Unedited Session Transcript

Putting the CART with a Horse of a Different Color: Making internet-based training accessible to deaf and hard-of-hearing participants

Carolyn Gazeley, Sheila Hitchen, Mark Schwier, & Carol Studenmund

4/9/03

>>: If I could have everyone take a seat, please. That would be great. We want to go ahead and get started. Hello? I hope you all enjoyed your lunch and were able to get some of the sun before the sun disappeared. Before we get going, if you're just arriving here to the workshop, I wanted to let you know there are CRC, CEU forms available in the lobby, and also if you're in need of an FM loop systems, they are available in the lobby. On the back table there are handouts from the presenters as well as an evaluation form and we appreciate your honest feedback on the forum. It is from that feedback we are able to get you presenters like this high quality throughout the week. Also if you have any telephones or pagers, turn them to quiet or vibrate mode, we would appreciate that. Lastly, we would like to welcome CHRISTINE, SHEILA HITCHEN and MARK SCHWIER. Talking this afternoon about communication access and captioning and how that works for deaf hard of hearing to participate online and they will let you know about that. Without any further delay, thank you for your attention.


SHEILA HITCHEN>>: Welcome back. To some of you, I saw some of you in the morning session and some of you are new faces. Welcome to the Lopez room. That sounds like a really bad bar. My name is Sheila Hitchen, I'm similar to the counselor coordinating system. I'm here to share information about how Oregon VR works with the agency that oversees these services and LNS Captioning to make distance learning available to everyone in the system. To make sure people with hearing impairments and people who are disabled are able to participate. The things today is for one possible solution. There are many out there. This morning you saw the video conferencing presentation, that's another way of going about it, it's a little different technology. There is a number of different ways to get to the same result. It's a matter of what works best for your systems. Before I go really too deeply into the presentation, I do have handouts and in order to get them you have to give me your business card. Rather than make 60 copies for who knows how many people, kill a forest, we thought it would be easier and more environmentally friendly to give us business cards and I'll mail them to you. If you see me after the presentation, I'll be more than happy to take your card. To my right, Christine, she's the general manager of LNS Captioning in Portland, Oregon.

MARK SCHWIER is affiliated with the department of rehabilitation services and I'll let him explain what he does and how he was involved. He is the meat of the presentation today, he makes the magic happen. Glad he was able to make it. Some of the common questions we're going to answer today, what is Internet based training, most of you are pretty familiar with that, I'm assuming. How does NetCast work. VRN and LNS had worked together in the particular on site provisioning of CART captioning in the training situations so fox could understand what was going on so there would be the verbatim captioning going on in the CART based like this. We began to see a increase in the demand for distance learning programs. Everybody says it rains in Oregon. It rains in a small strip close to the coast and west of the mountains. There is a whole part of Oregon it's very rural, there is more distance between communities and places people are working and getting folks from the eastern and southern and even central parts of the state into Salem and into Portland into the major metropolitan hubs was expensive, took a lot of time, took people away from the case loads, had to come stay overnight, maybe a couple of nights, to participate in one training program. They were frustrated didn't want to always go to Salem or Portland, and the administrative people were frustrated and they said what about this distance learning stuff. We had some previous experience with NetCasts and stuff, and other types of Internet based training. Some were accessible and some weren't. Some were billed as Internet broadcasts but what they were was connecting via the Internet and you had to be in a room that had the phone connection to be able to hear. There was no going around the phone connection. That was the only way the information was presented, either that or you could try to grab stuff off the screen of the Internet site where the PowerPoint was running. Which was not quite exactly what we wanted. When the department of human services reorganized, one of the best things that came out of it was the ability for vocational rehabilitation to take advantage of the skills and talents of the fox that became the distance learning group through the continuing system improvement. C SI. Continuing system improvement distance learning folks had the NetCast idea that seemed to work really well. But, again, they had not been approached how to make things accessible for deaf and hard of hearing people. What we are going to do is talk a little about what a NetCast is. What we mean by NetCast. Help you understand what it is and how it works. We'll come back and talk a little bit about the mechanics. I'm going to hand this over to Mark.

MARK SCHWIER>>: Good afternoon, everybody. Thank you for coming and I'm really pleased to be hire today and had a nice, pleasant train ride up from Portland yesterday. So, again, to introduce myself, my name is MARK SCHWIER, I work for the department of human services from Oregon. For about the last year and a half I was a member of the distance learning group in Salem, and the NetCast system is something that was put together by a couple of guys who used to work for another division of the department of human services, and when we reorganized, they were brought into sort of a more central role and the services that they provided were made available to the rest of the department. I would just like to point out one of the people, you can see in the slide, this gentleman here with the white beard and mustache is Rod Rennelt (phonetic) and he, along with this person over here, which you can't see very well, David Ray Walker, they are actually the creators of the NetCast system. And this is the actual studio that we have in Salem, Oregon. And it's actually a fairly simple studio. It's not real complicated, it's three computers an audio board and a bunch of microphone and a phone bridge hybrid. What we do, we use a piece of software known as net meeting and I think most of you are familiar with Microsoft net meeting. It is a free software, so that there is a nice feature. And of course, as we expect, you get what you pay for. Net meeting works but it has its own idiosyncrasies and problems. NetCast is the term that we created ourselves. We coined that ourselves, not any kind of particular brand or anything. And we take we use magic, actually, it's very easy because low maintenance and we present information (Koreans and audio) to groups in multiple locations around the state of Oregon. Not limited to Oregon, we have had participants as far away as north care line a, Michigan, Washington, D.C.. And there is no limitation as to who exactly can link in. All they need is a computer, hopefully a computer with a T 1 line, although we have had participants on 56 K modems. A speaker phone with a mute function. (They are going back a slide.)

MARK SCHWIER>>: The reason it was so effective, we actually took net meeting and we created a thin client version of net meeting. You can do, it's called the net meeting resource kit available from Microsoft. It allows you to customize net meeting. What we did, we cut out all the audio and video connectivity to net meeting and all we left was the desk top sharing capability. Why we did that, when you're using net meeting software, it was originally developed as a video conferencing medium. Even though you're not using the video or audio signals, the software is looking for that. And by eliminating that we reduced the bandwidth. And it's a low bandwidth resolution, and so people with lower bandwidth connections with use this. It is still something of a bandwidth hog, Microsoft is notorious for being a bandwidth hog. We take our computer monitor signal, desk top, and we share it with all the sites logged in throughout the state. So they see exactly what's on our computer. So we can really do just about anything in terms of applications. We can do, for instance, main frame computer training so we can show people how to do their payroll throughout the State. Because the DHS payroll is all through a main frame system, legacy system, and we can show them that realtime. And we can show a PowerPoint presentation or Corel presentation, any kind of software, Internet, websites on the browser, anything you can do on your computer, you can share with them through that signal. And to make it interactive, we use a phone bridge, so it's basically a teleconference. And we run everything through what's called a phone hybrid, which allows us to pool all the incoming signals and also allows us to run all of our audio signals through a sound board. And that gives us dynamic control of people's audio. That's really nice, because we can make sure people are as clear as they can be.

As we know, the telephone, is not, as far as audio quality, is not the best. If you run it flew a sound board, you can tweak people's highs and lows to get the best signal out there. The one limitation we have at this point is the number of sites is dependent on the phone bridge. And the department of administrative services which provides us with a phone bridge, we have a 20 port line and 16 port line. You can have 20 phone lines, 20 calls coming into that one phone bridge at one time. We take 3 for ourselves, one for the hybrid, second one because we have a phone in the production room when we call in, so we can actually hear the signal as it's coming out, and we reserve one as a an emergency line. And we usually do NetCasts with 17 sites around the state or 13 sites around the state. We can have you up to 13 different phone connections or 17 different phone connections throughout the state. One of the things we do to increase the numbers is you certainly can use a laptop and projecting and they can be in one room and watching the projection in the room and sharing [...] We have had NetCasts with up to 220 people on the other end. That's not something we like to do. The optimum number is about 30. If you go much more beyond 30, depending on the type of training you're doing, you lose the interactivity. With 200 you're not able to get the activity you want. And the 200 was because we had the budget cut and we had an information dump to the community that these are the cuts. It wasn't really interactive. It was here are the cuts and that's it. And they asked questions. It's free Microsoft software, it's available off the Internet. This is what it usually looks like. Our actual thin client vision doesn't have the box in the middle with the names in it because you can create your own thin version and if you would like a copy of ours I can tell you where to go to get it. Sheila can hook you up to it. Net meeting comes preinstalled in Windows 2000, windows XP and Windows 98 and NT. That's the full version, so it has the video and audio attached. One of the things we run into, Windows 2000 and windows XP will not allow us to install the modified version, won't accept it. It doesn't significantly increase bandwidth, just a little bit. But as you see, when you open the window you get the dialog box, you type in the name of the IP site and place a call and it hooks you up.

So NetCast, it allows for interaction, we're using the teleconference audio phone bridge and people can ask questions. You can ask questions of the audience. I can say, hey, Bob, out in Redmond, what do you think about X, does anybody have any questions in Snohomish? I probably didn't pronounce that correctly, but I'm not from Washington. The thing we learned over time is to increase the enter activity, you need to specifically address a site or specific person in a site, if you say does anybody have any questions, you get silence for about, oh, 30 seconds and if somebody has a question they will jump in. Hey, Steve, out in wherever, any questions or does the Portland site have any questions? Because by identifying them by name, you know, they have to pay attention and they are going to respond, and if others have questions that gives them permission to jump in and participate. One of the things we have to be aware of, because this is not full duplex audio, people cut over each other when they are talking. If I'm the presenter and I'm talking about whatever subject matter I'm trying to train people on and I have a question, we have to be careful to listen for that. There is no way to signal us, they can't raise their hand. When they do that we ask them to identify themselves and location. And they can say "I'm Wendy from LaGrande and I have a question." The facilitator says "Okay, go ahead," and they ask the question. It's like a radio talk show, "I'm a first time caller." And the interactivity has to be built into the presentation. You're sitting in front of a presentation and you're watching your PowerPoint presentation or somebody's PowerPoint presentation and you don't see the visual clues you see around the room, are people nodding or looked like death warmed over and falling out of their chairs, we don't have the visual cues. When you develop a PowerPoint presentation for something like this, you need to build it into the slides. Which means you want to emphasize questions, so about every 5 to 7 slides you want to have a question slide, wherever there is a natural break. When you're going from one section to another, you want to say okay. You want to have a physical slide that says questions or you will forget. The other thing to build interaction is to build case studies, scenarios, and when you do that, have them read the text. Pick a victim out there. Judy from Klamath Falls, would you mind reading this study. Since they can hear each other, it brings them into the training, brings them into the dialog and makes it more interactive. Make sure people are there. We have had cases in a NetCast, Bob in Portland can you read the next study and nothing, silence, I guess Bob is not there anymore. So just be aware that you have to do those sorts of things.

One of the really nice things, if you can do it, is to have a co facilitator or subject matter expert on hand and if you can do some role play, that seems to work really well in this media. Like the old time, if you have anybody in your organization that's a ham, like me, I'll get up there and do anything, if you can get them to role play with you in whatever it is you're training, my co worker rod and I used to do a NetCast on how to interview clients and we did a couple of role plays and well received. And at the end we picked someone from the studio audience to role play with Rob on the same topics to use the techniques we had just been talking about. It allows you to use the text chat function, just as we have the closed caption here, net meeting has a text chat box and people can actually communicate that way. You can type a question in, you can send it to everybody or to a specific person logged into the net meeting. And we use that.

And of course, as Carolyn will talk about, the chat function is what we use for the closed captioning when Sheila first approached us from vocational rehabilitation, she asked us how is this accessible to deaf and hard of hearing people. Like a lot of things, that doesn't occur to us until somebody asks, and then, I don't know, how will we do that? We came up with a solution that seems to work. We also have the whiteboard function so we can have people drawing on the whiteboard. For instance, one of the things we do, if a policy question comes up, we can go out to the Internet, we can post it on the whiteboard. I'll explain how that works. So, as I said earlier, participants can view just about anything you put on a desk top. There are some things that don't work. For instance, a flash animation will not work for a NetCast, and the reason is every time the screen changes it refreshes the download and it keeps refreshing and refreshing and it crashes everybody's computer. Animation is out, can't do animation even in PowerPoint. You can do very limited things, you can do a text bullet flying in from the right or left. It's a little jerky, kinds of goes (indicating), doesn't flow smoothly but it works. Can't do a dissolve, it messes you up. And another thing you can't do, you can't do transition from one slide to the other. It has to be a straight no effects transition. Again you're going to run into the problem it's going to refresh repeatedly.

There are some things that won't work for that. If you go to a website that has flashing animation, it's going to crash. The other thing that you want to do, before you host a meeting, before you open this up, you want to open any documents and any sites you want to visit in the path. If you want to open any software, for instance I tried to open an Adobe PDF file and it froze everything up. We live and we learn. Any kind of presentations or software or specific applications you can do. This is the NetCast studio, once again, and in the foreground is Wayne Seeley (phonetic) and David Ray Walker, and Wayne is the deaf and hard of hearing access coordinator for the State of Oregon, and he was doing a NetCast on the TTY system and how to use the TTY. And David Ray is the production manager. The production manager is responsible for all the technical details, getting people logged in, the audio board, getting things running. In the background is Richard Brock, and in front of the sort of whiteboard. We use that whiteboard for a specific function.

When we log in, we usually start at 1 o'clock, and don't start the presentation until 1:30. We get everybody logged in, their information, we write on the whiteboard the locations participating and the names of the people participating in the presentation. And the facilitator can look at that and pick a name from the same place. We also keep track of who participated and so we don't call on that same person. This is another way to include interaction into the system. Right in front of Wayne, where the arrow is pointing is the facilitator's computer. That's the computer that host the NetCast. It is the IP address. You have to have a static IP address, can't use a dynamic host, because you have to have a fixed IP address to get people to log in. That's where the PowerPoint presentation or the desk top application is, the person sitting there, Wayne, again, has control, they are the ones setting the pace, changing the slides. He has a headset with microphone build in, and he does the presentation and he has a cough button to cut his microphone off if he needs to cough. Behind there it's hard to see. We actually have a third computer that's actually linked into the NetCast, doesn't have a phone line because it's in the studio. The signal is going to that computer and we project it on the wall. The reason we do it, is we can see how quickly the network signal is downloading over the net.

Since we're in the same building and it's actually linked through the same server, it's a little faster than what's happening out in the field. If we see it's taking time to download for us, we know out in the field it's downloading slow for them. One of the phenomena you need to be aware of, the network traffic is going to affect the speed of the signal. The reason we log in at 1:00 and don't go on line until 1:30, at 1 o'clock everybody comes back from lunch and checks their email. The peak traffic times are 8:00 to 9:00 and 1:00 to 2:00. There is always a spike. By 2 o'clock the network has usually settled down and you don't have the problems. So this is actually a picture of a slide we used for Wayne's TTY NetCast. I'm sure some of you are familiar with the common TTY abbreviations. This is something people would be seeing out in the field while Wayne is speaking. And here, this other computer is actually slaved to the production manager's computer. The reason we do that is two fold. One is, for instance, if I'm a facilitator and I'm sitting at my computer and somebody says, hey, what's the policy on X, do I want to stop my presentation in the middle so I can go out and try to dig up X and try to find out what the policy is, or do I ask the production manager or his or her computer to go out to the web, find that policy, paste it to the whiteboard and then signal me and say it's on the whiteboard.

Since that monitor next to me is slaved to the production manager's computer, I can see when he has the policy up on the whiteboard and I have to ALT TAB to switch teen the whiteboard and I say, Gene, you had the question on policy, here is the policy right here. The other reason is for Wayne, who is hard of hearing, we open the chat window so he can see the closed captioning. The one sort of fly in the ointment is because of the nature of the way it's set up, the facilitator can't have two windows open at the same time. All they can have open is the presentation or the desk top or the application, whatever they are showing. If you try to bring in the chat box to see the closed captioning, it becomes the dominant signal and it's sent out repeatedly. We open the chat box on the production manager's computer and leave it open and he can look at it and see what's happening and watch the closed captioning. Any questions so far? Too fast, too slow, pretty good? Not boring you to tears? That's okay. Here it's kind of hard to see, this was digital camera. This is actually a shot of the closed captioning happening did your the cast. So the chat function and Carol Studenmund who is with LNS Captioning counsel in Portland, works with Carolyn, was doing the closed captioning.

>>: Is the closed captioning through the net meeting chat box room.

MARK SCHWIER>>: He asked is the closed captioning through the net meeting chat box? Yes. What actually has to happen is that we, when we generally set up a NetCast, we control the system so we're the only once that can share a desk top. And for the closed captioning to happen, we have to let that go and we allow LNS Captioning to share the desk top and they have open only the chat room. And Carolyn can explain this better than I can. Their computer software links directly into the chat box. They are hearing the audio Persian portion and typing it right into the chat box. In order to use it, you have to have the chat window open I'm sorry, not the chat window. You have to have the LNS desk top open as well as the facilitator's laptop. Which you can do. Is that clear?

The one thing I don't want you to get hung up on is don't worry too much about the technology. The technology is kind of neat, but don't get into that. We're trainers first and technology second. NetCast is really about learning. And this is what it looks like from sort of a field side, people can sit at their own work station using their own computer to see the presentation, as long as they have a phone with a mute function or headset. So what we're about is providing them with an opportunity to learn, not so much a technological fix. The advantages, of course, are very real. We can reach mull tip 8 sites throughout the state of Oregon with very little cost. We eliminate the need for travel, eliminate lost productivity, we eliminate the costs of putting people up in Salem for a night and feeding them. Fees cost effective. It's not the answer to every training session you need. There are something that doesn't work in NetCast. Team building comes to mind. Probably not going to be real effective unless you have the people in the room.

If you're talking about procedure or policy or interviewing techniques, that's all stuff you can do or NetCast very easily. NetCast is for interaction and it's important when you do it to think about how can I increase interaction? In the back there are handouts to increase the interaction you have. The first time I did a NetCast, I did a facilitated NetCast on how to record and narrate case files. And we usually take a break. We start at 1:30, and right around 2:30 or 2:45 we take a break. And I'm sitting in the chair and I'm kind of low energy and not really thinking about things. We took a break and I came back from break and I was standing up, and I put the headset on and I started talking and it's like my energy just went through the roof. I'm a training, classroom training and I equate training by standing up. If I'm sitting down, I'm doing something else. If I'm standing up and talking, I must be training. Maybe that's just my fantasy, I learned for me it's more important for me to stand up during a NetCast, and that's increases my energy and my increased energy reaches out and touches those people and brings them back. It's very participatory, and you have to bring that in. Here is a question slide, do we have questions, Marie, do you have questions, does anybody have a question? Throw it out there, do a case study. For food stamps, you have a scenario, single mom, three kids, this is how much money she makes, you have somebody read it and come back into their little groups and find the answer.

>>: If you have a deaf person that would prefer a interpreter rather than captioning, is that a possibility to have a video box?

>>: You can do that, we have not done that. The main problem is the video becomes an issue as far as bandwidth. Certainly if you have someone who is deaf and hard of hearing you can have an interpreter on the other end of net cost interpreting them, and taking the audio and interpreting that, and both looking at the computer screen. That works just fine. I forgot to repeat the question, which was could you have an interpreter in a video box to interpret for people who were deaf and hard of hearing. Sorry. It's hands on training. One of the things we can do is throw things out to them and have them do stuff. We can show them what it actually takes to enter time into the computer payroll. It incorporates all the learning styles. What we do, we send out via email copies of the presentation with notes. You can do that very easily by converting your PowerPoint presentation to word or just print it out as an Acrobat file and hand it out. One reason is we give them something tangible. If the network goes down in the middle of the NetCast, you still have the audio portion and can do the training because they have the training in their hands.

>>: Did you send them the text of the captioning so they have the full audio

MARK SCHWIER>>: We don't. The question was do we email the text of the whole NetCast through the closed captioning text? We could, but we didn't. I don't know why we didn't. I'll have to take it back to the group. No reason we couldn't do that. You can save the whole chat as a text file. The one thing we do do is we send out email evaluations to everyone who participates, which is a 5 question survey, two of them are numerical, we get a good response rate. But knelt cast doesn't allow us to archive the whole thing. Never occurred to us to save the chat portion text. Thank you. All right. So I'm going to turn this back over to Sheila unless there are any questions. I think I have been pretty thorough. Thank you very much. Great group.

SHEILA HITCHEN>>: Okay. I'm going to talk briefly over maybe a slide and a half, and you get to hear the fun part about how it works with the captioning. As Mark said, one of the things that VR did when we were invited to do our first NetCast was make their lives a little challenging. Our training unit came to us and said we need something on hearing loss, hard of hearing, deaf related, you come up with it and we need to be anal to do it with NetCast. And I said it's going to be accessible, right, yeah, it will be on the computer. I said, no, accessible to everyone. I waited about a week and the training coordinator said come down to Salem and meet with these guys and that's where I met Mark and it's been great fun working with him since. He's a very patient man. What we really wanted to make sure happened because it was a VR sponsored training that it really was accessible. That took some doing but once we figured out we could do this CART stuff, we pulled in LNS, they were on contract with the group to do the captioning and through other groups we could get interpreters for. We asked could they do it and they said absolutely. And we pulled them in working with the technicians in the NetCast studio to figure out the mechanics and logistics of it. That's where Carolyn comes in.

CHRISTINE>>: I'll try talking from down here, if that works. I'm CHRISTINE from LNS Captioning. We have been doing closed captioning since 1993, and we provide captions for broadcast and meeting access, situations like we are today, and then also Internet based captioning solutions. And so what I want to talk about today is how we had to think through this particular kind of application to bring accessibility to the net meeting that was going to be used for training. And I'll talk a little bit about the technical needs from a captioning slew and technical requirements and I'll talk about how captioning works and recap some of the advantages for using this kind of setup for providing training for the people involved. One of the funny things for us was it was a partnership kind of unique, a number of different agencies or groups, if you will, involved.

And we were kind of working on not the most bleeding edge of technology, but definitely out on the edge of technology and having to partner and make things come together. I'll talk a little about the nature of the partnership and why this was successful, not all partnerships of this nature are successful. Sometimes you find some of these groups can't overcome the issues of their cultures or work styles to make things happen. The technical needs, captioners, in this setting with the net meeting kind of a setting have specific technical needs. First and more important is a good quality audio line. If you can't hear what is being said with good quality, broadcast quality audio, you're not going to be able to transcribe the meeting accurately. There is nothing more distracting, I think, than captions that are so inaccurate because of quality of the audio is, they are all so interested in what the next untranslate or mistranslate word is.

We had to have the net meeting software, and we used the same thin client net meeting software the Oregon folks were using. We use a Internet called C speech, it's C, S p e e c h dot com. And it can help a captioner interface into the Internet. We use DSL connection to send our captions out to the Internet, and then the regular steno machine, transcription software and PC with windows running is kind of what the captioners use to create the captions using steno. That's what we need from the technical side and they we work with them and hook into their meeting appropriately. If you think about doing this, one of the things you have to decide is what do I need in a captioner. And of course if access is the priority and you're trying to be inclusive and give people access to the event, you want the highest quality captioning that you can possibly pay for. And it does come at a price. The skill level that you see today is not something that is readily available all over the place very inexpensively. So I say go for the best, if you're training, you're really trying to get some message across. You want verbatim skills, speed and accuracy. You want a captioner, who is capable of handling the technology and working out the bugs along the way.

And you don't want someone who looks at the cable and says I could never do it. There is a certain amount of fearlessness you need in the person you select. You want someone willing to partner for results, someone really willing to work through the bugs and be persistent and work out what's going on and make sure everything is worked out and you want a professional, the product that's coming out. We care about certification, all our captioners are certified for captioning. And we belong to the National Court Reporters Association and we feel that professionalism brings an attitude of delivering the access that you want. We think that's important. How does the captioner make this work? You have got the net meeting set up and the trainers are ready and the slides look really good, and all the people are in different locations and the audio bridge set up and ready to go. Here is how the captioner makes it work.

The net meeting is loaded on the computer and the captioner calls the IP address, and it's a simple click on the icon that looks like a telephone and put in the IP address. Within the net meeting we open a chat window and using the C Speech software, we dial into the audio bridge, also, begin listening using headphones so there is no distraction and the steno machine, laptop and transcription software send captions to chat window. The bugs are worked out that's how it works. The participants can click into the chat window for the LNS part they want and view the captions realtime.

Okay. Mark has already reviewed some of the advantages of using Internet CART. I'll be quick. It's extremely cost effective. If you have larger and larger groups of people together, the number of people that can use the captioning service are large as possible. It's much more cost effective. You eliminate travel, mileage, per diem and lodging. And in Oregon, a lot of the outlying places don't have CART services available. You make this available that could otherwise not be available. The Internet card simplifies the amount of equipment required. You don't have to set up a projector, you're just setting up to the Internet. The Internet is pretty straight forward and relatively stable. That's nice. People who don't want access to the CART can minimize that little window and not be distracted by it. But people who don't have any hearing impairment like to have the captions running because it helps them focus and if they get distracted they can replace the discussion and hear what they missed. I think a lot of discussions, having the captions available to people without hearing impairments assists everybody absorbing the material and focusing on the subject matter.

Those are the benefits of CART. There are some administrative requirements that come along with this access. You have to do a good job of scheduling in advance and lining up resources. They are not totally in supply, and make sure you have all the people available to do the work. Not always required, we are doing a hearing today for Oregon department of rehabilitation service that we got set up yet. And you need to do a prework checkup and make sure everybody has got what they need to make it happen. We tend to do it religiously. Every time we think we have it ironed out, you find out somebody flipped a bit somewhere in the software or on the machine and nothing works and oh, my golly, you have all these people assembled and 12 need access and what do you do about it, Mark, how do you fix it? It's a tricky thing, if you don't have the premeeting test. We try to do that every time. The other administrative details have to do with communicating ahead of time what's going to be done.

If you let people know access is available they can take advantage and they will let other people know that want to take advantage of it. Include CART service in advertising the event and let other people know that access is available. Sheila said before, the slides are presented to people in advance, that's helpful to all the participants because everybody gets a certain amount of information just to kind of get started. But then also providing the slides and any vocabulary materials for other terminology and things to the captioner in advance increases the amount the captioner provides the people with. Whenever there is a technical subject we ask for a lexicon or background paper or something like that. Working in a leading edge kind of setting of technology really does require a partnership. And we think that's really a lot of fun, and we like working in that way. I thought this was a really fun project and I wasn't completely in the thick of it, although I came down for one of the early go throughs. And first of all to have a successful partnership the people involved have to be committed. It's where it was great Sheila was the driver, because she works in the area where the captioning is most valued and so she had a high level commitment to having the captioning. As mark indicated, until the question gets asked it's not always funneled into a service and you need a high level driver and Sheila provided that.

And Mark was on his side committed to working through the technical side and level of determination and dogged commitment to make it work is part of the commitment, as well. We need champions within organizations because not all the resources, resources are not always available to do what you think you need to do, sometimes you need to go upstairs and around the corner to say we need something different. If you have a champion who can find resources and bring them to bear on what you're trying to do, you have a higher probability of getting something together and make it work. Being willing to share is critical, in terms of technology. Mark said we have stripped out the video and the audio from the net meeting and here is the thin client version and you take it and load it and made it real easy for us. We didn't have to try to figure that out for ourselves. So the sharing work. And then we partnered with the C Speech organization to use their product to make the other part of it come together. Communication, being able to question and explain and update and willing to troubleshoot. If you don't have the communication and you don't have the willingness to come back and forth and figure out every little aspect, the whole thing falls apart and eventually you never get back to find out how to make it work. And second, the willingness to make it work.

We went to Salem and spent a long afternoon, I think there were probably two or three of them. I have a little vivid memory of Mark climbing around underneath desks and looking for connectors, and I thought, wow, what's he doing under there and how is that going to work. And the dogged determination to do the right job and the willingness to spend the time to get to the end product is important. The partnership is not only fun but essential. Finally, the thing I like about captioning using net meeting, it really makes sense. The largest number of people benefit from the access service. People who aren't hearing impaired benefit from the focus on the materials and replay them for themselves. And utilizing CART services for NetCast meetings is very important technology. Now back to you.

SHEILA HITCHEN>>: Carolyn gave us a heads up earlier today, and because of the magic of the Internet and the connection and Randy RAM who is going that way making everything accessible, thank you, Randy, we were able to access another meeting and some days serendipity hit and it's one of these days. This is what it looks like to an end user. We don't have access to the phone bridge so you can't get the audio, all you hearing people, it's a little sensitivity training and the deaf and hard of hearing people are going to be able to see the captions and be comfortable and familiar with things. Once we get it up. Let's see who is connected to this net cost. Doesn't look like Carol is in there.

SHEILA HITCHEN>>: Doesn't look like the captioner is in there. In a perfect world, in the chat window the nice thing about the NetCast and the information I'll catch you in a second nice thing about the NetCast and being able to customize things. If you're not a caption user, you can shrink down that chat window. This is where you can type in questions and you can unmute your phone and use the telephone itself, as well. You can make things big, you can make things small. If you want the chat window in the left hand lower corner you can move it over there. I'll talk about setting up slides and such in a second. Question in the back?

>>: If a deaf participant has a question can they type their question or does someone have to voice over the phone for them?

SHEILA HITCHEN>>: They can type it for themselves. They can. The way the system works with the DHS system, when everybody connects, they connect with the IP address first, which means the IP address comes up, and in the chat window you get the phone number. You have to be connected to the chat window first and then the phone number. Everybody can see the chat window. One of the cool things about the deaf and hard of hearing world is sometimes we can do it on the side. If you do do it in that window, everybody can see it. So if you use the system, be careful. In the back?

>>: So when the deaf person types in the question, it doesn't interfere with the captioning that's going on?

SHEILA HITCHEN>>: It won't interfere, it's comes in as a separate comment. When I'm facilitating a conference, you saw the studio, there are the slides projected on the wall. I can see the captioning there. I can keep my slaved monitor, I can keep an eye on the one over here, I can keep checking it and seeing is the captioner keeping up with me. Sometimes I speak fast. Do I need to restate something, is there a question. It is a different way of training, it's a different challenge to training. But, no, having a person type in a question is not messing it up.

MARK SCHWIER>>: I think the problem is it's already over. It was only 2 and a half hours and it's after 3:00 now.

SHEILA HITCHEN>>: We may have missed the window to see the captioning but you got a little bit of a test.

>>: Another thing not happening now but possibly in the future, but what about voice activation, is that something they are looking at in the near future, using voice activation to do com cast?

SHEILA HITCHEN>>: Let me see if I state your question correctly. Looking at the future is it possible to incorporate voice activation into a NetCast, is that what you're asking me?

MARK SCHWIER>>: Voice recognition?

>>: Yes. Thank you.

MARK SCHWIER>>: I don't think that we have the technology at this point to be able to do that realtime. I'm familiar with dragon naturally speaking and also something voice by IBM. I think the problem would be each individual participant that would want to use that would have to have the software and software trained to their voice which would create lots of logistical problems. I don't think at this point there isn't any voice recognition system I'm aware of that allows anyone off the street to walk in and start talking and it will take their words.

>>: I don't think it's affordable.

MARK SCHWIER>>: There may be something out there, but it may be hideously expensive, as well. One of the things we are doing, there is a lot of limitations built into net meeting and NetCast. We are looking into software allowing us to do voiceover over the Internet. We got to the point we were having bids submitted for the new software because of the budget crisis that got put on hold until this fall.

SHEILA HITCHEN>>: Other questions? Keep raising those hands as they come. So now here comes the fun part, here is the part I like. Is how to prepare your stuff to make sure that it's accessible in a NetCast that's going to work. Some of the stuff we mentioned, with your backgrounds on the slides, it needs to be no gradients, no color variations, no intricate pictures and stuff. Nothing complex, nothing distracting, it may not go through completely clearly. There was one background I thought was going to work okay and it ended up looking awful and detracted from the slides.

One of the things you need to do if you're doing a NetCast, work with the tech program director that is going to be managing the broadcast yourself, and send your slides, all of them, to that technician so they can test it on the system and say on your fourth slide the graphic doesn't work, you need to rework it. Thinking of download speeds, the distance of participants, the line speed they have, again, you need to make sure you don't have any animation, the slide transitions have to be straightforward. When I created this PowerPoint, I kept it simple and no transitions. That's how I do it for NetCast. You have to decrease the frustration everybody is experiencing from you and the participants and all the end users. That helps increase participation.

If somebody is frustrated by not being able to see something, or not clear, they are not paying attention to the content, they are paying attention to the problem. Avoid at all costs. Paragraph visual interest is hugely hugely hugely important. You don't have the interaction. I can't see the people, can't see the people falling asleep, I can't see the people that really need to go outside, go to the bathroom, whatever. You really need to set your situation up so it is interactive, so it is visually interesting. It's hard to sit at your computer as a participant and I have been a participant at net cost, as well. To sit at your computer for an hour or 2 hours or whatever at a time and listen to somebody on the phone. It's hard. If the slides are interesting and interactive, and you're engaged, you'll do better as a presenter and more successful. Use graphics and color and make them enticing without making them dance. Stretch yourself as a presenter. One of the things I asked Mark second or third NetCast we did, can we do sound? I wanted to do an audiology NetCast, I wanted to use a series of sounds for unfair audiology test. And it was going to be people with no exposure on deaf and hard of hearing issue. And they were looking at audio graphic. And one of the ways to do that is show them what hearing loss is and give them an example so they can remember it. Mark said, yeah, figured it out, set it up when I got there, and it works great. Fantastic.

Again, building interaction, call on people by name and location. Vary your presentation style. This is one I'm still working on. It's not the interactive, I'm a very visual person. If I can't see you I start to get back into the lecture style. Which isn't good. I'm still working on that still. Vary your presentation style, using the case scenarios, using examples from real life. Having people have an open ended question and, you know, Bob from bend can you talk about this, and explain a little bit of what you want and then have people actually interact. One of the most recent NetCasts which I did, not very recent anymore, but we ended up having a discussion between participants on the East Side of the state and on Portland. And, you know, it was back and forth and back and forth and back and forth. And I was watching things happen, it was like two people across the room saying I had that situation and that's what I did, and the other person yeah, what about this, and they did brainstorming without me even pushing it, it was great, it was fantastic. It can happen. It is a little different and you don't have the visual interaction.

For the CART users, remember there may be a little tiny bit of lag. So if you're asking questions, make sure that you're keeping up with the CART and making sure when you cut off the question and answer situation that they have actually had the chance to ask the question. It's very auditory based trainers, most people will say, are there any questions or does anybody else have any questions, and you wait, count to 3 or 5, if there is no response, you assume everything is fine. If you have CART users, they probably are typing in the job window, which means they have to type it, and if they type very slowly it takes time. You need to wait and watch that window and make sure you're getting all the questions and all the comments. You also have to read any of the CART participants' comments aloud. Most of the people who don't use captioning are going to have that window closed. If you start answering the CART person's question, the hearing people are going to go where is that coming from and what is she talking about, she's off on a tangent. So repeat the question and respond to it so everybody has equal access. Collaborating with the CART writer is really, really important, as well. Before the presentation you have to share your slides with them, got to. You need to be prepared and done well in advance. You're not only sharing with the technicians but sharing with the captioners, as well.

For those who are 11th hour people like me, that can be a problem. Sharing vocabulary lists is important. Making sure any technical information, any names, proper nouns, that type of stuff, are in the packet of information that you send to the captionist is absolutely critical, that way your captioning is spot on and correct. When you're designing your slides, make sure you save a space for the captioning window. I tend to make it in the upper right hand corner. It could be anywhere. But you may find yourself using more slides because of that. So be it. But that way the caption windows, where the window is used don't have it overlaying what information you're explaining. During the presentation keep that window in view and keep an eye on what's going on in the window. Those participants are just as important as the people on the phone. After the presentation, be sure before you get off, you thank the captioner. I try to do it, it's like thanking the interpreters at the end of the presentation. Credit where credit is due. Share the feedback, if there was problems, praise about the captioning, people who had never seen it before, never used it before, let the captioner know what's going on, that's part of a good team member. Plan for next time. What could have been done differently, worked better, something else you want to try, how did it work from your side. That kind of stuff.

Pacing. If you've done any training, you know a lot of times you get your pacing information from the people in the audience. Again, you don't have the visual luxury of seeing your audience members. So you need to make sure you structure your pacing very well. It's very, very different from in person training. You need to structure breaks in and it's a matter of putting the slide up there and saying it's break time. The way the NetCast techs do it with DHS in Oregon, they have a preprepared screen that says break time and we'll come back at such and such time and there is a clock on the screen and everybody sees that. If that works, great. If you have a slide that says break time, use that. Structure it in and make sure you're planning for it. And give participants the time to die just the information. Don't go through slide by slide by slide and give them time to chew on it. That's where interaction comes with it. I have the chance to, how does this relate to me and my job. And that makes it much, much more successful.

Don't put too much content into one presentation, another of the areas I'm working on. I want to put everything, including my kitchen sink and the neighbor's kitchen sink in it and it's fun. And not everybody is at the same understanding and level of comfort with the technology. Back it off a bit. All my learning is brand new. There are some people out there that don't want to turn a computer on, you know them, I know them, too. And then there is other people that want to talk about all the technology changes and how it works and why it works and the acronyms. You know them, too, you're training all those people. You want to make sure your training material fits somewhere in the middle of that continuum. It's not too technical but not too basic. That's a fine line to walk, but you do it with your in person trainings, as well. Watch your timing, it's possible to discuss a point down to the nitty gritty and you're behind and you are whipping through the slides real quick. You don't want to do it. Watch your timing. If you can put off, we'll be discussing that in a few slides, do that. Keep control of the participation, but also allow for the interaction. Plan for the interaction time. And the first NetCast I forgot they were going to talk to me, and that was going to take some time. Live and learn. This is one of Mark's slides, which I loved.

Preparing a handout, make slide transitions immediate, and leaf time for Q and A and build in interaction. And on the off chance that you have questions later, this is how to get ahold of us. Again, I'm with the department of office of vocational rehabilitation services. Mark is with department of human services in the training capacity, and then Carolyn and Carol, who is not here because she's gone to another presentation in another city about captioning, she's actually done a lot of the captioning for my NetCasts and she and Carolyn have been fantastic to work with, if you have questions how to make it work within your system, these are the women that know everything. Do we have questions? Any specific scenarios that you want to talk about?

>>: Do you know of any instances where the NetCast or another event is captioned specifically for a population that does not have hearing loss, like specifically captioning for hearing people who may have another disability like a learning disability or attention deficit disorder.

SHEILA HITCHEN>>: Have I heard of any NetCast captioned for other disabilities other than hearing loss, learning disability, ADHD, that kind of thing. No, no, I haven't heard of it, doesn't mean it's not out there. The Internet is a big wide world. Other questions? THE REPORTER: Can you watch the screen more often? You talk slower.

SHEILA HITCHEN>>: With that, if there are no other questions, please take the handouts at the back, if you want handouts from this presentation of the slides, bring me a business card, I'll be more than happy to email or snail mail them to you, either one, and you guys have the gift of a little bit of free time, so please do come back, there is a welcome reception at 6 o'clock down in the Alki RAM, out the door and down the steps. Please remember to bring your conference name tag and photo ID. There is a no host bar but they have to card everybody. If you haven't been carded in a while, this is your lucky day. We'll see you in Alki in a little while. Thanks so much for coming.
(Afternoon session ended at 4:20 p.m.)


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