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Research examines how technology can break down barriers
Date:6/17/2013

A small, pilot study is examining how mobile technology might support deaf and hard-of-hearing college students when an interpreter can't physically be present at the time the services are requested. The University of Cincinnati research will be presented on June 19, at the Critical Link 7 International Conference in Toronto. The conference is themed, "Global Awakening: Leading Practices in Interpreting."

The first phase of the UC research project involved a college student taking a course in a large, auditorium-style classroom. The student used an iPad to gain the services of an interpreter also using an iPad who was off site (but nearby initially, in case of any disruption). In the second half of the pilot study, the technology was tested as the student took part in a cooperative education experience off campus and out of state.

The interpreter was able to listen through the iPad in order to interpret the conversations heard from where the student was located. The student used the iPad to receive the lectures, conversations, meetings, etc., from the signed language interpreter.

Katherine Vance, the interpreter coordinator with UC's Disability Services Office, says she provided the remote interpreting services using Apple's FaceTime video calling technology. "This could also be considered for possible use by colleges in remote areas that lack a network of interpreters to hire from," adds Vance.

"We're examining how technology can be used when an interpreter is available, but physically can't be where the student needs them and at the moment they need them," explains Suzanne Ehrlich, the study's principal investigator and assistant professor and director of the UC Signed Language Interpreting Program.

Findings for the Toronto presentation, "Innovative Interpreting: iPad Technology as a Bridge to Services," will be reported by Ehrlich and Vance. Greg Crase, IT coordinator for Disability Services, also was a resear
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Contact: Dawn Fuller
dawn.fuller@uc.edu
513-556-1823
University of Cincinnati
Source:Eurekalert

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