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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

District Files Appeal Against Deaf Student

District files appeal against deaf student: "Administrative Law Judge Clara Slifkin criticized the school for giving Solorzano a sign language interpreter, even though she is an oral learner and uses sign language only socially, not academically."

I chose the graphic to illustrate how the student might feel. Imagine being faced with the challenge of language barrier deliberately imposed by the school as a solution to helping a deaf student to get through her lesson. Not being able to understand the lecture given in a "foreign language" (sign language in this case) just slows down the progress of the student.

I'm late deafened and there are so many times I wish CART were instantly available for me. On the computer it's great to be able to chat to someone using email, or in real time with a text interface (IM programs, MUDS and other such). Some day in the future will it go to everyday living? A cure for deafness would be awesome!

Software is still being developed which will allow a computer to have working speech recognition and there are hopes that perhaps a laptop can be used in real time, to interpret with good accuracy, flowing conversations for someone who cannot hear. This will allow more of us to attend lectures or participate in other communications. I have tried the route of having friends or family members take notes, but often the things they catch and write down are basics that I already know and I wonder if the lecture actually had any depth beyond 3rd grade knowledge of basics. Don't mean to sound ungrateful but when you pay $100 or there abouts to attend a seminar and come back with notes that someone took for you, all content that you already knew and may well be new stuff for your notetaking friend... it really is a darned bit discouraging. Never mind any serious consideration of new academic pursuits that rely on interpretation of lecture material.

I have read about how it (speech recognition) is still quite quirky; some voices and inflections do not convert to text very well and need editing corrections to train the software. Back when I had residual hearing and used an FM system and hearing aids, I still had a lot of problems picking up what people were saying due to the problematic nature of all these combined enhancements. I have no residual hearing now, so text really is the best of the communication tools for me. I've also learned that many hearing people do appreciate captioning and wish more in the way of transcripts could be provided (accessibility!) since sometimes computer quirks, poor software, slow connections are a fact of life for many that cannot make use of the pod casts and other 'enhancements' online.

Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART)

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 6/20/2007 11:09:00 PM | Permanent link | (1) Comments

Blogger Unknown sent us a woof // June 21, 2007

I empathize with your frustration. As I get older, and my hearing lessens, I find I appreciate the captioning on TV. If the captioning is particularly good (and not all is) I even turn off the sound and just read the captions.


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