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MedEd Connections Resource Guide: Deaf and Hard of Hearing (D/HH)

What Technology Is Available to Help My Child Communicate with Others?

Speech-to-Text is a form of technology in which a person speaks into a microphone and the technology translates the spoken words into text visible on a screen. Speech-to-text technology could be used in various settings to supplement access to conversation, such as in schools, hospitals, doctor appointments, or public settings. For example, this may support your child’s access to communication while listening to speech in the classroom, at recess, or at a doctor appointment.

If you are interested in exploring speech-to-text technology for your child, your audiologist or speech language pathologist (SLP) may be able to provide you with more choices.

Speech-to-text technology may or may not be an appropriate fit for your child. Your child’s school team, medical professionals, health care, and service providers may be able to help you consider whether speech-to-text technology is appropriate for your child.

What factors could I consider when thinking about speech-to-text technology options for my child?

  • Age of your child
  • Your child’s literacy skills
  • The setting (home or school)
  • Level of background noise
  • Potential errors in written translation

Please note that the following resources are not a complete list of speech-to-text options.

Communication Access Real-Time Translation (CART)
CART consists of the almost instantaneous translation of the spoken word into English text using a stenotype machine, notebook computer, and real-time software. This is a professional service that originated from court room recorders. Need something captioned? Find a CART captioner here.

C-Print Registered
C-Print is a real-time captioning service, which captures the essence of the spoken message. The translated words can be viewed on a screen. The translated written words may be put into a file and printed out, which can be useful for school notes.

A trained TypeWell transcriber synthesizes the essence of a discussion and captures it using advanced abbreviation software. The recipient simultaneously sees the transcript using a standard web browser on a mobile device, such as a laptop, tablet, smartphone, or e-reader. A TypeWell transcript can be easily printed or saved for later reference as a study tool or meeting documentation.

Google Translate
Google translate can be used from a phone or computer. It has a speech-to-text translation feature which can be used by people who are D/HH. Snapguide has a great "how-to" article, How to Use Live Transcribe for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing.

Please note that some captioning services may be more expensive than speech-to-text software, such as apps, Google Translate, Skype captioning, or various apps which can be used through IOS or Android devices.