A Hearing Loss & Late Deafened Blog

Captioning Options

In captions on July 6, 2014 at 5:38 pm

By Chelle George

Last week I had the opportunity to experience TypeWell, “A system for capturing spoken content and generating an immediate meaning-for-meaning transcript.” Kate Ervin, executive director of Typewell was in Salt Lake and offered to give us a demonstration before leaving town. Reading about it online, I came up with the above description and wondered how it differed from CART.

She came in for my speech reading class putting a lap top and a Kindle Fire in the middle of the table, each facing different sides. She sat to the side with her laptop in front of her, ready. The previous week I told my students she would be there but all three of them had no idea what to expect. (Yes only 3, summer is hard on classes due to vacations plus it’s twice a week in mornings which makes it hard for working people to attend.) A long time HLAA chapter member came in too and once we started talking, the words appeared on the screens in front of us.

captions at a meeting

One of my students is recently deafened due to acoustic neuroma and she was thrilled to see speech transcribed in front of her and her husband was happy to know these kinds of options exist. My other student is a college student who has gone through most of her education without any CART or captioning at all. She was told it was a hassle to sign up with the disability resource center and that a note-taker would work just fine. All this time she struggled through classes when this was available? She could see where it would have made her college time much, much easier. The other HLAA member and I are familiar with live captioning but we love options.

typewell 3

How is TypeWell different from CART? She uses her laptop with advanced abbreviation software instead of a stenography machine. Kate said they summarize by leaving out false starts and filler words but they also try to capture everything like other people’s remarks and sounds such as car alarms that may be going off outside to show why everyone is looking out the window. It easier for the transcribers if only person at a time talks. CART might better suit someone who wants to hear/see everything such as person with a new CI who is learning to hear again.

How is it like CART? Captioning in all it’s sources is wonderful. Just like CART, it appears on the screen in front of you and it follows the conversation and I didn’t see any missing words (except when I stumbled over my words/sentences). There is a slight delay as with CART but not enough to make a big difference. It can be done on-site or remotely (off-site). Notes can be saved and used to study or review later.

Kate Ervin from TypeWell

Kate Ervin from TypeWell

How do people become a transcriber under TypeWell? TypeWell doesn’t provide services but they train people to do it.  Kate said each person has to be able to type 60 words a minute with no errors and they need strong English skills. They have to pass a specific test or they do not get the software to work with. (She also mentioned their software has a math mode for in the classroom.) Training cost is about $500 and about $100-200 dollars a year for the software. There are ongoing training opportunities and workshops to attend.

They will train anyone who can work with a university or an agency first to gain experience (either as an employee or contracted) and later transcribers can become independent contractors.  The typical charge for services is $15-$30 an hour, with the high end being $40-$60 and hour.

If you are hearing and this sounds good to you, think about applying because the hard of hearing population is growing and I think captioning will be more in demand. People with hearing loss are becoming less passive and want to be included. This job can be used in conjunction with another job, see the TypeWell blog for Jarren in Washington who provides services to both the Deaf and hard of hearing as an ASL interpreter and a TypeWell provider.

TypeWell is another option for real-time access to communication for those who are hard of hearing. Visit their website for more information and locate a local provider with this link: http://support.typewell.com/customer/portal/articles/229852.

Advertisements
  1. Interesting to read your blog about this! 🙂 I am a C-Print Captionist at Cornell University, and I’ve been working in this field for 8 years. I wanted to mention C-Print in case you weren’t familiar with it, so you and your readers would know there’s at least one more option out there besides Typewell and CART! 😉

    C-Print is pretty similar to Typewell, especially for the person reading the captions. It’s another meaning-for-meaning captioning system. The main difference is that they use different approaches — Typewell bases their abbreviation system on spelling of words, whereas C-Print is phonetic-based. As far as the person reading the output is concerned, those differences probably wouldn’t matter much — an experienced C-Print captionist or an experienced Typewell transcriber would probably produce a very similar captioning experience for the user.

    Since C-Print was developed at the Rochester Institute of Technology (their NTID division, working primarily with d/Deaf and hard-of-hearing people), from what I’ve seen C-Print is used more in the northeast and Midwest United States, and parts of the south (I know there are several C-Printers in Georgia), whereas Typewell seems to mostly be used in the northwest and western United States. This isn’t exclusively true, but it seems like the closer you get to RIT the more likely you are to see C-Print used as opposed to Typewell.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: