Videos, webinars and recorded seminars are becoming a standard part of businesses these days. As all job seekers know, learning by viewing video content is a key aspect of looking for, obtaining, and being trained for a position in the workplace. Unfortunately, for someone who is deaf or hard of hearing, this is a barrier that is at best difficult to overcome. Yes, captioning is required for television broadcasts, but it is not required at this time for websites or online information communication technology. Employers in general would like to have all their video content and training sessions captioned, but the typical rate of $20-30 per minute is cost prohibitive. This rate increases substantially if the captioning needs to be performed in a language other than English.
The Interact-AS product line developed by Auditory Sciences does indeed automatically caption conversations, webinars and lectures, and does so in multiple languages. With an automated process there are no per minute costs -- the software does it all. However, what is missing is the capability for this captioning to be superimposed directly onto the website’s streaming video. With this funding, this final missing item will be completed. The resulting product will transcribe whatever someone is saying and instantly generate a caption that is overlaid on the video. The impact is that now individuals that are deaf or hard of hearing will be able to use video information to research available positions, prepare for interviews, and access training materials that otherwise would not be available to them.