Real-time captioning helps overcome hearing loss: Neeson

By Rob Lamberti, Contributor
Kim Neeson

Kim Neeson

Real-time captioning offers opportunities for those hard-of-hearing to integrate in school and work, says Neeson's Court Reporting founder and president Kim Neeson.

She tells that Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART) is used in courts, workplaces, meetings and conventions, and even at schools, and it helps put people with hearing issues on the same field as everyone else.  Some 3 million Canadians have hearing loss, the largest disability in the country, according to the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association (CHHA).

"If one's hearing is significantly compromised, sign language doesn't help unless the person knows how to read sign," Neeson says. "But they do understand the written word, so we become their ears."

The service is provided either in person or remotely through electronic devices and programs to provide instant voice-to-text translation for display, Neeson says.  Her staff uses shorthand providing a blazing 225 words or more per minute with a near perfect accuracy level.  

CART can also help those who use English as a second language or have a cognitive impairment by both hearing and reading to help them fully understand what is going on, Neeson says. 

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