Deaf and hard of hearing students, especially those in mainstream classes, can miss a lot of the information communicated during a class or meeting. Hearing aids can help, but their benefit is limited by distance. FM systems can overcome the problem of distance, but only for the one person using the microphone. It is difficult to pass the mic from teacher to students and back again, and this is often forgotten in the flow of class interaction.
A transcription system can put the ideas presented by the teacher as well as other students right before the eyes of your child/student. They can read from a computer screen or mobile device what is being said, and keep up with the what is happening. With a meaning-for-meaning transcription system like TypeWell, a student can have much greater access to the same information content that is available to other students in the class.
What will my child/student have to do to benefit from TypeWell?
In order to benefit from the transcription service, your child/student will have to check the computer screen during class to get information they miss otherwise. If your child/student receives printed copies of the transcripts after class, they will also have to collect those transcripts in a timely fashion, keep them organized by class and date in a notebook, and study them as needed.
Young students (elementary & middle school) may need support from teachers and parents to learn the skills to use transcription services optimally. It may take several months or even a year for a young student to develop the necessary learning strategies to make full use of the support available from the TypeWell system. The best way to get to that point is for everyone on the team—resource teacher or itinerant teacher, therapists, parents, the transcriber, the student—to be consistent in their guidance and expectations.
What can I do to help my child/student benefit from TypeWell?
You can show your support for the student's use of the system, especially the transcript provided after class. Parents can help their child use the transcripts in ways that foster good learning. The service coordinator can be a resource for strategies to accomplish this. You can be in touch with the service coordinator about issues related to the communication access or the after-class transcripts. A collaborative team approach is the most productive support strategy to develop.
Students do not automatically know how to use the computer display during class to follow the lecture and discussion. Likewise, students often need to learn how to use transcripts as effective learning tools. They are helped to learn strategies for doing these things by the service coordinator and/or one of their support teachers. Parents can support these good learning strategies, in conjunction with the service coordinator.