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Typewell - Support Center

Transcribing vs. Captioning

Last Updated: Mar 10, 2015 09:30AM MST

Many people use the term captioning to refer to the very thing a TypeWell transcriber does: type out what people say, so all people can have equal communication access. Why do we use the terms transcription, transcriber, and transcribing instead of captions, captionist, and captioning? There are two main reasons:

  1. The text of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act uses the term "computer-aided transcription services" to refer to equal communication access services, and
  2. The term "captioning" has long been used to refer to the text translation at the bottom of TV broadcasts, movies and videos. There is widespread popular understanding of the word "captioning" to mean this "text below a picture". In fact, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act uses the term "captioning" in exactly this way, and not to refer to in-class communication access and notes.

‚ÄčThus, transcribing is the more accurate term to refer to the communication access and notes mentioned in the federal laws, AND using the term transcribing avoids confusion of these two access services with the other, very important access service of "on-screen" text: captioning.

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