Campus: CSU, Northridge -- January 25, 2001


C-Print Expands CSUN's Students' Learning Options

In continuing efforts to offer students ways to learn in the manner they are most comfortable, Cal State Northridge's National Center on Deafness is offering C-Print services to deaf and hard-of-hearing students.

The C-Print notetaking system is a computer-aided, speech-to-print transcription system that began appearing in CSUN classrooms last fall.

By allowing deaf and hard-of-hearing students to view the text of the lecture during class, C-Print addresses the challenge notetaking poses to those who rely on sight for communication. After class, the text is printed and students are able to review the lecture.

"Students love it when it is available to them," said Scott Selna, print communications coordinator at the NCOD. "They like the idea of getting more information than a notetaker would normally provide, and not too much information like real-time captionists would provide."

Amy Pelletier, a graduate student pursuing a master's degree in special education, said C-Print is easier to read and understand, and is more convenient than her notetaker's handwritten notes.

"There are so many symbols and things [my notetaker] can insert into the notes, even if they are graphs or charts," Pelletier said. "It is simple and makes the notes clear and easy to follow. I don't have to worry about scribbled out mistakes on the notes or misspelled words since it's done on the computer with spell check."

C-Print in the classroom setting requires one laptop computer for the captionist and another laptop or computer monitor for students to view the typed text.

C-Print is just one of several support services available to the nearly 280 deaf or hard-of-hearing students at CSUN. Other services include interpreting, notetaking, real-time captioning and tutoring.

According to Selna, the services students utilize depend on their needs.

"Some like a lot of information and use [real-time captioning] as the sole service if they don't understand sign language," said Selna. "Others prefer less information of the C-Print and use an interpreter to follow the class."

Captionists receive training in abbreviating and text-condensing strategies. Captionists type as much information as possible, generally providing a more complete representation of what was said than a summary of the lecture. C-Print captionists are required to take classes in using the technology.

CSUN's NCOD provides the service to students upon request.

For more information about C-Print, contact Selna at (818) 677-2614 or Scott.Selna@csun.edu.

Founded in 1964 as an expression of the deep commitment by Cal State Northridge to meet the educational needs of deaf and hard-of-hearing students, the NCOD has helped more than 2,500 people graduate.


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