New C-Print Provides for Graphics as Well as Text

New C-Print Provides for Graphics as Well as Text

Editor: You may be familiar with C-Print, a transcription system developed by the folks at NTID many years ago. Now a new version is in the works – one that allows graphics to be added to the C-Print file and to be printed along with the text. Here’s the press release.

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February 2009

Software enables deaf students to capture spoken words and graphics in NTID/RIT classrooms

New technology that displays graphics, such as equations, alongside captions on a laptop computer screen enables deaf and hard-of-hearing students to better follow classroom discussions. This new technology, a software application called C-Print Pro Tablet, is being developed and field-tested at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology (NTID/RIT). The field trials and training materials associated with this development have been made possible, in part, through the support of NEC Foundation of America.

For more than 10 years, C-Print (http://www.ntid.rit.edu/CPrint) has been an access service option preferred in classrooms by deaf and hard-of-hearing students not fluent in sign language. Text of spoken words is input by a C-Print captionist and displayed on the student’s laptop screen. The new software now allows use of a Tablet PC with a specialized pen to reproduce graphics presented during class. The graphics are added to the words typed by the captionist and can be printed with the typed notes for students to review after class. Students may add their own notes as well.

The field trials are being done at NTID/RIT in New York and Miami Dade College in Florida. After the testing is completed, the goal is to make this technology available wherever there is a need.

Alexandra Johnson, a Mechanical Engineering student from Wisconsin, is helping test the new technology. She sits in the front row of her Materials Science class at RIT and turns to her C-Print laptop, a Tablet PC. Nearby, a captionist types the classroom discussion, while a note taker draws graphs and equations relating to polymers, tensile strength and the shape of a molecular chain. Johnson follows the lecture and adds her own notes on the computer screen. Within an hour, she has a copy of the class notes, complete with graphics.

“I like using C-Print because it helps fill in the bits that I miss when I watch the instructor,” Johnson says. “It’s a good tool for me to use. I think it’s a great idea that merits future development. I can see myself using it more and more in the future.”

Michael Stinson, professor in NTID’s Department of Research and Teacher Education, says the students who benefit from this technology include those who are deaf and hard of hearing, as well as others who may have difficulty comprehending spoken English, such as those learning English and those with a learning disability.

RIT is internationally recognized as a leader for providing computing, engineering, imaging technology and fine and applied arts programs, and for providing unparalleled support services for students with hearing loss. More than 1,450 NTID students study, live and socialize with more than 15,000 hearing students on RIT’s Rochester, N.Y. campus. Visit: www.ntid.rit.edu.

For more information about NEC Foundation of America, including application guidelines, please call (631) 232-2212, or visit www.necfoundation.org. NEC Foundation of America was established in 1991 and endowed at $10 million by NEC Corporation and its United States subsidiaries. Income generated by the endowment is donated to nonprofit organizations in the United States in support of programs with national reach and impact in the arena of assistive technology for people with disabilities. Through its grants, NEC Foundation of America underscores its philosophy of advancing society through technology and enabling individuals to realize their full potential.