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Transcriber Duties and Code of Ethics

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Being a TypeWell transcriber includes more than just listening and typing. There are certain duties and professional behaviors that are part of the job of every TypeWell transcriber.

The duties listed below relate to day-to-day work activities that are necessary parts of providing high-quality communication access and notes to students, meeting participants, conference attendees, and other types of readers.

Below the list of duties, you will see the TypeWell Transcriber's Code of Ethics. It lists professional behaviors that must be followed rigorously by every transcriber and must be supported and required by every service coordinator, service agency, and independent contractor.

A Transcriber's Duties

Prepare for assignments by looking over the textbook, handouts, or meeting/event materials before the assignment begins.

Arrive or sign on at least 5-10 minutes before the assignment begins to have enough time to set up your equipment.

Arrange ahead of time with the instructor or facilitator:

  • where you will sit so you can hear and see well
  • how you will indicate that you need something repeated
  • how the voicing process works, if you will be voicing questions and comments from the reader
  • that you will need a copy of any handouts given to the class or audience.

Actively use your abbreviation and condensing skills to keep up with the lecture and discussion. Aim always for solid, high-quality meaning-for-meaning transcribing.

Ask the instructor or facilitator for copies of all handouts or meeting/event materials to aid your understanding of the content of the discussion. These copies are for you, not for the person(s) reading your transcripts.

Don't say anything during the assignment, except to ask for needed repetitions or the spelling of unfamiliar vocabulary. Don't offer information or opinions, or otherwise engage in the activities of the class, event, or meeting.

Refer all content-related questions and comments from the reader to the instructor or facilitator.

Provide only a summary of captioned or uncaptioned videos that are played during the assignment, and indicate to the reader that it is a summary. If you attempt to transcribe a video in real time, this misleads the participants into thinking the reader is receiving equal access. Reading a transcript while simultaneously trying to watch a video is not equal access.

Do not do a meaning-for-meaning transcript of text that is read verbatim by an instructor, facilitator, or others. Instead, state the page number being read, the title, and other clues to orient the reader. Summarize the reading if appropriate, being sure to tell the reader it is your summary.

Indicate when something important is shown on an overhead, the board, or other visual display. The reader is usually responsible for copying diagrams and other graphical information.

Edit your work during breaks in the class/meeting, IF you want to and you don't need a rest from typing. Be alert so you can immediately start to transcribe when someone begins talking again.

Work only on assignment-related materials during breaks, or when it is not your turn to type in a teaming situation. Edit your transcript, read the materials, help your teammate, etc. Do not read personal books or do personal tasks while in the class or meeting room.

Be alert to your ergonomic needs. Let your service coordinator know if you have any ergonomic questions or concerns. Talk to your medical advisor for specific advice.

Prepare and distribute transcripts in a timely fashion. The goal is to get them to the readers on the same day, or within 24 hours at the latest.

Maintain a professional relationship with all attendees and participants. Do not share personal information, give advice about school, work, or personal matters, etc.

TypeWell Transcriber's Code of Ethics

  • The transcriber will keep strictly confidential all information learned during transcribing assignments.
  • The transcriber will accurately transcribe the meaning of the spoken utterances made by individuals in the meeting, classroom, or other transcribing situation.
  • The transcriber will accurately voice comments and questions in reverse interpreting situations.
  • The transcriber will not answer the reader's questions about content. The transcriber will instead facilitate communication between the reader and the instructor, facilitator, or other participants by transcribing or voicing as needed.
  • The transcriber will not offer opinions or input of any kind in classes or meetings, even if invited to do so by instructors or others.
  • The transcriber will accept only those assignments for which they possess appropriate skills.
  • The transcriber will strive to continually improve his or her transcribing skills.
  • The transcriber will prevent unauthorized people from using TypeWell to provide services for students and others.

Click here to download the Transcriber's Code of Ethics (PDF format).

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