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Qualify & Apply for the Basic Skills Course

Are you our type?

Transcribing is a job that only someone with a highly specific set of skills can successfully perform. Some of the skills we can, and do, teach. But, to be accepted for the course, a candidate must have these skills and aptitudes:

  • good listening and memory skills
  • excellent English skills
  • typing speed of at least 60 words per minute, with no errors
  • basic computer knowledge

We also strongly suggest that candidates have no history of pain in the arms or wrist that might suggest a tendency toward repetitive motion disorders. This is not a requirement but is a strong recommendation for each candidate's well-being, due to the level and duration of intense typing required during and after the course.

If you decide to proceed, be aware that each candidate must complete an online application. The application process includes detailed information about the job of a transcriber, what equipment is necessary, and offers an overview of the course syllabus and training schedule.

Finally, we have found that those who currently provide traditional notetaking services (by hand or on a computer) or who currently practice stenography or other methods of verbatim transcription are generally not good candidates for TypeWell, due to the mental processing habits involved in each different modality.

On-site experience is strongly recommended

Upon earning their initial service qualification, TypeWell transcribers are strongly encouraged to gain on-site experience providing real-time communication access for one or more clients, before providing services remotely.

"On-site" means that the transcriber is physically present in the same classroom or meeting location as the client. Unlike a remote transcriber, the on-site transcriber has visual access to the information on the board or classroom handouts. They can also hear everyone in the room clearly and troubleshoot any technology concerns.

Working on-site allows new transcribers to fully develop their skills as professional communication access providers. Working strictly in a remote setting is less ideal, because so much of the visual information and auditory conversation is inaccessible.

Identify a Course Sponsor (if applicable)

If you are enrolling in the Basic Skills Course as a first-time transcriber, you will most likely need an official sponsor: a current or future employer who will be hiring you to provide speech-to-text services. Candidates are typically sponsored by schools, universities, or companies (also known as "agencies") that need a TypeWell transcriber to provide services for a client, student, or employee with hearing difficulties.

Upon successful completion of the course, your sponsor must provide an opportunity for you to use your new skills to provide real-time services for one or more clients. Without gaining experience immediately following the training, your skills will slip and you will risk losing your TypeWell service qualification.

Here are some instances where you may not need a course sponsor:

  • If you are a former transcriber applying for the Refresher Course.
  • If you have prior experience as a captionist, transcriber, notetaker, medical transcriptionist, ASL interpreter, foreign language interpreter, or another type of communication access provider.

Contact us if you have questions or need help identifying a sponsor!

About the application

Candidates for both the Basic Skills Course and the Refresher Course must complete our FREE online application that includes information about being a transcriber, describes what equipment is required, and explains the course syllabus and training schedule.

This application takes 30-40 minutes to complete and does not guarantee acceptance in the course. If you don't have a sponsor yet, you can still complete the application to see if you would qualify for the course.

Once your application is accepted, your designated sponsor or another payer—such as an advisor or service coordinator—may process the registration fee payment by credit card.

TypeWell emails both you and your sponsor automated information throughout the course about performance, test scores, and successful completion. In addition, your TypeWell teacher(s) will email both you and your sponsor with individualized feedback and specific strategies for improvement.

Once you are enrolled, we will email registration instructions, which include:

  • choosing your start date,
  • designating where to mail the course materials, and
  • completing a signed waiver and information sheet.

Training timeline & materials

The waiting period for the course start date may be as short as a week or as long as three months. You will see a list of available course start dates during the application process.

Course materials will arrive by postal mail a day or two before your scheduled start date. They include a workbook and instructions for downloading, installing and activating the course software.

Although software installation is easy, you may need technical support. Arrange that well ahead of time so everything is functioning when the course begins.

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