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Hangout Captions
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Hangout Captions is an app from Google Accessibility. It brings live transcription services directly into a Google+ Hangout, improving accessibility for participants that are deaf or hard of hearing.
Hangout Captions is an app from Google Accessibility. It brings live transcription services directly into a Google+ Hangout, improving accessibility for participants that are deaf or hard of hearing.

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+Drew Olanoff writes about using Hangout Captions last week to meet some of the folks at the #NAD12  conference. Thanks Drew!

Some notes and updates about Hangout Captions
We replied to some questions in various posts. Here's a recap, in case you missed any.
Q. Will this work with other languages?
A. Yes! Or, we think so. To be honest, most of our testing has been in English, but we expect it to work equally well with transcription in other languages. If you find otherwise, please let us know.

Q. Can we download the transcript after the Hangout?
A. +Naomi Black is embarrassed that she forgot to plan for this. We'll look into adding a download button.

Q. Can we switch transcriptionists?
A. Yes, but the current transcriptionist must first end their transcription, so that another person can start. If a transcriptionist exits the Hangout without ending the transcription, no one else can transcribe. (This is a bug we'll be fixing.)

Q. Won't this put CART transcribers out of a job?
A. We love CART transcriptionists and think that approximately 2-3 minutes of trying to transcribe an event without professional help is a very convincing argument for the value of their services. 

Q. Is this a US-only app?
A. You can use it anywhere that Hangouts exist, and you have access to a CART transcriptionist who uses StreamText (or a typist who is willing to use the Basic Keyboard option). +Anson Goldade recommends Bee Communications as one option in the UK. If you know of others to recommend, please let us know!

Q. Who pays for the CART transcription, if we use the StreamText option?
A. Someone in the Hangout would need to arrange payment with a CART transcriptionist beforehand. (Live captioners are highly skilled professionals.) Generally, you have to contact a transcriber directly to find out rates

Q. Will you add more services beyond StreamText?
A. We'd love to explore doing so -- especially ones that deaf people can easily get reimbursed for. We're looking for technical contacts from other entities who provide live online caption streams that might be compatible with this service. 

Q. I still don't see the Hangout Captions app button in my Hangouts. What am I doing wrong?
A. You can start a Hangout with the app running by clicking this link: https://plus.google.com/hangouts/_/?gid=8064685913. Ask people in the Hangout to look under "Apps" (at the bottom, next to the small video images) for the icon if it doesn't open for them automatically.

Q. I'm a CART transcriptionist, and I select StreamText, but I don't get redirected to the StreamText site to connect.
A. This sometimes happens when you have pop-up blockers in your web browser. Check your browser settings and modify them to allow pop-ups from Google plus.

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Live transcription integration for your Hangouts
This is +Naomi Black from the Google Accessibility team. I've been working with ace Hangout developers +Robert Pitt, +Mohammad Eshbeata, and +Brian Aldridge on a new app to make communication between deaf and hearing participants easier in your Google+ Hangouts. 

By adding the +Hangout Captions app, you can either connect live text from a professional transcriptionist to your Hangout, or type right into a text box yourself to transcribe a Hangout for your friends. Right now, we only support professional transcription through StreamText and our "do it yourself" Basic Transcription. This is an early look at the app so you can tell us what you think.

To find out more about the new +Hangout Captions app (and more importantly, try it out) check out the website: https://hangout-captions.appspot.com/

Or, try it right away by starting a Hangout with the app running by clicking this link: https://plus.google.com/hangouts/_/?gid=8064685913

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