For the first time deaf kids in Australia can gain equal access in classrooms, with a pilot schools-captioning idea from access solutions firm, Ai Media.
Ai Media was formed in 2003 and has since dedicated itself to providing generic captioning services. In Australia about 85% of deaf children attend mainstream schools and last year AI Media began captioning in schools.
Teachers are already seeing results. Students with captioning are more engaged in class, have better concentration and are included in all lessons. They are part of the class and not isolated in a corner with an interpreter.
Support teacher Sally Pape talks about one of her year 9 students, “She did all her homework, all her assignments, and she went from the bottom of the class to coming first in the yearly exam. It was a huge change”.
For the first time, a teacher knows a student is fully understanding the topic in progress and can get feedback and communicate with the students.
This solution is not just for schools: It supports life-long learning and can be used in colleges and workplaces so the long-term social benefits are clear.
Parents anticipate a different, better future for their children. Parent Alex Jones says, “[with this captioning] there will be roads, avenues and doors opened for my son, not only for his future, but for the future of his friends who are deaf also. They will all have value and benefit.”
Similarly, Tony Abrahams, CEO at AI Media says, “It’s a solution that is tested, is reliable and is scalable. And it means that going forward, no deaf kid needs to be left behind and no-one needs to be out of work just because they can’t hear. And that’s really what Ai-Live means, and it’s exciting.”
(compiled by Miriam Walsh)