On the heels of our announcement of our historic collaboration with Google to launch a product that will change the lives for many, we’re excited to announce that Eric Kaika has joined TDI as Product Manager for TDI’s speech-to-text technology and caption corrections project.

Before joining TDI, Mr. Kaika oversaw marketing and sales for Communication Services for the Deaf’s multimedia services, operations for Aspen Camp, and training future ASL interpreters at Iowa Western Community College. His experience working for non-profits brings a diverse skill set to make the caption corrections project an exceptional service.

Upon joining TDI, Mr. Kaika exclaimed “I’m excited to start a new challenge within TDI and look forward to working with its team and community on the project. Accessibility is a longstanding core value of mine and I am fortunate to be joining a respected company that prides itself on equal access.”

Claude Stout, Executive Director of TDI, is absolutely excited as well, and said: “We are elated to have Eric on board as its Product Manager for the project. Eric will be a catalyst to attract as many deaf and hard of hearing constituents and their community/academic contacts from and outside America to test, try out, and/or then regularly use the caption corrections service. He will be a great ambassador for TDI in consultations on the project with key stakeholders in government, industry, academia, and consumer advocacy groups. With his leadership of the project, TDI will not only advocate for its constituents’ access needs and issues, but also engage directly with others in research and development to expand our universal design capacity and options.”

A recipient of Google’s $500,000 Impact Challenge/Disabilities two-year grant, TDI launched a project to create scalable access to affordable, accessible, and accurate captions for any live event by combining available speech-to-text technology with real-time caption corrections made by event-designated peers in addition to caption streaming via the internet. Pre-existing speech-to-text technology is used to generate and stream a live caption feed that can be corrected by event-designated participants. The web-based prototype is accessible using Android, iOS, and Windows-based mobile devices, as well as any computer equipped with a browser, speech recognition capabilities, and a microphone. When completed, the platform will offer the world’s first multilingual, speech-driven, cross-platform, real-time captioning/caption correction services.

With Mr. Kaika’s guiding hand on the speech-to-text technology and caption corrections project, we anticipate an exciting adventure in going even further in helping to create an accessible world! Please do join us in welcoming Eric Kaika aboard!