Deaf/hearing impaired Education news

TED launches education YouTube channel

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From humble beginnings back in 1984, TED has become a global sensation, offering talks on almost any subject to inform and inspire. To the delight of educators worldwide, TED has just launched an education-focused YouTube channel. What’s more, the bulk of the content is captioned.

The TED-Ed channel features lessons submitted by teachers which are turned into less than ten minute animated videos designed to grab and hold students’ attention. Although the channel is in the early stages of development, the amount of content available has already increased since its launch just a few days ago.

Videos on the channel are organised into Playlists including How Things Work, Awesome Nature and Playing With Language.


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Campaigns promote captions in schools in 2012

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As the use of audiovisual resources in mainstream classrooms increases, so does the need for captions to be used as a learning tool for all students. A number of school-based campaigns encouraging teachers to turn on captions have been successfully launched around the world and continue in 2012.

One such program, Read Captions Across America (RCAA), is celebrating its annual ‘Read Captions Across America Day’ on 2 March.

Run through a partnership between the Described and Captioned Media Program and the National Education Association, RCAA raises awareness of the effectiveness of videos with captions in encouraging and fostering reading skills in children.


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Report from America on a world leading education initiative

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The Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP) is a US initiative run by the Department of Education and the National Association of the Deaf. Its aim is to provide equal access to communication and education to students who are Deaf, hearing impaired, blind, vision impaired or deaf-blind. Media Access Australia CEO, Alex Varley, recently visited the DCMP headquarters in South Carolina and was impressed with the developments and new focus that it is taking.

Following the announcement of continued government funding, the DCMP offers a range of services promoting inclusion for children with disabilities. Importantly, these services are adapted to meet changing needs.

“A newer area of captioning in the USA is Spanish captions to service the large Hispanic population.  The DCMP is going to devote around 25% of its resources towards Spanish language services,” said Varley.


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Pressure placed on Prime Minister to consider the needs of students with disabilities

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At a cabinet meeting in Tasmania this week, Prime Minister Julia Gillard was approached by the mother of a child with a disability, and urged to direct more money towards this area of need. Gillard acknowledged the necessity for greater focus on this area and that the promised $200 million extra funding for students with disabilities is a move toward this.

The $200 million funding, part of the More Support for Students with Disability initiative, was announced earlier this year. The funding will be available from early 2012 and will be directed to a range of services, depending upon the needs of specific students. The funding could, for example, be directed toward the provision of assistive technology for students who have a hearing impairment.


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Data projector helps deaf and hearing impaired kids at school

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The need for accessible media in schools is becoming more recognised by technology providers. Epson has announced the release of two new projectors which spark hope for greater accessibility in the classroom.

The Epson PowerLite S11 and X12 include as one of their listed features closed caption display capability. The inclusion of this feature in the product description highlights the need for access to multimedia content for students who are deaf or have a hearing impairment. With 83% of students with a hearing impairment attending mainstream schools, equitable access to multimedia content is a necessity. As technology providers take greater interest in this arena of accessibility, the result can only be positive outcomes for these students.


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