Transcriber Duties and Code of Ethics
How do I know if a transcriber is qualified?
A primary goal of TypeWell is the provision of high quality communication access and notes for consumers. Toward this end, we have these policies about the use of TypeWell software:
Only those individuals who have graduated from an authorized TypeWell transcribing course may use the TypeWell software to provide services in classes or meetings. This is a provision of the software license agreement. Violations of this provision will result in the removal of the site's licenses, and the censure of any TypeWell transcribers who know about the violation, and do not prevent it from occurring.
When you interview a transcriber candidate, be sure to request that they have an official copy of their TypeWell training report emailed to you by TypeWell. We will be able to confirm for you whether a candidate has indeed passed the transcribing course, and with what grade.
Transcribers are not permitted to train others to use the software, nor to allow any untrained person to use the TypeWell software in any instance. Violations will result in the revocation of the software licenses. Transcribers who allow the use of the software by untrained persons will be in violation of the TypeWell Code of Ethics.
We encourage the regular monitoring of the quantity and quality of information provided by transcribers to students and other readers. This monitoring should be done both by the transcriber and the service coordinator.
We encourage you to seek subjective opinions from consumers about the service delivered. But, keep in mind that many deaf readers cannot know if information is being omitted or presented correctly in transcripts. Thus, some objective measures of the content of a service provider's work should also be used.
We typically issue one TypeWell Transcriber software license to a site (i.e. business or institution) for each qualified transcriber you have on staff or contract. When you purchase a new license or renew existing licenses, we may ask you to provide the names of all the transcribers who will be using the software. We will usually contact those providers to verify that they're providing services at your site. This is a standard practice, and does not reflect badly on the transcribers or the institution.
While these measures may seem intrusive, they reflect TypeWell's commitment to uphold high quality standards. When we ask for this information, we are verifying that only qualified transcribers are using the TypeWell software. This ensures that consumers are receiving the level of quality services they deserve and expect. It protects professional TypeWell transcribers from having their skills and training undermined. Furthermore, it protects schools and universities from the liability associated with misuse.
Another way that TypeWell ensures proper use of its transcribing software is through software license management. The software periodically prompts users to refresh the license key, to ensure that each license is only installed on one machine at a time. For more information, read about managing software licenses.
We appreciate your cooperation, time, and understanding.
Available Objective Measures
TypeWell Skill Assessment
Introduced in 2017, TypeWell's formal Skill Assessment is a service available for purchase, whereby an experienced transcriber listens to and transcribes an audio lecture (provided by TypeWell) and then submits the completed transcript for evaluation.
Every transcriber should regularly use the Self-test feature in TypeWell (control-t) to monitor his or her use of the TypeWell abbreviations and other speed editing features. Research has consistently shown that transcribers who use a high level of TypeWell abbreviations (+90%) also capture a high percentage of content for readers. And conversely, transcribers who do not use a high level of abbreviations cannot keep up enough with the speed of spoken information, and they do not capture enough content information.
Transcript Analysis Checklist and Goal/Strategy Page
During the transcribing course, students are taught to identify areas of strength and weakness by using the Transcript Analysis Checklist that includes skill in 4 areas: Message Content, Grammar, Formatting, and Technical Skills (i.e., use of the TypeWell abbreviation system). Use of this Checklist will identify skills that should be improved. A Goal/Strategy Page is also provided, to then be used to specify particular goals and the behavioral strategies that will be used to reach those goals.
(Used only as a learning tool, and used only during the first few weeks after graduation from the transcribing course.)
For the first few weeks after completing the TypeWell transcribing course, new transcribers can review and analyze their transcripts while listening to an audio recording of the class/meeting. (The new transcriber must get the instructor's permission before recording a class/meeting.) It is often very useful to have a peer or the service coordinator go over the recording and transcript with the transcriber, to discuss ideas and develop strategies for improvement. The TypeWell Transcript Analysis Checklist and Goal/Strategy Page should be used to guide the review and discussion.
The TypeWell Basic Skills Course covers many topics, most in great detail, and some in less detail. We recommend that you provide continuing education opportunities for transcribers on topics related to professionalism, confidentiality, Deaf issues, site policies, etc. Continuing education can be provided through in-house meetings, regional workshops, national conferences, etc.TypeWell's online Learning Center includes information about:
- Courses & Mentoring (including one-on-one Skill Consultations)
- Conferences & Workshops
- Videos & Tutorials
NOTE: A TypeWell transcriber who has not transcribed regularly for longer than 1 year should take the Refresher Course to restore skills before again providing transcribing services.
Your Organization's Specific Policies
In order to run a high-quality service program, each organization, company, or institution should develop its own set of specific procedures to be followed by everyone involved in the service. See Defining Your Service Policies.Many site policies related to sign language interpreting services will also apply to transcribing services. However, there are a number of issues that relate solely to transcribing services, and care must be taken to develop policies appropriate to this specific service type. Site policies should be explicitly communicated in writing to the transcriber, instructors, students, parents (in pre-college settings) and all others involved in the service delivery.