C-Print is a speech-to-text system developed at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID), a college of Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), as a communication access service option for some deaf and hard-of-hearing students in educational environments. It was developed by researchers primarily to improve the classroom experience for students at both the secondary and college levels.
Today, C-Print is successfully being used to provide communication access to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing in many programs around the country. In addition to educational environments, the system can be used in meetings and workshops and with individuals with other disabilities.
A trained operator, called a C-Print captionist, produces a text display of the spoken information using a software application called C-Print Pro®. The captionist is skilled in text-condensing strategies and in typing using an abbreviation system, which reduces keystrokes. The text can be displayed simultaneously to one or more students in different ways, including additional computers (laptops) or display monitors. The captionist includes as much information as possible, generally providing a meaning-for-meaning (not verbatim) translation of the spoken English content.
C-Print Pro software is specifically designed for providing C-Print speech-to-text services, and allows the captionist to input text using a keyboard abbreviation system. The abbreviation system is based on phonetics, or how words sound. Although spelling-based abbreviations might seem easier to learn, in practice, abbreviations based on how words sound are more instinctive because unlike traditional keyboard typing, a C-Print captionist processes information auditorily. Typing using abbreviations based on how words sound is an extension of the auditory process. In addition, problematic spelling is not an issue. The software can also accept input from an automatic speech recognition application. After class, the text can be provided in paper or electronic format for the student to use as notes.
In addition, the system's developers have implemented notetaking tools intended to enhance the educational experience for students, both in the classroom and during study time. The notetaking tools are available when a student has access to a second laptop.
While it was developed primarily for use in educational settings for students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, C-Print also can be used with deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals in business and community settings or, in professional development activities and workshops. The system has been used successfully with individuals with other disabilities, such as those students with a visual impairment or a learning disability.
For more information about the C-Print system, including how it works, products, training, and FAQs, please visit the C-Print website.