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Old Tuesday, September 26th, 2006, 09:44 AM
obidawsn's Avatar
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Reaching the deaf community

I have searched in the forums for ideas for reaching the deaf ministry, but figured I would start a new thread to get people going again. Let me start by stating what situation our church faces.

Our church has had an interpreter for several years, now, but she got married at the end of last year and it has been a strain for her to go back and forth between where she now lives and the church (not less..her husband goes to a different church). She has been planning on leaving ever since, and that is now becoming a reality. However, we can't seem to get a certified interpreter into the church. We have several college students who know ASL, but the ASL they have learned (even those who are more experienced) is a bit different than the ASL than the deaf community at our church knows. (I could try to explain it more, if you would like..I would just have to ask about it). Plus, the deaf people in our church only want a certified interpreter for the sermons (they don't seem to mind for the songs, since they interpreter can learn those in advance and not go on the fly).

Since we are losing an interpreter, the only solution seems to be providing them with a feed of the sermon. One idea was to do a closed-captioning system, so that we can hook up a video camera (a small mini-DV is all we have) and some how get the pastor's manuscript in the closed-captioning to follow along. Another idea would be to have two monitors...one with a video feed of the stage and the other with the manuscript text scrolling on the screen. Both of those ideas are considering having the deaf community in their own room (which they seem to not mind, though I hate to have them separate from the congregation) with the monitor(s) in their room. Another idea would be to just have a video monitor feeding the transcript in the front of the church so they can all see...but I question whether or not that will be visible enough. Yet another idea that was brought up, but would be a lot of work and time consuming would be to create a video of the sermon with the text on it. The advantage of that would be that the deaf could take it to other people in the deaf community to reach them. But that would mean more volunteers willing to edit the text on the videos (which we don't have enough of). These are just a few of the ideas that have come up, but I want to see what other people think. And see if maybe there has been an inexpensive, and easier way to go about this. I know money should be no issue, but sadly it is. When you look at what God has provided and have to decide on spending several thousands of dollars for a handful of deaf people who are already saved or spending it on reaching several hundred unsaved, it becomes a tough decision, but one that seems to have to be made. I know that if God wants the deaf ministry at that church, He will provide, but we must be willing to look into the options and let God provide one of those options. I, personally, don't want to lose the deaf people, but if God calls them elsewhere, then we have to deal with it. But I'm willing to look into options to keep them there. I also know that they don't want to leave, either. They already went to another church one week, but came back the next. They don't really like it anywhere else, but they are feeling forced to leave. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
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Old Tuesday, September 26th, 2006, 10:06 AM
rbcyouthdude's Avatar
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I set up a system using Dragon naturally speaking 7. It is about 80% accurate. We are upgrading to ver 9 as we speak and this is supposed to be much more accurate. We have a 19 inch TV in the front of the sanctuary that our deaf member sets in front of. I bought a wireless TV extender so I did not have to run wires. One drawback is it is distracting to the people around; they can't seem to keep their eyes off of the TV. Another is it only works for people that have trained on the system and have a profile, so if a guest speaker comes in--no message.
We are looking into getting a mask microphone like this http://www.telesonic.com/minimask.htm so that we can have a person in the sound booth with a profile repeating what is said so that it will work no matter who is speaking. (There is a better microphone, I can't find it now.)
The guy that uses it loves the system. People come to me all the time complaining about the inaccuracy, but I tell them Pete isn’t complaining and that is who it is for. If he gets 80% now that’s better than 0% right? But we are striving to get a better system.
We a very rural and finding someone to do ASL or a court reporter, they would have to travel at least 50 miles for one service.


Michael
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Old Tuesday, September 26th, 2006, 03:18 PM
Gzsrulz
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i posted some resources on CMN a while back on this topic

but the best course of action, as my wife is a college level ASL professor, and has extensive background in signing, is use dragon's naturally speaking and as was stated 80% accuracy is about it, you will need to do some work to finish it

hardware solutions can be extremly cost prohibitive and wont do better than 80%, my wife said a steno attached to a computer is by far the best way to accomplish this, the software will encode to line 21 of the master and will be decoded by a CC decoder on subsequent copies
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Old Tuesday, September 26th, 2006, 05:39 PM
Nathan J's Avatar
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Would most likely be cost prohibitive, but sounds like a perfect application for a Sony Location Free TV.

On that note, you might consider mounting LCD monitors to seat-backs in selected locations around the church for deaf members.
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Old Tuesday, September 26th, 2006, 08:15 PM
dovprst's Avatar
Deaf but not dumb
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I'm a Deaf Church Pastor so I have some experience. I've also been one of those Deaf using an interpreter in church. The best way would be to get someone to lead the Deaf ministry, like a Pastor, but doesn't have to be a Pastor. Having their own service would be the best thing. However, that's not always possible. Having a seperate Sunday School, with a teacher that signs, and having an interpreter or one of the other captioning ideas in this thread would be the next best thing. The barrier to be overcome is more than just putting captions on a monitor. There is a cultural barrier as well. This forum doesn't have space to explain it all.

My point is, real ministry to the Deaf requires a lot more than you or your church may be prepared to commit to. To me, they are absoutely worth it, but to many they would rather spend the money reaching the many, rather than spending much on so few. I think I am trying to say that your church needs to "count the cost" and decide what it is that you want first. Captioning, which I usually encourage, is not as effective as a real Deaf ministry would be.

I don't know where you are located in KY, but if you have several Deaf attending, and they want a certified interpreter, it seems like a reasonable sized town.
M aybe there are enough in the area to support doing more. If the area is rural there will always be few, so doing captioing could be, as someone said, "better than nothing".

If there are other Deaf ministries in your area, what are they doing? I know a couple of awesome Deaf leaders in KY. that maybe could advise you, but I'm not sure where they live.
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Old Wednesday, September 27th, 2006, 12:29 AM
Gzsrulz
Spectator

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dovprst View Post
I'm a Deaf Church Pastor so I have some experience. I've also been one of those Deaf using an interpreter in church. The best way would be to get someone to lead the Deaf ministry, like a Pastor, but doesn't have to be a Pastor. Having their own service would be the best thing. However, that's not always possible. Having a seperate Sunday School, with a teacher that signs, and having an interpreter or one of the other captioning ideas in this thread would be the next best thing. The barrier to be overcome is more than just putting captions on a monitor. There is a cultural barrier as well. This forum doesn't have space to explain it all.

My point is, real ministry to the Deaf requires a lot more than you or your church may be prepared to commit to. To me, they are absoutely worth it, but to many they would rather spend the money reaching the many, rather than spending much on so few. I think I am trying to say that your church needs to "count the cost" and decide what it is that you want first. Captioning, which I usually encourage, is not as effective as a real Deaf ministry would be.

I don't know where you are located in KY, but if you have several Deaf attending, and they want a certified interpreter, it seems like a reasonable sized town.
M aybe there are enough in the area to support doing more. If the area is rural there will always be few, so doing captioing could be, as someone said, "better than nothing".

If there are other Deaf ministries in your area, what are they doing? I know a couple of awesome Deaf leaders in KY. that maybe could advise you, but I'm not sure where they live.
you are quite correct creating, and maintaning a deaf ministry is 2 different things entirely though

plus the cultural differences can as my wife says, be like moving mountains, deaf are indeed their own culture, that is now in the past several years coming to light, of their cultural preferences, that can very well be outside the scope of even a meduim sized church
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Old Wednesday, September 27th, 2006, 07:01 AM
RiveraRa's Avatar
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As far as the certified interpreter goes...could you hire someone? I would even go as far as saying that they dont have to be christians to interpret. And if they arent, then you have the oppritunity of winning someone else over as well.
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Old Wednesday, September 27th, 2006, 02:04 PM
cavitron's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbcyouthdude View Post
I set up a system using Dragon naturally speaking 7. It is about 80% accurate. We are upgrading to ver 9 as we speak and this is supposed to be much more accurate. We have a 19 inch TV in the front of the sanctuary that our deaf member sets in front of. ...

Michael
Hi, Michael:
Would you please explain a little bit more about this set up?
I know that dragon is a software to dictate, instead of typing, but how do you use it with a TV?
Is there a software that scrolls text as you are speaking, or makes something like "closed captions" on the TV screen?

I'm really interested in this, in my church there used to be a large group of deaf people , but we don't have a SL translator anymore, some volunteer, hand writes in a white board on the balcony, and it's very hard to keep in pace with the preacher.
I'm sad to say that the group is very small right now So, a setup like this, would be great.

Muchas Gracias

Saul M

P.S.
If anyone knows about DVDs or any other material for deaf people available in Spanish,
please let me know
(I live in Chihuahua, Mexico)
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Old Wednesday, September 27th, 2006, 02:27 PM
rbcyouthdude's Avatar
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Sure,
You have to have a dedicated computer. I put it in the sound room next to the audio mixer. I split the mic coming from the podium and ran it into the line-in on the computer. You start the computer and dragon, Load the profile of the person speaking open word and click in the white space. When Dragon is running you can do nothing else on the computer. I have a video card with TV out which runs to a TV extender something like this http://www.x10.com/products4/google/...eo_sender.html . It sets on the ledge of the sound booth. I placed a TV in the front (or wherever you choose) plug it in (cover the cords and make them trip proof) hook up the extender to receive. Pete sits and watches as it types, we took the font up to the level he wanted and chose a good font.

Points
• A mic right in front of your mouth will work better. (my pastor refuses, says it will make him look like he works at McDonalds and he will have to say do you want fries with that) So we use the podium mic.
• The more training you do the more accurate it is.
• Some religious words it just will never get right, VER. 9 is supposed to be better. Example Hell is pale or hail. Whale will usually always come out well. But it’s not hard to figure out if you try. But we are Redneck Texans.
• Train—train-- train

I shopped around and the whole setup cost $600, plus the TV.
Michael
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Old Wednesday, September 27th, 2006, 07:36 PM
Gzsrulz
Spectator

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cavitron View Post
that scrolls text as you are speaking, or makes something like "closed captions" on the TV screen?
Dragon Naturally Speaking is the most cost effective way to accomplish it, most "closed Capitioning" you see is a person using a stenography machine (the person typing on a funky machine with 12 keys) and it is encoded to the tv signal, this type of system is around 5,000 USD new for the steno machine, 900-1500 USD used and 2000 -3000 USD for the software, computer and encoding system, it is not very cost effective for a small church as yours

my wife has seen systems used by PBS that are computer driven, and cost upwards of 25,000 USD one system that was hands free was $150,000 (just as a comparison not to shock you) and both systems have about 70-80% accuracy shows ya technology is not always moving forward where one needs it
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Old Wednesday, September 27th, 2006, 07:42 PM
Gzsrulz
Spectator

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiveraRa View Post
As far as the certified interpreter goes...could you hire someone? I would even go as far as saying that they dont have to be christians to interpret. And if they arent, then you have the oppritunity of winning someone else over as well.
my wife charges a flat rate of 45.00 an hour for courts, secular entities, hospitals, plus mileage

20.00 an hour to verified Christian Org's, our she did it without implied cost to our home church

this can also get pricey, also remember most states require a college degree and state certification to do ASL, my wifes degree with an under in ASL was $45,000+ and currently oklahoma state certification is 150.00 for the written, and 300.00 for the practical it is cheaper for me to get my CWP and all my certs for the police department

so as it is a requirement to be licensed gets more expensive a person must recover their costs
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Old Wednesday, September 27th, 2006, 11:36 PM
cavitron's Avatar
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1 more question

rbcyouthdude, thank you very much for your soon reply.
I only have a doubt:

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbcyouthdude View Post
Sure,
...Pete sits and watches as it types, we took the font up to the level he wanted and chose a good font.
...
What software do you use for the typing Pete gets to read?

Many Thanks

Saul
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