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Intersteno Parliamentary and
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International Federation for Information and Communication Processing INTERSTENO

First IPRS meeting on the 22nd of October, Shanghai

Rian Schwarz: Thank you all for making the big journey to Shanghai for the Council and IPRS meetings. You come from all corners of the world, from Belgium to Australia, from Holland to the States. I am happy that we can meet in the Shanghai Hotel.

There will be two IPRS meetings and one IPRS social event. I hope we can exchange a lot of information during the meetings and that we get even better acquainted the next days.

IPRS has a lot of friends, over 600 on IPRS Facebook and over 120 registered users on the IPRS site. Through these two channels IPRS friends can obtain information about IPRS related topics. The IPRS Steering Committee has two channels to obtain or share news about IPRS with IPRS friends. We will talk about this in the next meeting of IPRS.

Patti Calabro, court reporter in the USA and member of the Steering Committee, will be our facilitator during the IPRS meetings. She did this well in Ghent. I am very happy that she is willing to do it here as well. I hand her the microphone. She will guide us through the meetings.

Patti Calabro: I am glad to see all of you here. The first event is a reading from Zhang Sude by our Chinese host, Xia Wei.

It is a great honor for me to come here to exchange experiences together with you in Shanghai, such a beautiful city.

From 1993 IPRS has continuously held high-grade international forums. A lot of parliamentary reporters, top experts, and scholars come together, attracting many leaders and researchers from colleges and universities. The forum offers a high-grade platform for experts and scholars from all countries to communicate together and to promote the development of steno teaching. The theoretical results from the forum have had a positive influence on the parliamentary reporters’ teaching practice in our country. Since 2005 the Chinese experts have attended the forum. It has had a lot of positive influence on steno teaching and international cooperation. The forum is a summit meeting in the field of steno teaching.

Today IPRS comes to China again. Every expert will take in the new research results here, and will exchange experiences on the present situation of court clerks’ development. So we appreciate all the experts’ efforts for this forum.

Now I will introduce the present situation of the court clerks’ development in our country and I hope to exchange experiences on this account with all of you. Since the founding of New China, the court clerk and judge belong to the sequence of state administrative cadres: from court clerk to assistant judge to judge. This administrative system is compatible with a planned economy administrative system. It has the following characteristics. Firstly, court clerk positions have a specific direction of promotion. This can inspire work enthusiasm. Secondly, because the court clerks are familiar with the process of trial work, the work of a court clerk is training for judge work. Thirdly, like master and apprentice it is convenient to train the court clerk.

This traditional administrative system has made a big contribution to ensuring that trial work goes well. But it curbs the professionalism and independence of clerks. The court clerk was always on the move. This cannot ensure the stability and promote the quality of a clerk. This system considers that if you want to be a judge, you must first be a court clerk. It makes employment standards between judge and court clerk confusing, so now the number of judges and clerks is seriously disrupted. So the point of the trial system reform is to break through the traditional administrative system to realize the most optimum distribution of resources, and to push the system of sort management.

The Supreme People’s Court decided this is a breakthrough point in the reform of the judicial system. Different people, different demand; different source, different administrative system; according to their different characteristics administrated by different means. Now the court clerk system goes in the right direction.

The court clerk system reform brings vitality to the trial system in our country. The clerks makes more of an effort than before and the sense of belonging and honor become stronger. The reform is already put in practice in all of the country. This is practical proof that this is the most important step of sort management reform. It is an important breakthrough for the personnel system in our country.

According to the relevant provisions in our country, the way of recruiting court clerks is that if the courts do not have enough clerks, they can send a recruit plan. The plan will be made by the Provincial Higher People’s court. Then they will recruit a person from the public. The local people’s court will give some college training to the clerks. When the training is finished they will undergo a test, and the persons who pass the test will get a qualification certificate. The training courses contains general quality, legal knowledge and professional skill, such as proceedings, working path, professional morality, judicial discipline, steno skill, document sending, filing, judicial etiquette, the administration of office work and so on. Court clerks who enter the appointment system are administrated by individual order. There are three grades: primary, medium and senior. The clerks have to pass a test to promote to a higher grade. The salary contains the basic monthly salary and the performance-related pay. Performance-related pay means that who works more gets more. There is a growth system for the court clerks’ salary.

This reform breaks the traditional administration system, sets up an single administration system all over the country. This is the sort of management system that conforms to our national condition. The reform brings a big change that helps to ensure the position of clerks and improve their quality. The practice shows that the duty of court clerks becomes more clear. It also gave the work more vitality. The court clerks that are effected by the implementation of the new system are very young. They can easily accept new things. They can easily master steno skill through the training. They can satisfy the requirements of the modern court hearing. Some advanced method of court records will be used widely, the level of modernization of court records will go to a step further.

At last I want to thank 2014 IPRS meeting again. Thank you for giving me such a chance to stand here and exchange experiences with everybody. I hope in this forum we can carry on the exchange of needed goods, improve our relationship, discuss the matter together and write the new page of development of steno teaching together.

I wish everyone good health and have a good time in Shanghai. Thank you.

Patti Calabro: Tomorrow the social club will be from 17.30 to 19.00 hrs. You do not have to be a member of the club to join. It is to chat, exchange information and getting to know each other.

We do not know each other, so I suggest we start with telling our names and where we are from.

Patti Calabro from Tucson Arizona in the US, with dry, hot weather. I started out as a court reporter. I use a stenograph machine with keys. I was freelance, went to court and worked in our court system for a while. Then I opened my own company as a freelance reporter. I have closed-captioned for television. I still do a lot of sports captioning. Also I took a position in our court once again, because I am, as they say, on the other side on the mountain: I am retiring in a couple of years. So now I am in the family court. We call it the wives and knives division. You are either divorcing your wife or you are going after her with a knife. Sad but true in the US!

Rian Schwarz from the Netherlands. For Intersteno I am vice-president/board member/coordinator for IPRS. My day-to-day job is leading the reporting office of the Dutch parliament. I live in The Hague, with most of the time cold weather and rain. Warm summers are an exception. I was a parliamentary reporter for twenty years. After that I was team coordinator/manager for ten years. Four years ago I became head of the parliamentary reporting office.

Marlene Rijkse, also from the Dutch parliament. I was a reporter for about twenty years. When Rian became head of the reporting office, I started as a team coordinator/manager. I also live in The Hague.

Marianne van Gool, also from the Netherlands. Since this year I am the national representative for Intersteno. Almost twenty years ago I started my own office for secretarial services, in short this means secretary and management assistance. Since 2007 I am a speech to text interpreter for the deaf. I also teach people how to type on a Veyboard.

Lorraine Sutherland, the editor of the official report in the House of Commons in London. I have been around for a very, very long time. I started working in parliament 42 years ago as a reporter. Before that I was a court reporter for four years, a Pitman shorthand writer. I do not have to do it myself anymore. While others do the reporting I do some live editing. I am a relative newcomer to the activities of Intersteno. I think it is a really worthwhile organization. I enjoy the meetings where I have been to so far.

Choi Younglim, of Korea. Sixteen people of Korea attend these meetings. We are the largest group, because Korea is nearby Shanghai, 1,.5 hours away. I am a member of the Scientific and the Educational Committee of Intersteno. I hope that in this meeting new technologies will be presented.

Adrian Kelly from Melbourne, Australia. I had to go to Sydney first. Then it took 5,5 hours before I could even leave Australia, and another 5,5 hours to get to Shanghai. I have been in the reporting gang also a very long time. Back in the seventies I started. I have been a Pitman shorthand writer. I worked in parliament, but predominantly I worked in the court. Twenty years ago I started my own reporting company. I had a stenotype machine. After that I became a voice writer and that is what I have been doing for ten years. I am a member of the NVRA, the National Verbatim Reporters Association in America. I am looking forward to the meeting.

Mehmet Tiker from Turkey, Ankara. He is the youngest reporter in Turkish parliament. He has been working there for just three years now.

Beyza Fatma Eren is also from Turkey. She works for eight years in the Turkish parliament.

Nurben Dönmez from Turkey. He works for twenty years in the Turkish parliament as a reporter.

Pawel Kaiczak from Poland, works for the Polish parliament, the reports division, as editor since 2004.

Kinga Bereda has only been working in the Polish parliament for one year. She is from Warsaw. It is quite exciting to be here for the first time.

Patti Calabro: I give the microphone to Rian Schwarz. She will give a presentation about reporting in the Dutch parliament.

Rian Schwarz: I am head of the reporting office of the Dutch parliament. A few years ago we introduced a new system, called VLOS (Digital Reporting Support System). The streamlining and digitalization of the reporting process using this system has two main goals: 1. Faster publication of the report. 2. Reduction of paper consumption.

The Dutch Parliamentary Reporting Office uses the digital reporting support system in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. This system comprises digital agenda preparation of a sitting, replacement of shorthand notes by digital logging of events in plenary hall, digital production and publication of the draft report of a sitting while it is in progress, digital revision process using a revision website and digital presentation of the revised report on websites. Besides for data the database can be used for a very different type of reporting, namely the on-demand video recording of a sitting for those who missed the live broadcast. This video recordings can be located on the website of the House of Representatives under the heading “Debat Gemist”, missed debates. In this video the text of the report is used as subtitling. The video has been made searchable using the logging metadata from the database. This are the data our reporters use for making the report. But now it is used for video recordings.

This brings me to the main element of this presentation, the revision website, which in October 2014 was officially put into operation by the Speaker of the House of Representatives by placing the last return address stamp on the last envelope that was used in the old revision process.

Before the implementation of our new system the transcription of everything that speakers said in the meeting was copied multiple times and send by regular mail. And speakers returned their corrections on paper in the same way. The first thought that sprang to mind when we thought about digitalization of this progress was to replace the postman by a digital mailing system, e-mail. But when you consider how many e-mails the members of parliament receive every day you can predict that this is not going to work. That is how we came up with the idea to develop a separate revision website.

We introduced the revision website in October 2013, so almost a year ago. Right from the start users reacted with enthusiasm. A website offers many advantages over other digital means. It is flexible and accessible in many ways.

What still was missing in October 2013 was an access key to the website that complied with contemporary media such as iPad and iPhone, as well as Android versions of these devices. This led to the development of a special app to access the website. We hope to be able to launch it soon, in fact: in two weeks we will start with it. Through the app the speaker gets instant access to his text as well as a notification on the icon, just as in a mail app. That way he knows that there are texts available for revision. Members receive an online tour for the use of the app.

A navigation screen leads to the various parts of the app. There is an index of the various meetings that contain text contribution which are available for revision. By clicking on the meeting for which text contributions are available, the MP is directed to that meeting.

The website has worked well up till now. The speaker can delete, change or add text. After the changes have been made, the speaker clicks on the save button. The system will process the changes that have been made. After the system has saved the changes a dialogue box appears with a text saying that changes have been saved, so the speaker knows that his changes were processed in good order. The text will be shown in its original color and navigation and a message appears saying that the text in question has been edited. Thus the speaker knows which text has been modified and which has yet to be edited. When the speaker is finished he can simply close the revision website. The Parliamentary Reporting Office than can assess the proposed changes. And so a paper consuming process of the past has been transformed into a digital workflow that meets today’s standards. So from the beginning to the end it is all digital.

Marianne van Gool: You said the speaker can make changes in the text. Who decides whether his proposal is accepted, is right or wrong?

Rian Schwarz: The Parliamentary Reporting Office decides to accept the proposed correction or not. It is up to us. The speaker can only make a proposition. When he makes a change, he has to confirm it, and then we decide to accept the proposed change or not.

Lorraine Sutherland: You have the editorial control. Do you care whether it was the member suggesting the corrections or whether the member asked a member of his staff to do this for him?

Rian Schwarz: We only give a link to the member. It is possible that one of his staff opens it, but it can be opened only once. It is up to the member to decide if somebody else can make the corrections. The link goes to the MP. The ministry can give us one e-mail address of one person. To use the app an MP has to login with his own code, so only he or she can open the correction app.

Lorraine Sutherland: When your editor decides that a proposed correction is not acceptable, how do they get in touch? Do they speak with the member?

Rian Schwarz: When we do not accept the proposed corrections, we contact the speaker and explain why we do not accept it, based on the recording.

Lorraine Sutherland: In the United Kingdom members have the right to read their speech before we publish it on the website. They come to our office within two hours of speaking. They discuss any proposed changes. We decide whether they are acceptable or not. 30 or 40% of our members take advantage of this. We can also e-mail the speech, but only on request. They hardly ever ask us. If they do we require them to telephone us if they want to make a change. Then we know it is the member himself who wants to make a change. After publication we give them another fourteen days in which they can suggest corrections, but we hardly ever get any corrections.

Rian Schwarz: How fast do you publish the report?

Lorraine Sutherland: We publish after three hours.

Rian Schwarz: We do more or less the same, but we do not give the opportunity to read the text before publishing. We publish it on the internet, with the message that it is a draft. That way everyone knows that corrections can be made at some point. There have never been any problems.

Marlene Rijkse: What is the reason that there are not many corrections made in the UK?

Lorraine Sutherland: I would like to think that the reports are so good that members are completely satisfied! Our first version is uncorrected and that is pretty much perfect.

Marlene Rijkse: Is it always the same members that come to the office to make corrections?

Lorraine Sutherland: It is a certain cover, yes, but sometimes it depends on the debate and on the speech they have made. 30% are more regular members. Another 10% comes occasionally. We have 650 members. We see quite a lot of members. It is good to have contact with members. It is a minor point, but for job evaluation in the parliament, having direct contact with the members gives you a higher score. We like to keep it this way.

Kinga Bereda: What is the version of the report you give to the MPs in the app?

Rian Schwarz: They get their part of the report, part of the text of the speaker before him or her and part of the text of the speaker after him or her. It is a verbatim report. The speaker can propose to make a change. We decide if we agree with the proposal or not, and we explain why we do not accept a proposal.

Marlene Rijkse: It is an edited report.

Marianne van Gool: How often do you refresh the website? How does one know that it is a final version?

Rian Schwarz: During proceedings we refresh every three hours. It depends also on the debate. When a debate on a particular subject takes four hours, we will wait four hours. We try to republish on a logical moment during the day. At the end of the day, when the last part of the report is ready, one of our editors publishes, with one push on the button, the complete report of that day. All the speakers’ texts are send by app, with a notification that they have work to do, namely to make corrections. The final report is published when the term for making corrections has ended. After we judged the correction proposals we publish the definitive version of the report. That process takes a few days. We try to do this within three days. Sometimes an MP or a minister is away for a few days. Sometimes they ask for more time. Then we give them some more time, a couple of days. A group of six senior reporters judge the proposed corrections.

Participant: Can you give us some examples of corrections?

Rian Schwarz: We never accept a proposal to delete words that were said, or a proposal to add words that have not been said. The recorder is our witness. When they give wrong information, speakers can correct that in a next meeting or by letter or mail. The reporter edits the report, makes sentences more fluent. Of course, we correct evident mistakes ourselves. Especially the officials of the ministries sometimes want to change words of their minister, for example, because he promised something that really is not possible. We cannot allow that.

Marlene Rijkse asks the Turkish delegation if they are familiar with the right of correction. Is every member of the parliament allowed to suggest corrections?

One of the Turkish participants: No, they are not allowed. We have the same procedure as the English parliament. The first draft of the report is available within two, three hours. Finalizing takes up to ten days.

Rian Schwarz: Do your members have many corrections?

One of the Turkish participants: No.

Rian Schwarz: In your parliament many members talk simultaneously, without a microphone. I can imagine that there are many corrections.

One of the Turkish participants: In high-tense situations we are more free in Turkey.

One of the Turkish participants: Who is in charge of the profiles on the website?

Rian Schwarz: The Communications Department is responsible for the content on the website of the parliament. We are only responsible for the report and we publish it on the parliament website.

Lorraine Sutherland: About the policy on corrections. A member of parliament named two women activists in Syria. She was not supposed to mention those names, but she did. It was pointed out to her afterwards. She asked me, because the ladies were in danger, if I would remove the names from the official report. What would you have done?

Rian Schwarz: I would have contacted the Speaker of the House of Representatives or the Senate. I would not decide on my own. If somebody is put in danger by mentioning their name in the report, this can be a reason for not sticking to the policy. What did you do?

Lorraine Sutherland: I was hard with it, because in my view it was too late. People could have been watching it on television, and you can see it on the website. Then you should have edited the video as well. So I said: no.

Rian Schwarz: Everyone could have heard the names, also journalists.

Marlene Rijkse: It could have be a decision during the meeting to delete the names.

Patti Calabro: Sending links and information via e-mail, is that via an intranet system? Is there anything that is proprietary before the official report comes out that you want to protect?

Rian Schwarz: Most time went into making the system safe. The speaker gets an e-mail with a personal code. If somebody hacks the link of a speaker and this person proposes some stupid suggestions, the next step is to judge the proposals. We will never accept stupid suggestions, so nothing terrible can happen. But, of course, we do not want our website to be hacked. We will try to avoid that. The safety guarantee took a long time.

Patti Calabro: Is anyone working in a parliament that does not allow corrections?

Adrian Kelly: I am not working in a parliament. Most of my work is for court and no corrections are allowed. The transcript is exactly what they said. They sometimes want to have subtitling by using a steno mask.

Rian Schwarz: We are investigating subtitling possibilities. There is a difference between subtitles and edited reports. Our reporters do not like to talk in a mask because it does not feel comfortable. We use Dragon and will start a pilot. Perhaps we can offer the service of live subtitling.

Participant: You use no paper anymore?

Rian Schwarz: No. Our reporting process is completely digitalized. It took 30.000 prints in a few months, so we decided to work without paper. We also have a digital archive where you can find the report. Our process from beginning until end is completely without paper, including the correction procedure.

Marlene Rijkse: How is the correction procedure in Poland?

Kinga Bereda: Not for everyone and we have no formal procedure. We call a member to ask something about what he or she said wrong or was not clear, but they do not come. Sometimes we change things that we know for sure that were wrong, without calling.

Patti Calabro: Marianne van Gool is going to tell us about speech to text interpreters in the Netherlands, what I call captioning. Marianne posted some questions on the website. She will address some of those.

Speech to text interpreters (STI) in the Netherlands by Marianne van Gool

I am very glad that I am here and that I finally arrived. It was quite stressful to come to Shanghai. I had booked a flight from Amsterdam to Shanghai with a transfer in Frankfurt, Germany. By e-mail they let me know that my flight from Amsterdam to Germany was cancelled, but not why and without an alternative. By phone I heard that the German airline personnel was on strike. I had to find an alternative to go to Frankfurt. Fortunately my neighbor, a former truck driver, was willing to drive me to Frankfurt!

Thank you for the opportunity to explain the situation of speech to text interpreters in the Netherlands. I work as a speech to text interpreter and in that role I support deaf and hard of hearing people in every situation where communication takes place with hearing people. The job is to translate the spoken Dutch into a readable text. This should be done almost simultaneously and background noise is also mentioned. We use a special keyboard, either a Veyboard or a Velotype, that is connected to a laptop. The text is displayed on the screen of that laptop or projected by a beamer. This enables hearing impaired persons to take part in meetings and activities on an equal footing with the other participants. The STI must set up conditions so communication is as smooth as possible.

Let me start with a general introduction of the Dutch education system.

Primary education is compulsory between the ages of 5 and 12, but many children already start at the age of 4. Primary education is the same for all children.

Secondary education is compulsory between the ages of 12 and 16, but is often continued until the age of 18. Secondary education is offered in several types at several levels.

Higher education is offered at two types of institutions, namely research universities and universities of applied sciences. Universities of applied sciences often prepare you for particular professions. The training for speech to text interpreter is only provided by one organization, which is the Institute for Sign, Language & Deaf Studies at the University of Applied Sciences in Utrecht. This training consists of a two year fulltime program and results in an Associate Degree.

All Dutch education is tested and approved by the government. As for all higher education studies, every six years the training for speech to text interpreter is evaluated to see whether it meets the quality requirements, set for higher education by the government. This evaluation is done by an external “Accreditation Organization”, which formulates an advisory report and then decides to recognize the study or not.

To become an STI you will need to learn several skills.

Typing skills are an important part of the training. At the end of the training you should be able to type 500 characters per minute with an accuracy of 99%. This speed and accuracy are needed to be able to create a readable text for your clients.

Since you will be working a lot with deaf people it is important you understand their culture and their community. There is an important difference between people who were deaf since they were born and people who became deaf at a later age. For instance, the first group is often focused on sign language while the latter group is often more focused on written text. You will also learn about the different groups and organizations that form the deaf community in the Netherlands.

As an STI you must be able to have a simple conversation with a deaf person using clear articulation supported by some hand signs of the Dutch sign language. Note that you will not learn the complete Dutch sign language; which has many more signs and its own grammatical rules, sentence structure and cultural nuances. It takes four years full time to become a Dutch sign language interpreter, or two years on top of the training to STI.

You will also learn about general interpreter skills and ethics such as:

  • introducing yourself
  • different strategies of interpreting
  • how to interrupt appropriately during interpreting (e.g. when people talk simultaneously)
  • a neutral attitude during interpreting
  • personal appearance (being inconspicuously dressed)
  • treat deaf and hearing people equally.

Internship makes up an important part of the training. You start with observing certified interpreters, then you practice interpreting without a client (with another student observing you) and finally you practice interpreting with real clients. You start with simple one-to-one conversations and you end with group meetings. You practice in all environments that you will experience later: in schools, at work and in private situations.

Once you have obtained your degree as STI, you can register yourself with an organization called “Stichting RTG”. This organization registers both STI and sign language interpreters. The interpreters in this register are officially recognized as being qualified professionals.

Registration is not mandatory, but only when you are registered your bills will be paid by the government. Furthermore, persons who need an STI often use this register to find one. So if you want to work as an STI, then you should register with “Stichting RTG”.

Stichting RTG encourages the quality and professionalism of all registered interpreters. Therefore it requires 60 hours of continuing education every four years so that the interpreter extends and strengthens his skills. Education should be followed in each of the categories interpreting skills, target groups and attitude. If you do not fulfill these requirements, you will be removed of the registration list.

Anyone who is not satisfied about the conduct or functioning of an STI may lodge a complaint with the Complaint Committee of Stichting RTG. This Committee is an independent body. Obviously, you should always first try to solve your problem in a different way, for instance by talking directly to the person concerned.

STI’s that want to work for justice or police departments must first be sworn in by a judge. Sworn in STI’s should register themselves with yet another organization called Bureau BTV. This organization registers all types of interpreters and translators (so not just STI’s) that are allowed to work for justice or police departments. To further improve the quality of interpretation in the justice domain it requires 80 hours of continuing education every five years.

Finally, there is also an association of speech to text interpreters in the Netherlands. This association is called NSV and it protects the interests of the interpreters. For instance:

  • They negotiate with several public authorities about the STI rates.
  • They collect and share information about the latest developments and desires in the field.
  • They maintain the “code of ethics”, which is about professional conduct and attitude of the interpreter, such as the oath of secrecy.
  • They maintain the “profession profile”, which is about the activities to be done by the STI: prior, during and after the job.

Each STI should stick to the “code of ethics” and the “professional profile”.

I hope I gave you some insight in the STI profession in the Netherlands. I kept this presentation quite general, to make it easier to compare with the situation of your own profession in your own country. If you want more detailed information, please do not hesitate to ask.

Lorraine Sutherland: How many words does an STI per minute? How does that cope with most people’s speed-up speech?

Marianne van Gool: One syllable in Dutch language consists of three characters or more. It depends on the speed of a speaker, it varies between 700 and 900 characters per minute.

Lorraine Sutherland: You are trying to capture every single word being said?

Marianne van Gool: We try, but sometimes you have to summarize, or to skip words. We do not make a report. We do our work real-time on the spot. The making of a report is most of the time done afterwards. You cannot make a report because everything the deaf or hard of hearing people say appears on the screen. Our work is for the deaf or hard of hearing. We do not save the text. We remove the text after the meeting, except when the client asks to save the text to take it home, only for him or her. A person can have a consult in the hospital. When the information of the doctor is overwhelming and he wants to read the information when he is at home, I have to ask all the participants to agree with giving the text to this person.

Patti Calabro: In the US we have Americans with a disability act. That is why we caption and provide services, for example in school. Is this also happening in the EU?

Marianne van Gool: This is a very new profession. The sign language interpreter is well known. We do the same, but use the special keyboard. The deaf or hard of hearing are able to participate in the community.

Patti Calabro: The machine you use, you press one key at the time?

Marianne van Gool: We visualize the word and split it up in syllables. Then you press the keys of one syllable, but simultaneously. For the word “training” on a normal keyboard you have to press eight times. On the Veyboard only two times. (Marianne will give a demonstration tomorrow).

For the deaf and hard of hearing people we subtitle television programs by Veyboard or speech recognition. We can use the Veyboard also for note taking. I type very fast.

Patti Calabro: Using this system in schools, education, I did in the US. I would give a disc to the deaf students, but the hearing students wanted the same disc because all of a sudden I had the best notes for my students. An ethical problem is that you cannot do that. You are there just for the person with hearing problems. The person does not want to stand out. I will not come in my normal bling! He or she will say: she is not with me.

Marianne van Gool: I once was at a school for a client, a very young girl, dressed in Gothic style, with piercings etc., but she was told that she was not allowed to wear these clothes at her school.

Adrian Kelly: You make a summary when you are typing?

Marianne van Gool : We type as verbatim as possible. This depends on the speaker. Sometimes you have to summarize.

Adrian Kelly: For example the lessons biology are difficult to caption, because you do not have the words in your dictionary.

Marianne van Gool: The preparation is a problem. The only information is the time and place you have to be there, at school, in private or at work, and the subject. You have no idea of the terms they will use. We also mention the name of the speaker and for example the ring of a telephone.

Participant: How many institutions do you have for training in your country for speech to text interpretation? And how many students?

Marianne van Gool: One, at the University of blind sciences in Utrecht. Yearly 25 persons start the training. They do not all finish the year.

Adrian Kelly: It is very critical that somebody is qualified. I remember the person who did the sign language at the funeral of Nelson Mandela, but it meant nothing.

Marianne van Gool: We train a lot. Otherwise you will not pass your exam. It takes a lot of time.

Patti Calabro: Marianne formulated a few questions. The first one is: does the college have a system of quality assurance (internal and/or external)? What does it undertake to guarantee high quality education? What is the duration of the course/study as well as the structure and the level of the training? Is it possible – after passing the exam – to move on to another study (i.e. to a bachelor or a master program)?

It sounds like talking about different education systems in different countries. To generalize this: do your countries have education or provide services to the deaf and the hard of hearing by creating what is computer edit real time transcription?

Marianne will bring her machine tomorrow so we can see how it works and get a sense of the services that can be provided with that technology.

Marianne, thank you for your presentation and answering the questions.

Tomorrow we will talk about IPRS and going forward, the website, how to navigate and a planning session about what we do in future. I look forward seeing you tomorrow as well!

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