Raising and Educating a Deaf Child

International experts answer your questions about the choices, controversies, and decisions faced by the parents and educators of deaf and hard-of-hearing children.

Question from Nathan L., Bellingham, WA

My son has an interpreter in school with him all day. Recently we went to a local event that had CART [Communications Access Real Time]. I looked that up on the web and found both CART and Cprint (speech to text). This seems like a good way to get my son’s English to improve. If he watches CART or Cprint all day he will be getting 100% English all day. How do I get my son’s school to give him “speech to text” instead of an interpreter?

Question from Nathan L., Bellingham, WA. Posted May 12, 2009.
Response from Michael Stinson, NTID

I direct C-Print research and development. C-Print research and development has been conducting a program of research on the effectiveness of captioning in education since 1995, and has included high school students. You can visit our website for information about the service and training. For assistance in locating a C-Print captionist for a demonstration or for the school district to hire and train a C-Print captionist, please contact us at cprint@rit.edu.

The first step in arranging for captioning services would be to gather information regarding what captioning services the school district provides. Regardless of whether the school district has provided captioning in the past, if it at all possible, arrange for your son to have a trial, or even a demonstration of one of the captioning services. If you can try to work with your son’s school system in a step by step manner to evaluate the effectiveness of the service for your child, the district may be supportive. That is, try to have the demonstration, then the trial, then an IEP meeting that discusses the evidence that was gathered before the decision about whether the service will be provided. If the IEP meeting agrees that captioning should be provided, then the district should support the service in accordance with the IDEA legislation. If you go to the NTID department of research website and click on the C-Print button on the sidebar and then click on publications, the following downloadable PDF documents summarize research on high school students.

Starting at the top of the page: 

  • Stinson, Elliot, Kelly & Liu (2008) This includes a separate study with high school students and also one with college students. 
  • Elliot, Stinson, & Coyne (2006) This is a study with high school students only. 
  • Elliot Stinson & Foster (2002) includes results for both high school and college students but does not report on the two groups separately. You can also click on the research summary. This research summary indicates whether each result included is based on data for high school or for college students.