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Verbit Presents at Accessing Higher Ground Conference


As technology progresses, higher education institutions continue to make strides toward more inclusive, accessible experiences for students. Yet according to a 2019 report by the National Center for College Students with Disabilities, there are still many barriers to campus access.

Professionals at Verbit continue to seek out ways to partner with organizations that educate higher education institutions on accessibility and inclusivity for all students.

Most recently, Scott Ready, Verbit’s Accessibility Evangelist and Senior Customer Success Manager, led a presentation on building an efficient budget that moves universities from a reactive to a proactive approach to accessibility. He discussed this strategy at the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD)’s 22nd Accessing Higher Ground conference.   

From Accommodations to Inclusion: Verbit’s Session

Ready, who has more than 20 years of experience with global higher education and K-12, including serving as the Director of Accessibility Strategy at Blackboard for 14 years, spoke about how all students, not just those who submit requests for accommodation, can benefit from increased inclusivity. He discussed how universities can prioritize inclusivity by building efficient budgets that accommodate resources, such as captions, that benefit all students.

Captions, for example, should not just be thought of as aides for deaf and hard of hearing students. From sports scores on restaurant screens to video snippets on social media feeds, captions are proven to also help with information retention and simplify understanding for those attending universities where English is their second language.

Ready said the best approach for overall student success is to establish an educational culture that provides all students with a multimodal approach to content engagement. Progressing from accommodation to inclusion also helps universities empower students to improve their grades, which increases student retention and graduation rates, he said.  

Key Takeaways

Kieran Morse, an Account Executive at Verbit, gained some key insights from the conference. She noted that a theme throughout the event was a need to account for students with disabilities who do not disclose them:

  • Most students with disabilities don’t register with the disabilities services or accommodations departments for fear of being labeled ‘different’ by their peers.
  • Most students prefer remote CART services to having a physical person in class. Instead of being the only student being assisted in class, they open the CART session on their computer. It helps them fulfill their needs and reach optimal capacity without sharing personal medical information with classmates. 
  • More students are being proactive to seek out ways to meet their individual learning needs.


The Overall Conference Impact

The event serves both institutions of higher education and business audiences who want to understand the benefits of universal design, assistive technology, curriculum accessibility, accessible media and information resources, campus accommodations, and reaching untapped audiences through accessibility. The conference also features sessions that clarify current and upcoming legal and policy issues relating to disabilities.

Conference speakers were also tasked with providing practical solutions and introducing tools to help organizations implement their learnings from the event.

Ready was thrilled by the diversity of those who attended, including student affairs personnel, faculty personnel, diversity officers, ADA coordinators, AT/IT staff, and other professionals committed to this important goal.


Additional Topics Addressed

The conference covered a wide range of topics, and provided multiple points of view, including sessions from software providers, case studies, personal lessons from working toward increased accessibility, and proven study results.

The event and its sessions were designed to help attendees:

  • Create Inclusive Learning Environments and Cultures
  • Teach Students About Accessibility
  • Make STEM Topics Accessible for Students with Disabilities
  • Tap into Advanced Technologies to Expand Your Impact
  • Create an Efficient Budget that Helps Your Organization Thrive

As more individuals participate in events like AHEAD’s Accessing Higher Ground conference, we can continue to remove existing barriers to student success, including uninformed and unaware faculty, the stigma of disability, lack of support for self-advocacy, disclosure and more.

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The Growth of Digital Medical Transcription

More organizations and professionals in the medical field are turning to transcription for documentation. This preference to convert spoken words into text-based computer files is known as digital medical transcription. Experts are now estimating that the medical transcription market will reach more than $70 billion by 2026.

Why Digital Medical Transcription is Seeing Growth

Medical transcription is being used in a variety of ways, including documentation of history and physical reports, discharge summaries, operative notes or reports, and consultation reports. In addition to implementing this technology to create workplace efficiencies, digital transcription is being used to improve patient outcomes and provide further engagement between medical professionals and their clients.

Improved Patient Outcomes

Establishing trust with medical professionals is paramount to patients. During appointments with patients, doctors are often required to split their time and attention between listening and documenting. When doctors are able to record and transcribe dialogue that occurs during appointments, they are able to disconnect from their computers and instead connect with their patients directly. Trust is further established when patients experience more focus from their physicians. This trust can also lead to better medical outcomes.

According to a 2018 study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, “physician assurance [that symptoms would diminish] reduces patient symptoms.” A 2008 study that aligns with these results further clarifies that “Researchers found a positive association between… trust and commitment and patients’ adherence to healthy eating behaviors recommended by their physician,” reported the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Cleanliness and Safety

In operation rooms, every moment counts. Distraction is common when doctors are required to document procedures. Needing to constantly touch their computers or pens for documentation makes it more challenging to keep the operation clean. This constant need to purify can also waste precious time.

Taking digital notes with transcription enables doctors to document their work without shifting their focus. Their instructions to nurses also get documented automatically. Similarly, they can narrate their own actions out loud as they go so they can fully analyze the steps or effectiveness of procedures after the fact.

Doctor Engagement

Many doctors enlist in the complex medical field for the satisfaction of helping patients and changing their lives for the better. Empowering them with technology that shifts the focus back to their core passion can also impact patient outcomes. According to Harvard Business Review, happier employees are more creative and engaged in their work. In healthcare, this commitment can translate into more lives saved.

Ensuring Digital Medical Transcription Safety

Medical transcription involves managing intimate, sensitive and confidential information. Securing patient information is of the utmost importance. Organizations must verify their digital transcription providers are HIPAA compliant and leveraging advanced cybersecurity solutions that protect this information.

Accurate transcription is also critical for patient safety. There are many medical terms that a computer might detect as sounding similar, but which have different meanings and therefore diagnoses. It’s crucial that one’s chosen technology provider guarantees a high level of accuracy when transcribing patient files and medical history records to prevent misdiagnosis. Accurate documentation can also be critical for investigations, such as in malpractice lawsuits.

Advanced technologies, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, allow providers’ products to increase their performance the more they are used. For example, automatic sound recognition (ASR) can be used to automatically differentiate between voices, even when they sound similar, and the machine gets better at detecting these voices the more times it is used.

Human touch still matters, of course, with regard to both treatment in the medical industry and technology as a whole. This belief presents a key reason why companies like Verbit invest in human intelligence as well, providing professionals to review transcriptions and make corrections when needed. This human factor also helps to further train the software and improve accuracy.

When implemented by the right provider, this mixture of artificial and human intelligence can empower the medical community to both work more efficiently and create unparalleled opportunities for engagement between doctors and their patients.

Digital transcription is positively reinventing the medical industry as we know it, and this is just the start.

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