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Unread 01-27-2008, 03:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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TypeWell vs. CART, and other Real-time services

i use TypeWell for my university courses. in my experience, the TypeWell transcribers aren't as fast as the CART transcribers i've had. i know it's probably just a matter of who the transcriber is and how experienced they are, but i noticed that CART uses a different (albeit older-looking) technology, so i'm not sure. I was wondering what the huge difference is...?

the woman in charge of disability services at my school told me at the start of the first semester (at the very end of august just before classes started in september) that she wouldnt be able to provide me a real-time captioning service when i requested it because my request was too late and it takes several months to arrange for a transcriber. (i'll quote her: "so for now, student notetakers will suffice.")

so i stayed with student notetakers for the first semester. but for one class i was having tons of trouble understanding the teacher and i panicked to the disability services woman. so she arranged for me to have a CART transcriber almost instantly, and the transcriber stayed with me through that class throughout the rest of the semester. the CART transcriber was great and got every single word/sound made onto the transcript (although i feel very sorry for her since each of my classes were three hours long and there was a LOT of talking with only a 15 minute break in between). still, i didn't really understand why i had to have TypeWell instead of CART.

now that the second semester has started, i finally have TypeWell in all but one of my classes. i have three different transcribers, usually two per class taking turns since the classes are so long. but they are kind of slow at typing - seriously, I can type faster on a regular computer than they can type using that real time technology. i'm not exaggerating; to be honest, it's not bad at all, and i'd take TypeWell anytime over student notetakers (who aren't even trained and just copy stuff off the board).

my question is, does anyone know why the disability services woman wanted me to use TypeWell over CART? the transcripts are significantly shorter and i dont know absolutely everything that is said in class when i have TypeWell. with CART, it's almost as if i had trouble keeping up with everything that was said; with TypeWell, i fall asleep staring at the screen as i wait for words to appear. is it a matter of cost, maybe?


edit: sorry if this belongs under the Captioning category

Last edited by kimpossible; 01-27-2008 at 03:44 AM.
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Unread 01-27-2008, 05:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimpossible View Post
i use TypeWell for my university courses. in my experience, the TypeWell transcribers aren't as fast as the CART transcribers i've had. i know it's probably just a matter of who the transcriber is and how experienced they are, but i noticed that CART uses a different (albeit older-looking) technology, so i'm not sure. I was wondering what the huge difference is...?

the woman in charge of disability services at my school told me at the start of the first semester (at the very end of august just before classes started in september) that she wouldnt be able to provide me a real-time captioning service when i requested it because my request was too late and it takes several months to arrange for a transcriber. (i'll quote her: "so for now, student notetakers will suffice.")

so i stayed with student notetakers for the first semester. but for one class i was having tons of trouble understanding the teacher and i panicked to the disability services woman. so she arranged for me to have a CART transcriber almost instantly, and the transcriber stayed with me through that class throughout the rest of the semester. the CART transcriber was great and got every single word/sound made onto the transcript (although i feel very sorry for her since each of my classes were three hours long and there was a LOT of talking with only a 15 minute break in between). still, i didn't really understand why i had to have TypeWell instead of CART.

now that the second semester has started, i finally have TypeWell in all but one of my classes. i have three different transcribers, usually two per class taking turns since the classes are so long. but they are kind of slow at typing - seriously, I can type faster on a regular computer than they can type using that real time technology. i'm not exaggerating; to be honest, it's not bad at all, and i'd take TypeWell anytime over student notetakers (who aren't even trained and just copy stuff off the board).

my question is, does anyone know why the disability services woman wanted me to use TypeWell over CART? the transcripts are significantly shorter and i dont know absolutely everything that is said in class when i have TypeWell. with CART, it's almost as if i had trouble keeping up with everything that was said; with TypeWell, i fall asleep staring at the screen as i wait for words to appear. is it a matter of cost, maybe?


edit: sorry if this belongs under the Captioning category
Given the fact that she told you "notetakers will suffice for now" I would say she was able to get Typewell transcribers at a cheaper rate. They may even be doing it as part of a practicum assignment, which means they cost the school nothing, or at the most, a minimum wage.

I work in a college disability office, and it is a constant fight with administration to get the proper services for students. There are many coordinators who will not go to bat for their student's needs if it means arguing with administration. Unfortunate, but true. If the service is not providing you with what you need, keep pushing. A college does not want to be faced with a discrimination lawsuit, but they will try to get by as cheaply as they can if you let them.
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Unread 01-27-2008, 07:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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UGH..........................student notetakers SUCK is all I can say!
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Unread 01-27-2008, 10:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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oh, got it, thanks for the clarification jillio! well the TypeWell is great, to be honest. slow, but i still get a much larger understanding of what's going on in the class; it simply isn't hyper-accurate realtime. since i experienced CART before TypeWell, I guess i have high expectations!

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UGH..........................student notetakers SUCK is all I can say!
they really do, haha. i can't really approach the student notetakers and tell them what they can improve on, because they're casual friends of mine and i dont want to offend them! one of my friends wrote on her facebook profile under her listed jobs: "i take notes for disability services. and... yeah this is basically NOT EVEN A JOB at all. i just take notes." ... WELL, try harder!!! lol.
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Unread 01-28-2008, 12:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
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oh, got it, thanks for the clarification jillio! well the TypeWell is great, to be honest. slow, but i still get a much larger understanding of what's going on in the class; it simply isn't hyper-accurate realtime. since i experienced CART before TypeWell, I guess i have high expectations!



they really do, haha. i can't really approach the student notetakers and tell them what they can improve on, because they're casual friends of mine and i dont want to offend them! one of my friends wrote on her facebook profile under her listed jobs: "i take notes for disability services. and... yeah this is basically NOT EVEN A JOB at all. i just take notes." ... WELL, try harder!!! lol.
YW. And I agree...if notetakers treated what they do as a job, we would have much better notetaking services.
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Unread 01-28-2008, 01:24 AM   #6 (permalink)
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OMG, dont even get me started on that! Most student notetakers have horrible writing or they don't really put down the stuff........its like are we in the same class? Can you believe that they stuck me with student notetakers at my four year school, and didn't even let me know they had C-Print/CART until after I graduated? GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR
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Unread 01-28-2008, 09:20 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re:Typewell vs CART

Kim,

I just wanted to write and let you know that there is an alternative to TypeWell and other forms of CART.
I cannot address why your disablity service department chose Typewell over CART. Only the department can explain that decision.

I represent Caption Mic, a speech recognition based captioning system. A person trains the system to their voice and repeats what is being said in the classroom. This person (voice captioner) is typically 95 to 98% accurate and the system is designed to provide an 'as close to verbatim transcript' as is humanly possible. We have a number of schools using Caption Mic to provide access in the classroom.
Because we use speech recognition a wide range of persons can be trained in a matter of weeks to act as a vocie captioner. This expands the possible labor pool and helps keep the labor cost reasonable.
Please visit our website Products by Ultech LLC for more info or write me at mhall5128@comcast.net

I typically don't use these types of forums for commercial messages and I apologize if I've offended anyone.

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Unread 01-28-2008, 09:26 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Kim,

I just wanted to write and let you know that there is an alternative to TypeWell and other forms of CART.
I cannot address why your disablity service department chose Typewell over CART. Only the department can explain that decision.

I represent Caption Mic, a speech recognition based captioning system. A person trains the system to their voice and repeats what is being said in the classroom. This person (voice captioner) is typically 95 to 98% accurate and the system is designed to provide an 'as close to verbatim transcript' as is humanly possible. We have a number of schools using Caption Mic to provide access in the classroom.
Because we use speech recognition a wide range of persons can be trained in a matter of weeks to act as a vocie captioner. This expands the possible labor pool and helps keep the labor cost reasonable.
Please visit our website Products by Ultech LLC for more info or write me at mhall5128@comcast.net

I typically don't use these types of forums for commercial messages and I apologize if I've offended anyone.

Mark Hall
Wouldn't it be rather confusing for the other students if a captioner was repeating with voice everything a professors and other students say in a classroom? Kind of like being in an echo chamber.
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Unread 01-28-2008, 09:35 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Wouldn't it be rather confusing for the other students if a captioner was repeating with voice everything a professors and other students say in a classroom? Kind of like being in an echo chamber.
LOLOL "why do I hear an echo???"
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Unread 01-28-2008, 10:19 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Wouldn't it be rather confusing for the other students if a captioner was repeating with voice everything a professors and other students say in a classroom? Kind of like being in an echo chamber.
i watched the video on one of the links, apparently theres this sort of masked microphone that doesn't disrupt the hearing students/teacher.

but hey, sounds like a great sort of technology. hearing people should just train themselves, andj wear those mics every day with little screens atop their heads that SHOW what they're saying while they talk XD

in all honesty mhall5128, that does sound neat, and what you said about labor costs and everything seemed very reasonable... i doubt my school offers that kind of service
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Unread 01-28-2008, 10:26 PM   #11 (permalink)
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i watched the video on one of the links, apparently theres this sort of masked microphone that doesn't disrupt the hearing students/teacher.

but hey, sounds like a great sort of technology. hearing people should just train themselves, andj wear those mics every day with little screens atop their heads that SHOW what they're saying while they talk XD
in all honesty mhall5128, that does sound neat, and what you said about labor costs and everything seemed very reasonable... i doubt my school offers that kind of service
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Unread 05-28-2008, 03:08 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Last semester I CARTed a number of classes for a student at NYU. One of them was a Literature class that dealt with very complex concepts and vocabulary and unfortunately I could only CART one of its two sessions each week because I had to CART for another student at the same time on one of the days. The school couldn't find another CART provider for the other session so they gave her a C-PRINT operator, and she complained to me that the output was almost incomprehensible. The teacher just went too quickly and used too many technical terms. C-PRINT is a system that's very similar to TypeWell. They both use computer keyboards and omit vowels when they type so that the software can guess the words they're trying to write. They're both really notetaking or outlining programs and not true verbatim transcription systems. C-PRINT and Typewell have a top speed of about 120 words per minute with a very fast and accomplished operator. CART providers have to be able to write at least 225 words per minute, and the best of them can get up to 240 or even 260. The average rate of speech is 180, but some people speak much more quickly than that, and the complexity of the material can really affect the accuracy of the transcription. I think it's really too bad that there aren't enough CART providers to accommodate all the students who need it. I'm currently sketching out a plan for a free software program that will hopefully increase the number of potential CART providers in the field. It's in its early stages, but I really want to make it work.
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Unread 09-23-2008, 09:42 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Hi StenoKnight,
I am a CART Provider who uses my voice instead of a steno machine. I also train people to provide the same servies (for hard of hearing students, so we do not replace interpreters.) We use a special microphone and speech recognition software. It takes a while depending on their skills, but if you know anyone who is interested in becoming a CART provider, please contact me. I am also interested in the free software program that you are developing.

It is a tragedy that there are students sitting in classes now, in the fall semester, without services due to the lack of providers. Our student's GPA's have increased dramatically after receiving CART services. Without it, their GPA suffered and they were going home and reading the textbook from cover to cover; and if that's the case, they shouldn't have to sit in a class or pay tuition for that!

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Last semester I CARTed a number of classes for a student at NYU. One of them was a Literature class that dealt with very complex concepts and vocabulary and unfortunately I could only CART one of its two sessions each week because I had to CART for another student at the same time on one of the days. The school couldn't find another CART provider for the other session so they gave her a C-PRINT operator, and she complained to me that the output was almost incomprehensible. The teacher just went too quickly and used too many technical terms. C-PRINT is a system that's very similar to TypeWell. They both use computer keyboards and omit vowels when they type so that the software can guess the words they're trying to write. They're both really notetaking or outlining programs and not true verbatim transcription systems. C-PRINT and Typewell have a top speed of about 120 words per minute with a very fast and accomplished operator. CART providers have to be able to write at least 225 words per minute, and the best of them can get up to 240 or even 260. The average rate of speech is 180, but some people speak much more quickly than that, and the complexity of the material can really affect the accuracy of the transcription. I think it's really too bad that there aren't enough CART providers to accommodate all the students who need it. I'm currently sketching out a plan for a free software program that will hopefully increase the number of potential CART providers in the field. It's in its early stages, but I really want to make it work.
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Unread 11-23-2008, 02:08 PM   #14 (permalink)
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TypeWell vs. CART

Hi,

I just wanted to jump in and make a few comments about some of the differences between some of the speech-to-text systems that are being discussed. I am an agency owner who coordinates TypeWell Transcription, CART Captioners, and Sign Language Interpreters. Here are some things to consider about TypeWell and CART:

One Size Does Not Fit All

As many of you know, there is a full spectrum of different consumers who are d/Deaf and HOH. I see CART used for many late deafend adults who really want the verbatim-ness of CART. In my experience many deaf/Deaf students, prefer TypeWell because the transcript clean, and clear. It does not contain all the false starts, repetitions, and other meaningless utterances of a verbatim transcript.

Schools when considering which services to offer, have to take into account (among other factors) both the literacy of the student, and the availability of providers. There is a shortage of qualified TypeWell Transcribers and CART providers nationwide.

Meaning-for-Meaning vs. Verbatim
One thing to know is that TypeWell & C-print are meaning-for-meaning transcription systems. They are not designed to be verbatim transcripts. What is "meaning-for-meaning" transcribing? It is taking the spoken English (which is not grammatically correct) and putting it down in grammatically correct written English. Meaning-for-meaning transcripts put all of the meaning of the words into the transcript, without the needless utterances, stammers and studdering that sometimes happens.

You may get all the "noises, and words spoken" in a verbatim transcript, but typically, because the way hearing people speak is not grammatically correct English, it is much harder to quickly understand the meaning of what was said.

Someone mentioned having a hard time keeping up with the CART transcript because it was verbatim of what was happening in the class. This is in part due to the way many CART writers format their transcripts ALL CAPITOL LETTERS ARE HARDER TO READ! Also, their use of white space is different than TypeWell as is the font. All of these factors make a difference.

Meaning-for-Meaning Transcription is very similar to Sign Language Interpreting. You may notice with interpreters that there is a delay in the information relayed because it takes the interpreter time to hear, understand,and then convey the meaning of the message into grammatically correct sign language. This is the exact process that a TypeWell Transcriber goes through as well.

The normal delay from the time the transcriber hears a sentence to the time the words start to appear on the screen should be about 3 - 5 seconds. In some cases where the transcriber is very slow, it may be that they are new, they are unfamiliar with the material, or the material is too technical for TypeWell and would be better served by CART. In most cases, TypeWell can cover nearly any subject.Classes that are very technical such as medicine or law are best served by CART because they are able to capture all of the vocabulary required for the course quickly.

Bottom Line There is an appropriate place for all of these service types. If you don't like one of them, try another if it is available in your area. In places that don't have on-site providers available, remote CART and TypeWell providers are available.

Chanel Carlascio
Strada, Inc.
866-758-0194
chanel@stradagize.com
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Unread 11-23-2008, 03:35 PM   #15 (permalink)
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i've used c-print, typewell and cart before, but i prefer cart.
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Unread 11-23-2008, 06:26 PM   #16 (permalink)
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i've used c-print, typewell and cart before, but i prefer cart.
same here.
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Unread 11-28-2009, 12:40 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Hi, just coming back to this thread to say that I've written some articles touching on strengths and weaknesses of the various services.

Voice Captioning Versus CART

and

Is CART Easier Than Court Reporting?

Which is primarily targeted at students in steno schools who are considering working as CART providers before finishing their training (summary: don't do it!), but which also addresses the inherent limitations of services such as Typewell and C-Print. Notetaking is very different from CART, because it gives just the rough outline of the conversation. I've worked with people providing Typewell, and while in some cases they can offer the main points of various lectures, in dense or technical material, they simply don't have the speed to transcribe all of the details, and so "meaning for meaning" becomes more like "general summation of several of tiny differing meanings", which may or may not be detrimental to the student's understanding of the class. From my observation of my colleague's Typewell display, the amount of information he was able to get down was roughly equal to the main bullet points on a PowerPoint slide. He missed a great deal of the explanation and the fine points added onto the main point by the professor.

For more perspectives on CART versus notetaking systems such as Typewell and C-Print:

CART Versus TypeWell. Does a College Have the Right to Choose?
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Unread 11-28-2009, 12:51 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Isn't all these techniques the same as court reporting , everything per verbatim? I forgot to add that the software is very expensive just like buying a car. I thought about turning back to the stenography field. I am an ex-court reporting student, it was soo hard for me to reach that 200wpm!
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Unread 11-28-2009, 01:40 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Isn't all these techniques the same as court reporting , everything per verbatim? I forgot to add that the software is very expensive just like buying a car. I thought about turning back to the stenography field. I am an ex-court reporting student, it was soo hard for me to reach that 200wpm!
No, Typewell and C-Print are very different from CART, which is also very different from CaptionMic and other voice-to-text services.

Typewell and C-Print, as I understand, both work with regular computer keyboards and proprietary software that's relatively inexpensive. Their training sessions involve teaching people to type words without vowels and to learn how to abbreviate common words with a few keystrokes. Most people graduate from the training in a month or two. The software then expands the abbreviations so that the words appear in regular English. Using this technique, people can write around 100-130 words per minute. The average rate of speech, however, is 180-200 words per minute, with some people getting up into the 240-260 range for short bursts. Obviously these services that use the regular computer keyboard can never get up into verbatim territory, so they advertise themselves as providing "meaning for meaning" rather than "word for word".

In my experience as a CART provider, I've sometimes noticed a radical increase in speed when I redefine a word that I formerly wrote in two strokes into a single stroke. Even so, when people suddenly rocket off into high speeds, I find myself occasionally paraphrasing and leaving out inessential words and phrases to keep up and get the important part of what's being said. Considering that everything written in Typewell or C-Print is at the very least two strokes, but more commonly three or four -- more for very complex technical words -- I'm quite skeptical that the entirety of "meanings" expressed in a given lecture can be conveyed by someone whose speed is nearly half that of a certified CART provider.

As you said, CART is a truly verbatim technology. It uses a steno machine, identical to the ones that court reporters use, and proprietary software that's incredibly expensive. To become a court reporter, you usually spend from two to six years in school learning stenographic theory and building your speed from 0 to 225 words per minute. The drop-out rate in steno schools is around 86%; it can be a tremendously grueling experience. Then the software and steno machine together usually cost around $8,000. It takes the average court reporter many years of working and an extraordinary amount of independent dictionary building and practice to become "realtime-ready", and then even more to expand the court reporter's base legal dictionary into a wide-ranging literary dictionary suitable to provide CART for college students. Because of all this training and outlay of equipment, CART is several times more expensive than Typewell and C-Print services, which can be done by students after a brief training period, and which only requires a keyboard and software sold by the notetaking company.

Because of the price difference and the shortage of qualified CART providers, the notetaking services have spent a lot of effort trying to put themselves forward as affordable, appropriate accommodations for deaf and hard of hearing students. They claim sometimes that Typewell and C-Print are easier for students to understand, because they leave out confusing phrases and details and boil the lectures down to clear, simple terms. Perhaps some students prefer digested versions of lectures, but most of the people I've spoken to would rather be able to read everything that's spoken both by professors and fellow students. Notetaking systems also teach their providers not to write anything that's written on the board or on a Powerpoint slide. Since professors frequently make reference to information on slides, mentioning and then expanding upon what's written there, this can also be problematic.

With voice to text services such as CaptionMic, the issue is usually not of verbatim versus non-verbatim, but of accuracy rates. It is possible to get to a very high degree of accuracy using voice recognition software, as long as the rate of speech stays below about 180 to 200 words per minute and the voice writer has spent many, many hours training their software and themselves to speak accurately and precisely, disambiguating all soundalike words and phrases. As you saw in the thread above, some voice-to-text services call themselves CART providers, which can be confusing, since previously CART was used only for people writing verbatim realtime transcription using steno machines. My concern about voice-to-text services is not that they're not capable of providing appropriate services, but that because they're also seeking the niche of "more affordable than CART providers", they can sometimes pass off untrained or undertrained voice writers as a suitable substitute for fully trained voice writers, which are quite hard to find and usually charge similar rates to stenographic CART. They brag about 95% translation rates, but that means that one out of every 15 words -- about one word per sentence -- is missing or incorrect. Add that up over the length of a one-hour lecture, and that's an awful lot of errors. I strive for a 99.9% translation rate, which works out to five or six errors per hour.

I've transcribed highly technical classes for students studying Law, Pharmacy, Economics, Urban Planning, Literature, and many other subjects. Most of my clients had had previous experience with notetaking systems, and they all decided that CART was more appropriate to their needs. Their universities made the effort and arranged the budget so that they could accommodate them. I'm afraid that not all universities are willing to do so, unless students are very vocal about their entitlement to appropriate accommodations under the ADA. If students are offered services that cause them to miss important class material, that's unacceptable, and they've got to speak out.
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Unread 11-28-2009, 03:09 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Isn't all these techniques the same as court reporting , everything per verbatim? I forgot to add that the software is very expensive just like buying a car. I thought about turning back to the stenography field. I am an ex-court reporting student, it was soo hard for me to reach that 200wpm!
No they aren't that close.

CART is verbatim, but TypeWell is "meaning for meaning." It means they paraphrase for brevity. In most cases, meaning for meaning is close enough for me. It does depend a lot on the student and their language processing abilities.

I have used TypeWell in a lot of courses. I wish that I had a good experience with CART at CWU, but I don't.

A really good CART provider is going to cost more than TypeWell in most cases. The skills of a CART provider like Mirabai's are not all that easy to come by.
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