The year 2009 was significant for student classroom captions in the US. Three students with hearing issues – two high school students in California, and the other, a physician student at Creighton Medical School (MA), began legal challenges to use captions as a favored support, beyond classroom FM systems and additional assistive listening devices.
Creighton Medical School
By December 2013, the three legal cases were almost resolved. Michael Argenyi, the student at Creighton, was using CART (Communication Access in Realtime Transcription) in a sideways move to a masters of public health at Boston University after an undergraduate program at Seattle University.
Argenyi’s lawyer advised courts to consult with people who have disabilities regarding their preferred assistance supports and not to assume that colleges can just deliver the facilitation they deem best for a student.
During his two years at Creighton, Argenyi borrowed $100k to finance captions after finding the college’s supports inadequate to his needs. He plans to return to Creighton to complete his studies, facilitated by classroom captions – for which he advocated five years to access.
Meantime, one of the California students secured the right to use CART for her final six months in high school, while the district appeal is in progress. The CART will be ‘layered’ with FM for detail-heavy classes such as physics.
Captions are proven to improve student literacy and detail retention, particularly when students can get so distracted by digital media that they forget to direct their attention toward a particular topic being studied.
Bottom line: student access to captions is good for education, at all levels, for all students.
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