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Media Accessibility Information, Guidelines and Research

The Benefit to the Deaf of Real Time Captions in a Mainstream Classroom Environment

A dissertation submitted by Aaron Steinfeld, University of Michigan, 1999. Guidelines for the developers of captioning devices were made: (1) Real-time captions (RTC) are beneficial for both deaf and hearing students; (2) Location of a RTC display (desk or podium) has no impact on recall performance; (3) RTC devices should display at least four lines of text. However, there is only theoretical support for displays of more than four lines of text; (4) Higher amounts of sentence lag seem to improve performance (up to two lines or 6 seconds). It is possible that larger levels of lag may result in decreased performance; (5) A higher rate of presentation (200 vs. 160 wpm) appears to have a negative impact on performance for deaf subjects when lag is present, and; (6) Users are reasonably good at determining their ideal device parameters given the opportunity to experience their choices. However, deaf users may perform better with lag even though their preference for it is low.

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Tags: research, captioning, educators