Texas Tech University

Real-time Transcription: Student Rights & Responsibilities

Any student seeking to obtain remote captioning/transcription services must first be approved by the Student Disability Services for academic accommodations. After approval a student must attend an initial meeting with a counselor to review services. Approval will be contingent upon documentation of disability. At this time common accommodations for the deaf/hard of hearing include but are not limited to: note taking assistance, priority seating, sign language interpreters and use of adaptive equipment in the classroom. All accommodations will be determined by documentation provided and the specific need of the student.

For deaf and hard of hearing students, documentation may include, but is not limited to:

  • Most recent audiology report and audiogram with a clear diagnosis and functional limitations.
  • Recommendations for academic accommodations.
  • Certificate of Deafness from the State of Texas.

*Students requesting remote transcription services must make request through Assistant Director of Student Disability Services by interview, and services are approved on a case by case basis.*

Guidelines for request and use of real-time transcription services:

To receive real-time transcription services, the student must contact the Assistant Director at least two weeks before the semester begins, place a request for services for the upcoming semester by providing a current schedule. This process must be followed so that we can efficiently provide services and accommodations on the first day of class. If a student makes any changes to his or her course schedule, he or she must notify the Assistant Director immediately. Upon notification, the Assistant Director will provide appropriate services/accommodations as soon as possible.

The responsibilities of the student while using real-time transcription services will include:

  1. Contacting the Assistant Director by phone or email within 24 hours before class for notification of any absences. Any significant changes in the student's schedule must be made according to the policy for requesting the use of real-time transcription services for the semester.
  2. Communicating any cancelled classes, tests and absences to the Assistant Director. Acceptable mode of contact with the Assistant Director is by email or by phone at (806) 742-2405. Last minute changes or cancellations are not acceptable; this action will result in no show/no call.
  3. Following the no-show/no-call policy. The student is allowed up to 2 no-show/no-calls per class per semester. The Assistant Director will inform the student of each no show/no call that is documented. On the third no-show/no-call, the student will be required to have a consultation about the policy with the Assistant Director.
  4. Keeping transcripts confidential.Transcripts are property of Student Disability Services and are only to be used by the student receiving the accommodation. The student is not to provide copies of transcripts nor share the transcripts with anyone else. In instances where the student has been found sharing transcripts with others, privileges of receiving copies of the transcripts will be forfeited.

About Real-time Transcription Services:

Remote Communication Access Real-time Translation (RCART) is designed to provide the Deaf or hard of hearing student with a real-time transcription of the lecture in the classroom or event. This process is accomplished by a remote connection which includes the following: laptop, internet, specialized software, receiver, transmitter, and microphone. Student Disability Services contracts with third party vendors that provide the Remote CART services. The transcriber is located off-site so the audio is transmitted through a lapel microphone to the receiver which then sends the signal via the internet. The transcriber listens to the lecture and types the text using captioning software which is then sent to the student's laptop through the internet so the student can read the lecture in real time.

An important point to consider is that the transcriber may or may not be able to hear other students in the classroom, and the Deaf student may not be able to ask questions or make comments. When working with a student who is using a Remote CART system, please remember to repeat questions or comments from the audience. The audience/students in the room are not wearing microphones; therefore, the questions will not be heard by the transcriber. When you repeat questions or comments, the student will have equal access to the classroom information via the transcription.

Diagram of the remote caption process

Image courtesy of Caption First


Responsibilities of the Transcriber:

It is unethical for a transcriber to be an active participant in a classroom assignment. The transcriber must faithfully convey the spirit and content of the speaker; the role of the transcriber is NOT to advise, edit, advocate, teach, interject personal opinions, or have personal conversations with the participants in ANY situation. It is a responsibility of the student to maintain the ownership of all situations involving any services.

What you can expect from real-time transcription services:

  1. Real-time transcription services are provided as an equal access option to communication in the classroom, used only to relay information between parties, and should not be considered an academic service. Transcribers will not answer questions, provide information or repeat information.
  2. The real-time transcription service provider will NOT engage in conversation with the student, this is considered unprofessional and inhibits communication access in the classroom.
  3. The real-time transcription service will be on standby for class unless otherwise cancelled by the Assistant Director. Cancellation must occur by contacting the Assistant Director 24 hours before class begins. Failure to adhere to this will count as one no call/no show.
  4. When possible transcribers will request information or materials in advance to prepare a job dictionary, know the software and hardware system used and be able to do simple troubleshooting.
  5. The transcriber will strive to achieve, as nearly verbatim as possible, 95% accuracy at all times and include in the real-time display the identification, content, and the spirit of the speaker, as well as environmental sounds.
  6. The transcriber will refrain from counseling, advising, or interjecting personal opinions except as required to accomplish the task at hand.
  7. The transcriber will cooperate with all parties to ensure that effective communication is taking place. In confidential non-legal settings (i.e., medical discussions, support groups), he or she will delete all files immediately after the assignment unless otherwise requested not to do so.
  8. The real-time transcription service provider will preserve the privacy of a consumer's personal information.
  9. The transcriber is expected to keep abreast of current trends, laws, literature, and technological advances.
  10. When transcribers accept assignments they use discretion with regard to skill, setting, and the consumers involved, and accurately represent the provider's qualifications.

Helpful Suggestions:

  • Make sure you are aware of all the support services/ departments around Texas Tech University; some examples include the Writing Center located in the English/Philosophy building, the Tutoring & Study Center located in room 106 of the Math Building and the Learning Center in Drane Hall room 164. Additionally, Student Disability Services provides free drop-in tutoring to all students registered with the office.
  • Before the first day of class, visit the classroom to verify the internet wireless signal and ensure there are no problems. During the first week of school, arrive to class early so you can introduce yourself to the professor AGAIN and refresh his or her memory on the accommodations that you will be receiving in his/her class.
  • If you encounter any problems with accommodations in the classroom, you must address it with the professor immediately. Do not wait until the end of the semester. If problems cannot be resolved between you and the professor, please notify the Assistant Director in the Student Disability office immediately so a corrective course of action can be taken. Contact the Assistant Director if you have technical difficulties with the real-time transcription equipment or software.
  • Communicate with your professor/teacher assistant and work with him/her to establish rapport. If you have a problem with any of your services, contact the appropriate individuals to remedy the situation.
  • If any disagreement or situation cannot be corrected with your professor, contact the Assistant Director in Student Disability Services for a resolution.
  • Our goal is to ensure equal access in the classroom by facilitating communication with real-time transcription. By maintaining the channels of communication, the student can ensure access to services and information.

Student Disability Services