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C-Print is a computer-aided speech-to-text system developed at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, a college of Rochester Institute of Technology, as an access service option primarily for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing and in mainstream educational settings.

C-Print also can be used in meetings and workshops, and with individuals who have other disabilities.

C-Print online training topics:

  • Abbreviation System
  • Automatic Speech Recognition
  • The Captionist's Role
  • Condensing Strategies
  • Formatting Text and Preparing Notes



A trained operator, called a C-Print captionist, produces text through abbreviated keyboard typing or voice. In general, C-Print can provide a meaning-for-meaning translation of the spoken English content.


Here's what you'll need:

  • Access to a computer (Windows operating system) with C-Print Pro software installed.
  • Access to the Internet (Internet Explorer 5.0 or greater).
  • Access to an e-mail account to forward completed practice assignments.
  • Time to complete the online training modules and off-line practice assignments. There are six sections of training modules to complete. Online training is self paced, and the time commitment required for successful completion is dependent on the individual.

Use the order form to register for online training, to obtain C-Print Pro® software, and arrange for payment.

For more information, contact:

C-Print Development & Training Office
Rochester Institute of Technology
National Technical Institute for the Deaf
Division of College Advancement
52 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY 14623-5604

Phone: 585-475-7557 (voice/TTY)
Fax: 585-475-5949


Rochester Institute of Technology
National Technical Institute for the Deaf
Division of College Advancement
C-Print Development & Training Office
52 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, New York 14623-5604

585-475-7557 Voice or TTY
585-475-5949 Fax

C-Print® Captionist Online Training

The online training is a distance education program that affords the core preparation for a C-Print captionist to provide speech-to-text services, primarily in a classroom setting. The training incorporates a variety of topics that are essential for promoting success, not only in the captionist, but also in the client-receiving services. The skill-building portion of the program includes training in a newly-modified C-Print abbreviation system, condensing strategies, preparing real-time text and notes, and in using voice to input text.

Cost: $250 academic price; $400 list price

Prerequisite: Purchase of, or access to the C-Print Pro Server software. If software is needed, it may be purchased in combination with an order for online training. If you have an existing software license, a username and registration number is required on the order form for online training.

System Requirements: Internet connection (28.8 Kbps modem+, or DSL or cable connectivity)

Registration: Place an order for online training (and software) using the Product Order Form. Upon receipt of full payment, username and password for access to training will be provided.

Participant Skill Recommendations:

  1. Typing speed of at least 60 words per minute
  2. Awareness of phonetics
  3. Excellent listening and English skills
  4. Ability to process (understand and restate) spoken information
  5. Experience with computers and word processing applications

(If you are interested in obtaining an assessment to help evaluate a candidate's skills, please contact us.)

Completion Requirements:

  1. Successfully complete all training modules. Participants must achieve a passing grade of 80% or above on module quizzes before access is granted to subsequent modules.
  2. Submit all requisite offline practice materials.

Expiration: Access to the online training will expire one year from registration date.

C-Print Pro Software

The C-Print Pro software is used by C-Print captionists to assist in providing access to spoken information in real time. Available features of the software include use of the C-Print abbreviation system or automatic speech recognition to input text, choice of individual screen preferences, networking capabilities (TCP/IP), two-way communication, and note taking tools.

There are two applications available, the Server and the Client.

  • Server: used by captionists to provide speech-to-text services. See below for information on the different editions.
  • Client: used by students or persons accessing text via a second computer. User will have access to note taking tools.

The difference between the two editions is specific to the server application.

Standard Edition

Allows keyboard input, including the C-Print Abbreviation System.

Enhanced Edition

Allows both keyboard (with abbreviations) and voice input.

The software is available in single, multiple, and site licenses.

Regarding C-Print Pro with Voice:

  • Users of Standard Edition are eligible to purchase the voice upgrade (see Product Order Form).
  • Dictation masks are available for purchase from Martel Electronics (product name - mini mask with 1/8 plug).


Important: To purchase the C-Print Pro software you must have a trained captionist who will be using the software to provide services, or you must be registered for the online captionist training.

Software Software Microsoft® Windows 2000 or higher Software Microsoft® Windows 2000 or higher Software Microsoft® Windows 2000 or higher
Hardware Intel® Pentium® II 400 MHz processor or faster Intel Pentium III 800 MHz processor or faster
AND 256K L2 cache or equivalent
Intel Pentium II 350 MHz processor or faster
128 MB RAM 256 MB RAM 128 MB RAM
200 MB available hard disk space 700 MB available hard disk space 75 MB available hard disk space
N/A Sound Blaster Pro or equivalent N/A
CD-ROM drive CD-ROM drive CD-ROM drive

*SE indicates Standard Edition; EE indicates Enhanced Edition.

Advantages of Using C-Print as an Accommodation

Option for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students

The C-Print system involves a hearing captionist (transcriber) typing the words of the teacher and other students as they are being spoken. The system provides a real-time text display that the deaf and hard of hearing student can read on a second laptop computer, or monitor to understand what is happening in the classroom. In addition, the text file is stored on the computer and can be edited, printed, and distributed to students, tutors and instructors after class. C-Print provides a transcript that includes as much of the teacher's and student's discourse as possible, rather than a word-for-word transcription.

The C-Print system may be contrasted to other forms of computer-assisted note taking, and to steno systems. C-Print is a form of speech-to-text system that employs a standard keyboard. With a steno system, a trained stenographer using a stenotype machine keys in a special code, which is then converted into English by computer. Training for stenographers generally requires at least two years, and the equipment is relatively expensive and complicated. The National Technical Institution for the Deaf (NTID) began exploring alternatives to a stenographic system several years ago, and the C-Print system is viewed as a good compromise between word-for-word transcription system and computerized note taking.

The cost of using C-Print will vary, depending upon (a) what equipment's used (b) the pay level and hours the captionist works (c) the work demands for the captionist, (d) the service arrangements, and (e) funding opportunities.

As is true of any support service, C-Print is not a solution for all deaf students. There is no one profile that perfectly defines the student for whom C-Print will be appropriate. Outlined here are general guidelines (criteria) to help make the decision as to whether a student is potentially a good candidate for the service.

  • Student's whose reading level allows for reading the text of the lesson. (At least a fourth grade reading level is a general rule of thumb.)
  • Students who typically speak for themselves, not relying on an interpreter to voice for them, or have good keyboarding skills. (Students who have good typing skills could actually use the captionist to voice for them by typing their response or comment on the laptop.)
  • Students who know little or no sign language.
  • Students who have the maturity to work with laptop computers and are able to make use of the notes. For students who are deaf or hard of hearing and who also have a visual impairment, the font size may be enlarged
  • Some students may choose C-Print for some classes, such as those that are primarily lecture, and an interpreter for other classes that are primarily discussion.

C-Print seems more useful for situations where communication is primarily flowing from the teacher to the students; it is often useful in other classroom situations such as classroom lectures and classroom discussions - the captionist will indicate whether a student or the teacher is talking. C-Print may be more beneficial in some classes than others; for example, it may not be as useful in a math class. However, this does not mean that C-Print cannot be used in a math class, but it may be more challenging for the captionist.

Although the focus of work to date has been with deaf and hard of hearing students, students with other needs may also benefit from C-Print services. This may require modification of font size and/or notes which are organized to meet the needs of the individual student. Teachers and administrators have suggested the possible benefit to students with learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, dysgraphia and visual impairments.

Should We Use the C-Print System?

The first step in helping a school district or college decide if they should use C-Print is to introduce the C-Print system to key administrators. The ultimate success of the C-Print service depends greatly on the support given by the administrators who choose to have it at their institution. It is important that this group of people see clearly the benefits, as well as the shortcomings of this service.

Recruiting Captionists:

Experience has shown that it is good to recruit captionists locally. For example, place advertisements for the position in local papers. The following is a sample captionist advertisement:

Typist/Captionist: part-time opportunity, 18-25 hours per week, 10 months per year.
Typing speed of 60+ wpm. Excellent English and listening skills required.
Computer knowledge helpful.

Staff members already employed by the institution such as paraprofessionals, interpreters, or office workers may also be selected as C-Print captionists. A package consisting of three short tests has been developed to help assess applicants, and it is recommended that the test package be used to help select any potential C-Print captionists. The tests consists of a standard typing test, an English comprehension test, and a short phonetic test. The phonetic test is really a short test to determine if the applicant can "hear" how words are spoken regardless of how they are spelled. Many applicants who do poorly on this test have a difficult time with the abbreviation rules.

C-Print captionists are often "on display" -- that is, what they type is seen immediately by the student or students, mistakes and all. A successful captionist must have enough self-confidence to accept that he or she will make mistakes, will sometimes be criticized by the students, and will sometimes be placed in awkward situations. A confident personality is probably as much of a requirement as typing skills. It is also important for captionists to be able to work without supervision, and demonstrate acceptable/expected professional behavior within a school setting (e.g. friendly - but not too friendly - with students, dealing with others on an educational team, etc.)

Real - Time Captioning

Real-Time Captioning (RTC) is a method for deaf and hard of hearing students to have access to information in the classroom as it is happening. This access enables students to enjoy participation in classroom discussions, debates, and lectures despite their hearing loss. There are two main forms of RTC:

Steno Captioning - A trained stenographic court reporter types verbatim what is said in the classroom. Their steno machine is connected to a laptop computer that contains specialized software that converts the steno information into written English. The student views the laptop computer in order to have real-time access to the information in the classroom as it is occurring. The student then may receive either a printed or electronic copy of the class transcript for their review.

C-Print Captioning - A trained C-Print captionist types directly onto a laptop computer everything that is being said in the classroom. C-Print utilizes specialized software developed by the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, that enables the captionist to condense some information into clear and concise sentences. The captionist uses abbreviations and brief forms that the software recognizes and the student reads from the laptop computer in order to have real-time access to the information in the classroom as it is occurring. The student then may receive either a printed or electronic copy of the class transcript for their review.

C-Print Arrives in Louisiana

by Jennie Bourgeois, Louisiana SOTA C Coordinator

C-Print, the innovative new technology from the National Technical Institute for the Deaf in Rochester, New York, has made its way to Louisiana. This technology now enables postsecondary institutions to provide real-time captioning services to their deaf and hard-of-hearing student population at a reasonable cost. With C-Print, students are able to have real-time access to information being presented in order than they may effectively participate in class discussions.

The first C-Print training class in Louisiana was held this past summer. Four individuals were trained and are now working as captionists. The second C-Print training for Louisiana will be held in December. We are expecting eight individuals to complete this training and be ready to provide captioning services in January. The Louisiana State Outreach and Technical Assistance Center is contracting the limited C-Print services to other postsecondary schools in Louisiana as it becomes available.

To further assist in the spread of C-Print, Louisiana State University and the Louisiana Department of Education, both have recently been named as training sites with the National Network Training Grant through the National Technical Institute for the Deaf As sites under this grant, funding will be provided to establish C-Print trainings both at the secondary and postsecondary level for Louisiana.

If you would like more information concerning either C-Print in Louisiana, the National Network Training Grant, or C-Print trainings please contact:

Jennie Bourgeois Pam Francis
Louisiana State Outreach Coordinator C-Print Trainer
Louisiana State University National Technical Institute for the Deaf
I 10 Johnston Hall 52 Lomb Memorial Drive
Baton Rouge, Louisiana Rochester, New York 14623

225/388-4913 (v) / 225/388-2600 (t) 716/475-6019 (v/t)
225/334-2652 (fax) 716/475-5693 (fax)

C-Print Captionists' Code of Ethics

  1. The captionist will accurately represent the content of the material presented in the classroom or other captioning situations to the best of his or her ability. 
  2. The captionist will provide services only in settings for which he or she has adequate training and skill.
  3. The captionist will keep all assignment related information confidential.
  4. The captionist will attempt to facilitate communications between deaf people and hearing people. When necessary, the form of the language may be modified, but the content of the message must be maintained.
  5. The captionist will behave in a professional manner, and abide by the policies and procedures of the agency being served.
  6. The captionist will strive to further knowledge and skills through participation in workshops or other continuing education situations.

Job Description: Part-Time Staff C-Print Captionist


The part-time staff C-Print captionist's primary responsibility is the provision of direct real-time transcription in the classroom and the rapid provision of the notes to students. The captionist reports to the individual that coordinates C-Print services.

Specific Responsibilities

A. Provide direct service

  1. Provide real-time transcription in classroom.
  2. Use consumer feedback, assess effectiveness of interpretation and adjust interpretation accordingly.
  3. Assist with culture-specific information and adapt communication to facilitate understanding between hearing and deaf individuals.

B. Communicate with others in support of team goals and the provision of services.

  1. Develop rapport with consumers and facilitate resolution of support service concerns.
  2. Provide information to faculty, staff and students regarding the real-time speech-to-print service, communication between deaf and hearing people, and support services resources.
  3. Represent daily the mission of (your institution) to members of the community through work in the mainstream setting.
  4. Attend staff meetings, document service provided weekly, and network with their staff members to maintain the flow of information critical to quality of service.

C. Demonstrate professional growth. Areas of growth can include: upgrading or maintenance of transcription skills

  • development of sign language skills
  • Enhancement of interpersonal communication skills

D. Participate in projects, including committee work and mentoring, as deemed appropriate by coordinator.


  • typing speed of 60 words per minute or higher
  • knowledge/abilities in phonetics
  • excellent English and listening skills
  • ability to understand and summarize information while typing
  • computer and word processing knowledge
  • sign language communication skills preferred or willingness to learn

C-Print Support Services Policy


General Information

  • For courses where C-Print is the only assigned support service, interpreting and notetaking services will not be provided.
  • C-Print notes are intended to be used by supported student(s) registered in the course and should not be copied unless otherwise specified.
  • C-Print notes are not a substitute for attending class.
  • C-Print notes are not guaranteed to have 100% correct grammar or spelling.

Captionist Responsibilities

The C-Print captionist(s) will:

  • provide an in-class text display for appropriate support service students. In addition, notes (generated from the text display) will be made available to supported students who attend class.
  • make every effort to type spoken information word-for-word, and will communicate the information in the manner in which it is intended. At times (during fast speech), the captionist will need to summarize information, but she will type as much of the important information as possible.
  • assist by voicing comments or questions typed by students on the laptop provided, or in a way mutually agreed upon.
  • begin typing upon the arrival of the student(s). Any announcements made by the teacher before the student(s) arrive will be typed. After 10 minutes, if none of the the supported student(s) are in attendance, the captionist will leave.
  • indicate different speakers in the text by using "professor", "female student" and "male student".
  • be responsible for facilitating communication between the supported student(s) and others. (i.e. the professor and other students). This includes asking for clarification from the professor or other students when necessary and sitting in an area accessible and convenient to the student(s).
  • be responsible for trying to resolve any problems stemming from student or professor concerns about C-Print.
  • arrive at least 10 minutes before class to allow time for equipment setup.
  • be familiar with the scheduled lecture by preparing for class through reviewing the textbook and related materials.
  • find a replacement if s/he is sick. If a replacement cannot be found, the captionist will notify the appropriate Support Department who will notify the supported student(s)
  • provide on-the-spot trouble shooting for equipment breakdown with minimum disruption to the class. If no solution is found, the captionist will make every effort to accommodate the supported education student(s) to the best of her/his ability (e.g., take handwritten notes). Technical breakdowns are unforeseen and most often require a diagnosis outside the classroom environment.

Student Responsibilities

The student(s) will:

  • introduce themselves to the captionist so s/he is familiar with each student
  • be responsible for taking notes and diagrams from the blackboard or overheads.
  • be responsible for notifying the office if s/he will not be attending class or has dropped (withdrawn) from the course. Three consecutive absences will result in the termination of C-Print services. *raise his/her hand when interested in communicating comments or questions through typing on the laptop provided.

The material contained in this handout is used with permission Ms. Pamela G. Giles-Francis viith NTH) 10/2/98

Sample Of C-Print Transcripts For Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students

C-Print is a trademark of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID)

September 10, 1998

Let me talk a little about the reading responses. 25 people in class, 4 each, that's 100. I don't want to do all those in the last 3 weeks of class. Let me talk quickly how I see them function in the class. This is your area to comment on the readings we are doing in class. Cicero talks about the need of the order. With Ken Starr's report, this is a prime example of Cicero's example that's being debated. You can write about that. Or what you talk about in class. If you want to compare and contrast Cicero and Aristotle, that is fine. Or if you don't understand what Aristotle is saying, go for it. That's how criticism is built. Use this as a place for your own reactions. If we are reading Cicero for Tuesdays, then Thurs someone should bring something in.

Student: Too late for Aristotle?

Professor: Only if you are comparing him to someone we are reading. There is no limit on which day/ but just give me a copy ahead of time, so if I don't know about some of the issues I have time to research it so I'm not caught unaware, but the rest of you are stuck at ground zero <ha>

This isn't a bad thing. No reason to be afraid of this, Time to explore your thinking about the texts.

Student: I'm concerned about the presentation. I went to the library and there was very little material. I e-mailed Univ of AZ and haven't heard from them. I have only a tiny remembrance of a comment that was made and not sure how to do it. -

Professor: How was literacy developed in the culture that you are doing a project on. If you are looking at Chinese rhetoric, then look at Confucius. What about songs, folktale, epic poems. To have a culture, you had to have someone who was speaking politically. It will call for all your best research instincts. Try Winifred Bryant Horner...she is a key rhetorician. Look for bibliographic essays. Let me look at my own stuff. The sources you are looking for might not be in our field. I know there is a big display on the Indians and it's different texts. type in Persian Empire and see what happens.

Student: Also try different search engines also, one may bring up something others don't.

Professor: I want copies of all yours so I can pass it out to everyone. Should we do it with syllogisms too?

Bert: Give better definitions.

Professor: Let's diagram the notion of rhetoric. 3ust for Aristotle. Plato doesn't touch syllogism.

Syllogism, enthymeme, maxim, probabilities, signs, topoi, lines of argument. What else does he throw out?

Example, induction, deduction What is Aristotelian logic? I think that's what we are trying to get at.

Student: Diagram those topics?

Professor: There's been 2500 years of criticism and I don't think we will get it in 75 minutes. There is no right and wrong. There really isn't . SMILE!! Those of you With knowledge, spread yourself out. If you aren't one of those people fine one. 15 or 20 minutes?

Student: You mean now?

Student: You said we couldn't do that in 75 minutes, but now only 20? <SMILE>

(Break into groups)

Professor: Where do we start? What's a syllogism? How many kinds are there?

Student: Cause and effect statement?

Student: Could it be .... Satan??

Bert: Based on Fact.

Student: Series of statements that lead to a conclusion, A maxim will be a conclusion of the syllogism. You can use maxims to build syllogisms.

Professor: Turn to page 1112. This is a guy called Stephen ?? He worked with a woman. What's her name, she is never mentioned. See that picture? ---------- > S

I Warrent

D= Data
S = Statement

Warrent is the Major premise, what people agree to. Data is minor premise and leads to (S) conclusion.

In Geometry you have a picture and statement. Your job is to prove that statement. Using geometric rules, such as Pythagorean theorem. Stating with the 1st rule to the last the statement will be proven. That is what a syllogism is. You walk through the steps, and come to the conclusion that whatever is said is true.

Warrent + Data = Conclusion or Statement.

Student: Data are minor premises?

Professor: Yes. Minor premises is like everyday information. "All men is mortal" is grandiose "Socrates is a man" everyday thing. 'Therefore Socrates is mortal". There are 2 syllogism. Perfect and imperfect. Perfect is reserved for science where we know all the warrent and data is true. But in rhetoric, which is more slippery, it's not as true. That's the imperfect. Is it starting to make sense? Good because it just started to jell for me today about 3 o'clock.

Maxim's aren't built on Syllogisms, syllogisms are built on Maxims.

Maxims are parts of syllogism.

"We hold these truths to be self evident, life, liberty..." that is the essence of a maxim. A self evident truth.

Student: To me that is a minor premise. So is it a statement or maxim? And where does it fall between warrent and statement and data.

Professor: Maxim is a statement without the warrent and data. We don't need those to know it's true. To say Aristotle is a member of the rhetorical cannon. Because I don't have to give evidence. We accept and agree with that.

Student: The one thing I got is that it is a general fact.

Professor: Right. ICs a general fact for us. It is , we don't have to question it. No one will come to me and say why are you not including Aristotle.

Student: Like an unwritten law. Like you have to run through crosswalks on campus.

Bert: When the President says, "My fellow American's.." Not everyone can say that.

Professor: I don't know if MFA is a maxim, as much as it is an ethos and pathos move. That does come into play with maxims.

Enthamemes lead to syllogisms, syllogisms lead to conclusions. Page 152 toward the top.


Student: Common sense? If it's something the audience knows you do not have to say it.

Major Premise - Syllogism (Statements of fact that lead to a general conclusion)

Minor Premise - Enthymeme

Conclusion - Maxim

Compare to this class. We are trained thinkers and we need to use syllogisms. But with your parents they might be non-thinkers and you can use Enthymemes.

Student: Maybe we are thinkers in training. SMILE

Student: So the next time we need to persuade them we need to say, "it's only an enthememe that we want to do what we want to do".

Signs one is specific to general and the other general to specific.

Inductive is Specific to General.

Deductive is General to Specific.

Aristotle taught this in the afternoon in school and it was the equivalent of basket weaving. The important things were in the morning and the lighter things in the afternoon. I notice we meet in the afternoon. Do we have like a conception of Aristotle on what we read.

Student: Will we be tested on this?

Professor: Hmmm.. not I won't do that.

Student: Did he make up the word Enthymeme or were other people use this.

Professor: The classists would research this and speech communication. We may be misappropriating words. The word Kairos. Are we using it right, where is time from. The same thing for the word Enthymeme.

It's a good question did he compile everything that was common knowledge, or did he advance these Norwegian theories. It is one of the most advanced treatments of Rhetoric. I was hoping we could get out early today.... Cicero and the Roman matrons for Tuesday.

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