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Working Together for Families and Schools: Pepnet and the DCMP

By Bambi Riehl

Editors note: This post contains information that may be outdated. It is included for archival purposes.

PEPNet (Postsecondary Education Programs Network) is a U.S. Department of Education/Office of Special Education grant which provides resources and expertise to enhance educational opportunities for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. This also describes the broad mission of the DCMP. Often, PEPNet works in collaboration with DCMP, each of us lending our particular expertise to assist stakeholders such as teachers, parents, vocational rehabilitation counselors or administrators.

Both PEPNet and the DCMP advocate for equal access through captioning. DCMP provides guidelines and assistance in captioning media for the classroom, while PEPNet focuses on the use of speech-to-text services, such as CART, C-Print and Typewell. These accommodations are relatively common for deaf/hard of hearing college students who do not use sign language, but still need to get information in a visual manner. PEPNet has experienced a rise in the number of technical assistance requests about the use of speech-to-text in middle schools and high schools, and the DCMP refers such requests to PEPNet.

Also, sometimes parents contact PEPNet for information regarding students' rights, the appropriateness of requesting speech-to-text services, or how to approach school administrators to provide basic information about this type of accomodation. These same parents may want to know about existing captioned educational media, and a referral to the DCMP is made.

Finally, PEPNet and the DCMP have collaborated in making joint presentations at teacher conferences regarding the "how-to" of captioning and its benefits. New training materials are currently in the developmental stage.

Together, PEPNet and DCMP offer comprehensive assistance in the style, techniques, and technical considerations of captioning. If you have a question for PEPNet, such as speech-to-text services, contact your PEPNet outreach specialist. You'll find a list of outreach specialists and contact information at www.pepnet.org.

About the Author

Bambi Riehl has been an Outreach Specialist for PEPNet since 1997, and has worked with deaf students in postsecondary environments since 1988. She is also an RID CI/CT certified interpreter. From 1988 to 1995, Bambi worked at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a staff interpreter, deaf/hard of hearing program coordinator, and student advisor. In addition, Bambi has worked in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Deaf/Hard of Hearing Program since 1995, where she was a student advisor and currently does some interpreting. She holds a BA in English/Speech Communications and an Interpreter Training Program Certificate.

Tags: captioning, educators, parents