Retiring Grad Studies Mentor Meredith Brown Establishes Fund to Provide Captioning Services at Public Events

By Ruth Maynard, secretary to the dean, School for Graduate Studies

August 26, 2013

Meredith Brown, a mentor in social policy at the School for Graduate Studies, who is retiring Aug. 28, and will be continuing on a part-time basis, has established an Empire State College Foundation account targeted to support computer-assisted real-time transcription (CART) services at Empire State College public events. “CART” refers to methods that allow for simultaneous (real-time) captioning services for public speakers. The captioning usually appears via a jumbotron at an event, but some methods may allow for either handheld devices or provision of transcriptions after the event. CART services assist the deaf and hard of hearing, and are also helpful for people who have various other disorders. Additionally, transcripts may be useful for later reference. With advances in voice recognition software, the technology may become cheaper and more widespread in the near future.

The college currently provides either transcription or CART services in response to requests for accommodation, as required under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). However, such services are not regularly provided at general public events. The CART fund Brown is establishing is to provide services for public events, such as honorary speakers or degree recipients, presidential inaugurations or graduations. 

"The goal is to improve access for all members of public audiences," she says.

To contribute, designate donations "CART Fund" and direct them to fund administrator in the Empire State College Foundation office.

Brown joined the college in 1983 as a mentor at the Niagara Frontier Center. She joined the then Graduate Program as mentor in the Social Policy Program and has served three times as interim dean.

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