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ODHH Independent Living Resources

Communication Access

  • For more information about interpreting, including sign language and oral transliteration, please visit the Communication Access page.

Assistive Technology

  • For more information about assistive technology, including FM systems and assistive listening devices, please visit the Assistive Technology page.


Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is word-for-word instant speech-to-text translation provided on scene in just about any venue.  A stenographer listens to what is being said and then types it on the stenograph machine, which is hooked to computer and a screen where the words appear for anyone to read. The stenographer can be on-site or remote.

For more information about wireless, streamlined CART technology, please see: Resource Guide: Wireless, Streamlined Real-Time Captioning.


Primarily used in educational settings, C-Print® was developed at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) to convert spoken messages into text.  A C-Print® typist, specially trained in text-condensing strategies types on a laptop computer using an abbreviation system.  The text is displayed on one or more student computer (laptop) monitors.  The transcriber does not provide a verbatim transcript but does provide a “meaning-for-meaning” rendition of the spoken English content.


TypeWell used most often in schools, is a communication method to provide a “meaning-for-meaning” form of spoken English into English printed text on a laptop computer.  Students read the “real time” text on a second laptop.   The student’s laptop can also be used for note taking and turn taking.  Transcribers are specially trained on licensed software provided by TypeWell.


Captions are text versions of spoken words and auditory sounds onto visual media. Captions can also provide descriptions of background sounds, such as “music playing” or “phone ringing.” There are two kinds of captioning, open and closed.  Open captions always appear on the screen. Closed captions are carried in the television signal, hidden from the user, until activated.

For more information about public televisions and closed captioning in Maryland, please visit Resource Guide: Closed Captioning.

Service Dogs

Service dogs for the Deaf and hard of hearing are often known as Hearing Dogs, who are trained to alert their owners to sounds that are necessary for everyday safety and independence. Examples of sounds can be a door knock, a smoke detector alarm, an alarm clock ringing, and so on. Hearing Dogs are often identified by wearing a “Hearing Dog” vest. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Deaf and hard of hearing individuals are entitled to service dogs and are permitted to bring their service dog into public places.

Maryland Governor’s Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Resources


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Policies & Resource Guides

Resource Guide: Closed Captioning in Maryland
Resource Guide: Wireless, Streamlined Real-Time Captioning

Community Resources

Out of State

Service Dogs