai-Live has been launched which is easier to use and more accessible to people with a range of disabilities. The service is used by people who are Deaf or hearing impaired to provide information within classrooms, lecture theatres and at work. Live captioning is a crucial part of providing equal access in education.

How Ai-Live works:

  • A teacher wears a microphone while speaking
  • The audio of the teacher’s voice is sent to a captioner in a remote location over an internet connection
  • The captions are displayed on the student’s laptop or tablet less than seven seconds after the teacher spoke

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School’s out: CAP THAT! has its biggest year yet

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Media Access Australia’s annual CAP THAT! campaign promoting the use of captions in the classroom concluded last Sunday along with National Literacy and Numeracy. In wrapping up its third year we’ve put together a rundown of highlights and statistics for 2013.

cap that! asks educators to become Captions Champions, where they are provided with a kit of information to learn about captions, promote them to colleagues and introduce them into their lessons. We recruited 577 Captions Champions this year, which well and truly topped last year’s 375.


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Using captions to teach for literacy

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With National Literacy and Numeracy Week in full swing, teachers are learning about how watching multimedia with captions can improve literacy. Why not take captions one step further and use them as a teaching method?

Teachers who have been using captions, which in their simplest form are words on a screen, as an access tool in their classroom for a while may want to explore using captions to teach language skills, concepts, new vocabulary, comprehension and so much more.

As a range of students struggle with literacy, they need direct and explicit instruction to assist them and resources that can support their learning. Using captions to teach skills and concepts can greatly assist these students and supplement the learning of others.


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Switch on captions for National Literacy and Numeracy Week

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Media Access Australia is marking National Literacy and Numeracy (NLNW) week by asking teachers to turn on captions in the classroom via its CAP THAT! campaign. In addition to providing access to education for Deaf and hearing impaired students, captions are shown to improve literacy for all students.

Monday 29 July to Sunday 4 August is NLNW and a perfect time for teachers to introduce captions in their classrooms as a literacy tool for all students. The CAP THAT! education initiative is tailor-made to help teachers learn about captions and is endorsed by NLNW.


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Informing the next generation of media makers

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For the first time, Media Access Australia spoke at the Australian Teachers of Media (ATOM) conference in Brisbane last week. The presentation, given by Education Manager Anne McGrath, introduced secondary English and media teachers to media accessibility.

The ATOM conference, held every two years, brings together teachers, researchers and media makers to promote critical thinking about the media in schools.

The ATOM website states:


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Real-time captions to be delivered in NSW public schools

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Progress has been made towards equitable education in New South Wales public schools with captioning provider Ai-Media winning a competitive tender to provide live captions in classrooms across the state.

Live or real-time captions are provided at schools, universities, conferences and workplaces. The Ai-Live system uses a trained captioner working remotely, transcribing live speech into captions which appear discreetly on the student’s laptop. This gives Deaf and hearing impaired students direct access to teacher instruction via text.

If the school chooses, a transcript of the lesson can also be provided. This is important as unlike students with hearing, those who are Deaf or have hearing impairment cannot lipread, read captions and take notes at the same time.


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CAP THAT! campaign promotes captions for learning

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Media Access Australia’s education initiative CAP THAT! today launched its 2013 campaign, asking teachers nationally to become a ‘Captions Champion’ and turn on captions on classroom videos to improve learning for all students.

By turning on captions on videos used in the classroom, teachers can boost learning, literacy and support inclusive learning for all students, regardless of their hearing ability, understanding of English or learning method.


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Computer literacy boosted in South African schools

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Phone manufacturer Huawei has partnered with the Khulisani Foundation to launch a training program in South Africa to increase computer skills amongst disadvantaged children with disability.

The mobile Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Training Centre will travel between special needs schools in disadvantaged areas. The centre will focus on the basics of using a computer, including Microsoft Office, and the web. The training is designed to help children with disability from underprivileged backgrounds escape poverty and gain employment later in life.

The project is in keeping with the South African Government’s plan to help people with disability integrate into mainstream society.


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