Focus Area Five
Accessibility Innovation in Education
Image: Student sitting at a laptop
Ai-Media was introduced in Module 3 for their live captioning of events and in Module 4 for their innovative audio description. Ai-Media also live captions in educational settings for students and support practitioners to create access to college and university content. Live captions are accessible on any smartphone, tablet or laptop and complete transcript is provided to the student.
Developing an Understanding
Real-time captioning and transcripts improve the learning experience in the classroom by directly increasing access to, and comprehensibility of, learning materials for all students. The Ai-Live platform delivers live speech-to-text content to any web-enabled device, accessible by students in real-time during the lesson. Transcripts are saved and available as a record of the lesson content and are a valuable reinforcement aid (Ai-Media, n.d.).
Deepening your Understanding
The effectiveness of live captions has been found to increase student and teacher engagement in learning. This impact is most profound for learners with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, students who have auditory processing disorders, learning disabilities, and students who are non-English speakers (Ai-Media, n.d.).
Live captions provide consistency of message delivery and a single point of focus for students leading to less distraction, reduced anxiety and improved attention. People with autism often have audio processing issues which impacts perception and understanding of language and communication. There have been a number of studies that indicate that students with ASD have difficulty processing and responding to auditory information. This is often seen in their literal interpretation of spoken language, the interpretation of which can hinder their access to content (Ai-Media, n.d.).
Experts in this field recommend approaches where people with autism receive the information visually. By reading what it is the teacher is saying, in a simplified form, the students can focus on the content that matters, improving confidence and participation. Only key content is delivered using short sentences. Figurative language, jargon and metaphors are removed and the key concepts are delivered in real time. This reduces the student's anxiety level and improves confidence, focus and attention raising engagement and understanding in class (Ai-Media, n.d.).
This is known as Ai-Live in Simple Text. Live captioners are specifically trained to caption for students with ASD using a set of guidelines delivering accurate simplified text of what the teacher has said, directly to the student's iPad or tablet, within seconds (Ai-Media, n.d.).
Benefits of Simple Text for students with ASD
Simple Text removes jargon, metaphors, and figurative language. It breaks down complex instructions into simple steps and delivers content in simple form with one idea in each sentence. It omits sarcasm which can be misinterpreted.
Captions provide visual learners valuable reinforcement of what is being said. The experience is enhanced by the ability to change font size, colour and background.
The built-in time delay of the captions support students with auditory processing issues by allowing them to better process the lesson content at a comfortable pace.
Students with high level of anxiety often exhibit behaviours which prevent them from engaging with lesson content. A reduction of anxiety is achieved by the visual reinforcement of captions.
Accessible Music Education
Founded in 1997, Drake Music Scotland open new window plays a lead role in music education for adults and children, composers and musicians with disabilities by reshaping the definition of musician, instrument and ensemble. In 2016, they launched the Digital Orchestra for young musicians with disabilities, who meet weekly to rehearse, develop skills and create new music using inclusive music technologies. Some of the technologies include using iPads controlled by hand, nose and chin; Soundbeamopen new window, a technology that translates movement into sound and Skoogopen new window, a tactile cube that responds to touch pressure buttons that are programmed with sound samples (Drake Music Scotland, n.d.).