Abstract Text: The workplace presents many challenges for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals, partially because a wide array of strategies to accommodate the communication needs of people with typical hearing, and flexibility in their use, are essential for upward mobility (Foster & Walter, 1992). Job-related demands also make the workplace a more difficult communication situation for those who are deaf compared to those who are hard of hearing (Boutin & Wilson, 2009). Both groups, however, tend to experience less success in securing higher level jobs than their peers with typical hearing and are limited by level of college degree (Kelly, Quagliata, DeMartino, & Perotti, 2015). For both deaf and hard-of-hearing workers, communication on the job reportedly involves English about 80% of the time, whether through writing, speech, or sign language with speech (Kelly et al., 2015). Given the spoken-language communication requirements of the workplace, to what extent does current speech recognition technology, especially as available in mobile apps, enhance access by deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals? Are speech recognition apps usable tools to enhance exchanges between deaf or hard-of-hearing persons and individuals who have typical hearing, whether it be a coworker or a boss? To investigate the capabilities of newer Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) applications/software as tools to support auditory access of spoken communication, we asked 26 deaf and hard-of-hearing college students to use a variety of applications and software in everyday, job-related settings and to provide evaluative feedback on their experiences. In this workshop our evaluators' findings will be shared. Additionally, participants will learn about outcomes trials with a beta app called Ava by Transcense Labs. AVA focuses on a seamless conversational experience for deaf and hard-of-hearing persons and is described as being like Siri, but for group conversations. The app shows a real-time, color-coded transcript of a discussion for use in situations such as meetings and on-the-job conferences. References: Boutin, D. L., and Wilson, K. B. (2009). Professional jobs and hearing loss: A comparison of deaf and hard of hearing consumers. Journal of Rehabilitation. 75(1): 36–40. Kelly, R., Quagliata, A., DeMartino, R., & Perotti, V. (2015). Deaf workers: Educated and employed, but limited in career growth. In Proceedings of the 22nd International Conference on Education of the Deaf. Athens, Greece.

Date of creation, presentation, or exhibit



Originally presented at the NTID Scholarship Symposium

Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Communication Studies and Services (NTID)


RIT – Main Campus