Online speech-to-text reporters for students, trainees and schoolchildren
People with hearing impairments undergoing basic and advanced training
In Switzerland, many young people with hearing impairments are already well supplied with hearing aids, FM devices, etc.
However, in some cases this support is not enough. These include severe hearing difficulties or poor ambient conditions, e.g. disruptive noise at university, frequently caused by a large number of students in the same room. And with people who speak quickly and are a long way away from the listener, comprehension is often impossible. An additional problem arises with lectures in a different language.
Support in the form of speech-to-text reporting
The only support that really makes accessible comprehension possible in such cases is speech-to-text reporting. Specially trained speech-to-text reporters transfer spoken content into text in real time. The young people affected can thus follow on a screen what is being said in the lesson.
But speech-to-text reporters are not always available everywhere, often have to travel a great distance and cannot be deployed very flexibly in case of illness. Young people often do not want to stand out by always being accompanied by another person.
Online speech-to-text service
SWISS TXT now offers help in cases like these. Speech-to-text reporters can now be involved live via an Internet platform with a tablet or laptop. The sound from the classroom or auditorium is transmitted wirelessly via the computer to the speech-to-text reporter who transfers the spoken word live into text. The person with the hearing difficulty can then read the lesson content on-screen on a tablet or laptop.
The users are very independent, can read for themselves what was said and thus follow the lesson discreetly. The costs are usually lower than for on-site interpreters, as there are no travel costs involved. Substitutes can also be arranged more easily in the event of illness, short-term bookings or re-schedulings as the online speech-to-text reporters can be connected live from anywhere.
Speech-to-text reporter team at SWISS TXT
Speech-to-text reporters at SWISS TXT are usually university-trained interpreters or translators with an additional qualification for live work plus many years of experience in live subtitling for the Swiss TV corporation. They have a command of English, French, Swiss German, high German plus, in most cases, one or two other languages. They can make demanding lesson content in German or a foreign language accessible for people with a hearing impairment.
The users are supported and advised throughout the period by SWISS TXT employees with considerable experience in this field.
The online system meets high security standards, the latest user-friendly HTML5 standard and is hosted by SWISS TXT in a Swiss computer centre.
The service has already been used in German and French speaking Switzerland and billed to the disability insurance provider as support for hearing-impaired persons in education. Normally, the use of this service is free of charge for persons concerned.