The success of a site's TypeWell support service program depends not only on the transcribers, but also on the knowledge, commitment and skill of the person coordinating the service at the site. This coordination includes:
- matching service types to the needs of the students or other readers
- scheduling transcribers wisely
- communicating with instructors
- being an advocate and mentor for transcribers
- seeing to the smooth operation of the TypeWell service program
Who makes a good coordinator for a TypeWell support service program?
It's best to pick someone who knows the students/readers, details about the content of classes/meetings and the presenting style of instructors/presenters. The coordinator should have the authority to deal directly with students, faculty, parents (of young consumers), and others who will be involved in the service. Comfort with technology, or an available personable tech support person, are also desirable.
Interpreter supervisors, support service coordinators, special education teachers, and resource room teachers generally make excellent TypeWell service coordinators.
In settings where a transcriber is an independent contractor, and there is no service coordinator at the site, the transcriber might be called on to do many or all of the tasks of a site service coordinator, such as communicating with faculty and students about the service. Many independent contractors include in their contracts their own guidelines related to the items listed below, such as how and when teaming will be done, who is to communicate with faculty about service details, etc.
Here are some things the local service coordinator needs to do:
- Provide support to new and experienced transcribers, through regular contact and clear communication of policies and expectations, as well as practical guidance and performance reviews, to promote job satisfaction.
- Support good scheduling habits. When classes are fast or long, teaming may be the best alternative. (See Scheduling Transcribers)
- Arrange for the purchase and on-going maintenance of good equipment for the transcriber to use, such as good quality, lightweight computers, linking equipment, steno table, computer roller bag, etc. (See Transcriber laptop requirements)
- Monitor the ergonomic practices and health of the transcriber. Prevention of problems is very important. Guidelines are available from medical professionals, and the federal government Occupational Health and Safety Administration.
- Mentor and provide guidance to the transcriber about Deaf Culture, professional conduct, and adherence to the Transcriber's Code of Ethics. Encourage an ongoing focus on transcribing quality and continued skill development. (See Learning & Enrichment Online)
- Inform classroom instructors and supported students in whose classes transcription service will be provided about the service and their roles within it.
- In some pre-college settings, mentor the transcriber during the first month or so of in-class transcribing to ensure the language level of the communication access and the transcript is appropriate to the needs of the student(s) being served.
- If transcripts will be edited by the transcriber, assure the availability of a place to edit comfortably, with any necessary equipment handy (e.g., printer, internet access, etc.).
- Support the set-up and smooth working of the note distribution system. Give the transcriber a school email account if transcripts are to be emailed. Provide USB flash drives if transcripts are to be given to students in these formats.
- Clearly inform the transcriber of site policies related to absences, equipment use, teaming procedures, etc. (See Defining Your Service Policies)
- Deal with any 'people' issues or potential problems the transcriber brings to your attention, such as issues with instructors, students, parents, or others.
- Strictly adhere to the TypeWell End-User License Agreement and prevent the use of the TypeWell software by anyone who has not successfully completed the Basic Skills Course taught by TypeWell.
Local support service coordinators are also often responsible for writing job descriptions, recruiting announcements and site polices. We strongly recommend that each site and independent contractor develop written policies, such as a service handbook, and distribute them to all people involved in the delivery of services.
Need some additional support?
Click here to join the Google Group for TypeWell Service Coordinators.
Check out the National Deaf Center's DSP Toolkit — a combination of information, guidance, and tools to support disability services professionals when working with deaf individuals on campus.