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Commonly Asked Questions

Below are frequently asked questions related to C-Print. Click a question to expand the answer.

Does a C-Print captionist need to know sign language?

Although C-Print captionists are not required to know sign language, they are encouraged to acquire the skills if classes are available. Captionists are also encouraged to pursue more in-depth knowledge about Deaf culture and technology.

What is the appropriate environment in which to use C-Print services?

C-Print is useful in a variety of situations, for example:

  • Classroom lectures (when communication is primarily flowing from the teacher to the students)
  • Classroom discussions
  • Small group work
  • Assemblies
  • Extracurricular meetings
  • Business or community meetings

Who will benefit from C-Print speech-to-text services?

Although there is no one profile that perfectly defines the student for whom C-Print captioning will be appropriate, below are a few general guidelines to help determine if a student is a potential candidate.

  • Students whose preferred mode of communication is English
  • Students who have a significant enough hearing loss that makes it difficult to follow classroom lessons
  • Students whose reading level allows for reading the text of the lesson (at least a 4th grade reading level is a general rule of thumb)
  • Students who know little or no sign language
  • Student who are deaf or hard of hearing and who also have a visual impairment (the font size may be enlarged)

Some students may benefit from interpreting and C-Print captioning, so they prefer captioning for some classes, such as those that are primarily lecture, and an interpreter for other classes that are primarily discussion.

Special Populations

Although the focus of the C-Print team’s research has been with deaf and hard-of-hearing students, students with other needs may also benefit from C-Print services (for example, students with visual impairments, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, fine motor difficulty, and students for whom English is a second language). This may require modifications of font size and/or text so that the service is structured to meet the needs of the individual student.

Do speech-to-text services replace interpreting services?

A primary consideration in the provision of communication access is the communication preference of the individual receiving the service. As is true of any support service, C-Print is not a panacea for all deaf students. While there is no one profile that perfectly defines the student for whom C-Print captioning will be appropriate, there are general guidelines to help determine if a student is potentially a good candidate for the service.

What is the pay rate for a C-Print captionist?

As with interpreting, pay scales vary region by region for C-Print captionists, depending on factors such as demographics and demands. Although there is limited information about pay scales, generally speaking, the pay rate for a new captionist (trained) is comparable to that of an entry-level interpreter. Adequate compensation is crucial for encouraging people to make a commitment to a career as a C-Print captionist.

What is the C-Print abbreviation system?

The C-Print Pro Server software contains a dictionary of abbreviations that are primarily based on phonetics, or how words sound. As a C-Print captionist types an abbreviation, the software searches the dictionary, finds the associated expansion (the completely spelled out word) and displays it. For example, if a captionist types the letters ‘sstm’, the expansion displayed will be ‘system’. By following a set of rules for abbreviating words, a C-Print captionist does not need to memorize abbreviations or know how to spell words, as they use the word sounds to produce an abbreviation.

In addition, the C-Print dictionary includes abbreviations for frequently used words to further reduce the amount of keystrokes needed, for example, the abbreviation for the word ‘are’ is ‘r’.

Is the C-Print software available from a store?

The C-Print Pro Server, C-Print Pro Client, and C-Print Lite applications are solely distributed by the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

The C-Print Mobile client app (for iOS and Android devices) can be downloaded from the iTunes and Google Play stores.

Is a C-Print captionist a note taker?

The goal of a note taker, whether using handwriting or a computer-assisted note taking system, is generally to provide an outline or summary notes. The goal of a C-Print captionist is to produce text that is a thorough and concise translation of spoken English content.

C-Print captionists use an abbreviation system to reduce keystrokes and text condensing strategies to capture a speaker’s intended meaning. The goal of these strategies is to reduce the number of words typed, while preserving meaning and keeping the message displayed as near the original message as possible. For example:

Original lecture: We are talking about those personal factors. We are talking about my perception of roles in the family, and family roles were discussed in chapter 5.

C-Print text: We are talking about those personal factors such as my perception of roles in the family discussed in chapter 5.

How does a student participate in class with C-Print?

The C-Print System allows for two-way communication between the captionist and student(s) via a “Chat” feature in the C-Print application. If a student would like to participate in class, but does not wish to speak for him or herself, the student can send a message to the captionist, who can then voice the question or comment to the class.

Does a C-Print captionist have to provide printed notes?

It is often a C-Print captionist’s responsibility to provide notes, however, this requirement should be specified in an organizational policy or contract with a client/ sponsoring organization. In addition, the “type” of notes provided should be specified, for example, printed or electronic format, edited or unedited transcript, etc.

Why does a very fast typist need to use the C-Print abbreviation system?

Even the fastest typist can have trouble keeping up with a rapidly-paced class or other event. By reducing the number of keystrokes, the C-Print abbreviation system allows a captionist to type faster and reduce physical demand on the hands and arms.

What equipment is required to be able to provide C-Print services?

A C-Print captionist uses Windows-based computer (often a laptop) and the C-Print Pro Server application to produce the text in real time. The computer/laptop should be

  • Responsive (specs powerful enough to maintain the real time nature of the service and a consistent network connection)
  • Sturdy (durable enough to withstand frequent movement)
  • Ergonomically efficient (reasonably light, with a keyboard that is comfortable to type on for long period of time)

Other items to consider for a captionist are a carrying case for the equipment and a portable stand for the laptop.

Clients viewing the real-time display can view the text on PC (Windows), Apple (OSX and iOS), and Android devices. See the application descriptions for more information.

Is C-Print the same as CART?

C-Print is similar to CART (communication access real-time translation) in that the service providers for both systems can provide a real-time display of the spoken information and transcript (notes). C-Print captionists, however, provide a meaning-for-meaning representation of the spoken information versus verbatim, which has traditionally been the goal of CART providers.

CART is a stenography-based system that requires stenography equipment and at least two years of specialized training (similar what is used for television closed captioning in a courtroom).

What is meaning-for-meaning captioning?

A meaning-for-meaning representation of the spoken information is a concise and thorough translation of spoken English content. It is content-based (similar to an interpreter) rather than verbatim.

For example:

Original lecture: We are talking about those personal factors. We are talking about my perception of roles in the family, and family roles were discussed in chapter 5.

C-Print text: We are talking about those personal factors such as my perception of roles in the family discussed in chapter 5.

Are CEU credits available for the C-Print training course?

Currently the C-Print Online Training course is not set up to provide CEU's. However, professionals (i.e., interpreters) who have participated in the online training can apply for CEU’s on their own or through their organization.  If you need a description of the course to include in your application, please email for more information.

Where can I find a trained C-Print captionist?

You can post a C-Print captionist job opportunity online on the C-Print Job Board , which is viewable by trained C-Print captionists. Those interested in a posting will communicate directly with the contact listed. If you would like a posting removed, please contact us at (Note that we do not monitor the postings for responses.)

If you prefer to recruit an individual for training, consider advertising a position in your local paper using different titles, such as typist, educational aide, or captionist, depending on the situation. (Remember, the general public may not be familiar with the term “captionist.”) Another option is to select staff members already employed by your organization to participate in the training, such as paraprofessional note takers, interpreters, or office workers.

Can C-Print services be provided in a class with sign language interpreting or another service?

Speech-to-text services can be combined with other services such as interpreting, however, when supporting an individual student, it may be difficult to justify provision of both speech-to-text and interpreting services. When the services support a number of deaf students in a class and some of these students receive educational benefit beyond that provided by a single service, the cost of combining services may be justified.

For example, consider a hypothetical regional high school program that is attached to a large local high school with classes into which the deaf students are frequently mainstreamed. The program mainstreams five deaf students into a junior level history class. Three of the five students have limited sign reception skills, but are good at reading English text. These three understand the class substantially better with the real-time C-Print text display. The other two students, however, also need an interpreter to function successfully in class. For the tests, much of the material comes from teacher’s lectures. All five students find the C-Print notes helpful in performing on tests.