Live captions for students on the autism spectrum

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Thursday, 10 April 2014 08:52am

Captioning company Ai-Media has launched a pilot program to test a new product designed to help students on the autism spectrum. 

The new system is an adaptation of Ai-Live, which allows students who are Deaf or hearing impaired to view real-time captions of a lesson on their personal device. It is used widely in universities and some schools. The new autism application of Ai-Live simplifies the teachers’ language to better meet the needs of people with an autism spectrum disorder.

The testing phase of the project is about to begin, with pilots being introduced to schools in Australia, the UK, Singapore and Dubai. Ongoing evaluation will be conducted by the University of Melbourne’s Graduate School of Education.

“Autism impacts on people’s perception and understanding of language and communication,” said Ai-Media in a press release. “The pilot delivers accurate simplified text of what the teacher has said, directly to the student’s iPad or tablet in seconds.”

The product has been developed in consultation with researcher Eileen Hopkins who said, “By reading what the teacher is saying, in a simplified form, the students can focus on the content that matters, thus improving confidence and participation.”

The benefit of captioning for people with autism spectrum disorders is well known, as it supplements auditory delivery of information, which people may find difficult to process. A version of information that is not only visual, but also less complex, may well assist autistic students.

Ai-Media is requesting expressions of interest from schools in Australia, UK, Singapore and Dubai which would like to participate in the pilot. Interested schools should contact:

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