BCIT gets $150K to support hearing impaired students

Deaf and hard-of-hearing students will get more classroom support thanks to $150,000 in provincial funding to expand and research speech-to-text transcribing services.

The funding, from the Ministry of Advanced Education, will go to Post-Secondary Communication Access Services (PCAS) at the British Columbia Institute of Technology for delivery of the TypeWell Transcribing Project.

The TypeWell system gives students an accurate, real-time text transcript of a lecture or seminar. The student and the transcriber are in the same classroom which also allows the student to ask or answer questions through the transcriber.

A growing number of students graduating from high school and enrolling in post-secondary institutions are indicating they have a disability.

PCAS will use the funding to support the expansion of transcribing services in post-secondary institutions in B.C. by recruiting, training and mentoring transcribers, and by co-ordinating equipment, software licences and technical support.

A pilot project will also be developed for a remote service to help students in regions where it's not possible to have a transcriber physically present.

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