Monday, July 16, 2007

$82,000 Federal Grant Will Enable The Orange County Deaf Advocacy Center To Re-Invent C.A.R.T.










July 21, 2007 : We did it! We developed a linux based CART system in 9 days!

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Last week I picked up a grant that will enable the Orange County Deaf Advocacy Center to re-invent Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART) to make it more accessible to public schools.

Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is the instant translation of the spoken word into English text using a stenotype machine, notebook computer and realtime software. The text appears on a computer monitor or other display. This technology is primarily used by people who are late-deafened, oral deaf, hard-of-hearing, or have cochlear implants.

The Americans with Disabilities Act specifically recognized CART as an assistive technology which affords "effective communication access."

The realistic need of CART these days is that more students are requesting it because the bulk of the newer deaf generation are being schooled without the use of manual communications. These types of deaf students will not be needing sign language interpreters. This has increased the demand of CART services and that increased the costs of these services as well.

Many schools do not have access to CART because of the high cost and the results are news like Samantha Solorzano, a deaf sophomore at Glendora High School, in the Los Angeles Area, won a lawsuit against her school requiring it to provide her with a real-time transcription of her classes.

However Glendora High School appealed the ruling complaining the $35,000 a year CART service would be an extreme solution.

"Extreme" because nobody has ever attempted to re-invent CART to make it cheaper and more accessible to public schools. We got the grant and Orange County Deaf Advocacy Center will get the chance to re-invent CART and our goal is to have very low cost CART programs implimented in at least 5 mainstreaming schools by the end of 2008. We will be creating a model of a new CART program that can easily be replicated in schools throughout the United States.

Richard Roehm