7 of my favourite deaf awareness initiatives for 2017

18 05 2017

woman hiding her mouth

How Deaf Awareness Week is breaking down barriers

It is Deaf Awareness Week in the UK, May 15 to 21, and in the theme of celebrating collaborative work, I want to share with you some of my favourite 2017 awareness initiatives. There were many to choose from, but the ones mentioned below touched my heart.

The purpose of this week is to share knowledge around the fact that 1 in 6 people in the UK is deaf or hard of hearing. It’s important to know how you can communicate with us and include us in everyday life. This week is dedicated to highlighting how you can communicate with deaf and hard of hearing individuals. Spreading awareness aims to improve peoples’ understanding of deafness, hopefully leading to better support and accessibility.

Even though there is no ‘typical’ deaf or hard of hearing person, you should be aware of the possibility that a deaf person might join your seminar, workshop or eat lunch at your restaurant. Are you aware of our needs? Have you made it easy for us to communicate with you and join the conversation? If not, I hope this year’s awareness week inspires you to make changes.

READ MORE





The pain and the pleasure of captioning telephone calls

3 04 2017

captioning telephone calls

Is captioning telephone calls necessary?

Today, it’s difficult to imagine not having a telephone or a mobile phone. On this day in 1973, the first mobile phone call was made in New York. The Motorola mobile phone used was bigger than a brick. It was 9 by 5 inches and weighed over 2 pounds. The talk time on this phone was only 30 minutes, and it took 10 hours to recharge.

Today, the smallest mobile phones will fit on your key fob. Technology has moved fast in 44 years. The top smartphones offer a glittering array of features such as iris and fingerprint scanning. Packing in more and more features, the top phones are getting bigger – often at the cost of a shorter battery life – and can cost as much as a cheap car.

With all these advances in technology, you’d think one group of people who can’t use the phone would be well served: deaf people. Mobile phones have been a boon for deaf people as they can now send text messages and use Whatsapp. But when a deaf person needs to interact with a hearing person, it suddenly becomes a different ballgame. There are 70 million deaf and hard of hearing people worldwide who have difficulty using telephones. Say hello to captioning telephone services.

READ MORE





Would broadcast captioning benefit the Oscars?

1 03 2017

broadcast captioning at oscars

Celebrity reality: Broadcast captioning gives you the inside scoop

The Oscars took place this week, and by now you would have heard about the big blunder. The wrong winner was announced! Shocking, I know.

Who knew the wrong word on a piece of paper, or in this case the wrong piece of paper, could have such a devastating effect. It makes you realise just how important the correct text for such live events really is.

Now, imagine millions of deaf and hard of hearing viewers tuning into these events only to find the captions to be misleading, confusing and just a general pain in the butt.

That’s how many of us experience watching televised programmes that make use of “smart technology”. Voice recognition software and respeaking have resulted in the quality of TV subtitling going down.

The only way to rectify this is for broadcasters to use superior captioning that’s accurate and produced by highly qualified people. We are entitled to the same access as hearing people.

READ MORE





Train to be a velotype captioner

31 10 2015

Are you interested in training as a velotype captioner?

Come to 121 Captions’ assessment day and find out if this is for you!

velotype

Velotype

Using the Velotype system, you can write up to 200 words per minute using a specially adapted keyboard, with free annual software upgrades. The software is available for Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh and Linux. The keyboard can be used for over 30 languages.

 

Velotype Academy

The training is free. The course can be downloaded and interactive. Learning the basics only takes a few months. Training to get to a high speed can take between 7 months and 2 years, depending on how much time you invest in the training.

velotype keyboard

 

Assessment Day

Date: 30 November 2015 9AM

Venue: PC Werth, Audiology House, 45 Nightingale Lane, London SW12 8SP

Cost: Free. Donations are welcome.

This event is led by

  • Wim Gerbecks – Velotype
  • Sander Pasveer – Velotype
  • Tina Lannin – 121 Captions

The event aims to give you an opportunity to:

  • Meet the Velotype training team
  • Try out the Velotype keyboard
  • Assess your ability to be a velotypist
  • Check out remote live captioning platforms

You will be able to find out about

  • Velotype Academy
  • Working remotely : Q&A session
  • 121 training: Remote working & deaf awareness
  • 1Fuzion remote captioning system

There will also be a short training session on Text on Top, an on-site wireless captioning system.

text on top

Booking your place

You will need to book your place for this event. Places are limited – book now!  To book, contact bookings@121captions.com  or call 020 8012 8170.

When you book, please confirm if you already have a Veloboard and if you are already working as an Electronic Notetaker.

velotype-academy-strokes-EN

Further information

Velotype Academy

How the veloboard works

Veloboard including costs and languages

VeloNote text editor software

Text on Top

121 Captions training courses

 

Venue

PC Werth, Audiology House, 45 Nightingale Lane, London SW12 8SP

PC Werth London





Live captioning comes to South Africa

30 04 2015

Live Captioning at a university in Cape Town, South Africa.

The client connects to the captioning service via a microphone set up in the classroom. The captioner hears what is being said and writes the text back – coming up live on your device in 1 second. Your device can be a laptop, smartphone, Google Glass, Kindle…. whatever connects to the internet.

Used effectively in classrooms, meeting, conferences, and teleconference calls – having the text coming up on a big screen and on participants’ own devices in 1 second. Making conversation accessible to all disabilities!

Live captioning enquiries – bookings@121captions.com
Follow on Twitter @121captions

Blog post: Live captioning in South Africa





Say hello to real-time captioning on Google Glass

2 02 2014

Did you know? 121 Captions can now stream real-time captions to Google Glass on their caption streaming platform, 1CapApp.

This means you can have a speech-to-text reporter (palantypist or stenographer), a CART writer, or an electronic notetaker listen to your conversation and stream it to your Glass as captions. BRILLIANT for deaf people!

As with all new technology, the Glass can be rather confusing at first. You are probably wondering, what on earth is Google Glass? You’ll understand what this product is and how it feels to wear one after the jump,  …. perhaps you’re even thinking about the potential uses. Wouldn’t you like to have everything captioned for you?

Marlene's screenshot of real-time captions on Google Glass

Marlene’s screenshot of real-time captions on Google Glass

To read more and to find out about user experiences:

121 Captions – Google Glass: Introduction





The hunt for the Preston puma

9 08 2013

David talks about his hunt for the Preston puma.

Check out some of his photos!

print 1

print 2





A bar for deaf people opens in London!

29 05 2013

A bar for deaf people has opened in London!

The bar staff are deaf and can sign, there is a deaf security guard, a hard of hearing DJ, there are bright lights at the bar with pens & paper, the fire alarm has a flashing light, the signs are in BSL & English.

Salsa, zumba, and DJ workshops are planned where deaf people can be taught to read beats and play instruments.

What’s the bet they’ll even have subtitles on their TV and allow entry to Hearing Dogs?

The Deaf Lounge, Seven Sisters, London UK. Let’s start an international trend here. Who’s coming for a drink? :)

News source: New bar for the deaf where you order drinks in sign language





Sign2sing project aims for a Guinness World Record

8 02 2013

Ten-year-old Ruby Tuckley from Wallingford taught sign language to her fellow pupils and staff at St John’s Primary School in Wallingford for a charity world record breaker yesterday (February 6, 2013).

Ruby and her Mum Hannah Bullen, who is deaf, were joined by pupils and SignHealth’s mascot, Olli the monkey for the sign2sing world record breaking attempt on Wednesday February 6.

Jane Ratcliffe, Headteacher at St John’s Primary School on St John’s Road, said: “Ruby taught the whole school, including myself, the signs to ‘sign2sing’. Ruby was particularly keen to get involved with the world record breaker as her Mum is deaf. She even registered the school to take part.

“We were all really excited to be involved in the sign2sing world record breaking attempt for the most people signing and singing a song at the same time. It was a fantastic event.”

Young people from all over the country and overseas signed a song called ‘sign2sing’, which was composed especially for the event.

Steve Powell, Chief Executive at SignHealth, which is the national healthcare charity for deaf people, said: “It’s fantastic that Ruby was so enthusiastic about the event and managed to get the whole school on board to take part. We are thrilled that St John’s Primary School took part in the world record breaking attempt for the first time.

“sign2sing is also a fundraiser for us through a suggested £1 donation from everyone taking part. Children were asked to wear a scarf like Olli the monkey to school on the day of sign2sing and take in their £1 donation.”

The money raised from the event will be used to continue the charity’s work helping to improve the mental and physical health and well-being of deaf people, including deaf children.

Steve continued: “Hundreds of schools from all over the country and overseas registered to take part in our Guinness World Record sign2sing project for the most people signing and singing at the same time.

“They range in size from 30 to 800 pupils, which, from our calculations, means more than 135,000 schoolchildren took part in the event. The exact number of participants will be confirmed by Guinness World Records™ at a later date.

“The previous world record, which we set last year, was 114,277 so we are hoping to have smashed this.

“It has been a truly fantastic event and we’re extremely grateful for everyone who took part. At the moment we’re still counting the money raised but we’re hoping it will make a significant contribution to the work of SignHealth.

“The song, entitled ‘sign2sing’, is also now available for people to download. It can be purchased from iTunes and various other digital music outlets, and costs a maximum of 79 pence per download.

“We hope lots of people will download the song. It would be great to see it in the charts and get even more people talking about sign2sing.”

For more information about sign2sing, please visit the website above or contact SignHealth on 01494 687600. Alternatively, sign2sing is on Twitter at www.twitter.com/sign2sing and on Facebook





Marlee Signs – Learn American Sign Language With Marlee Matlin

22 10 2012

Release Date / 07 October 2012

Platform / iPhone

A fun interactive American Sign Language iPhone and iPad app has landed on the App Store!

Marlee Matlin, who is deaf herself, developed the app to assist in teaching deaf and non deaf people alike. She is very passionate about it and being a major celebrity wants to use her influence to raise awareness.

The app is free to download on both iPhone and iPad with the option of downloading various lesson packs.

Itunes Link – http://bit.ly/marleesigns