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What is Communication Access?

In the context of TypeWell services, "communication access" refers to the information presented to the student on the computer screen, as it happens (i.e. real-time). Other methods for communication access include sign language interpretation, cued speech, transliteration, etc.

The phrase "communication access" comes from the laws (ADA, IDEA, Section 504) that assure communication access to persons with disabilities. Here is a useful resource from ada.gov:

A TypeWell transcriber provides communication access in the form of a live, meaning-for-meaning transcription of what the teacher and students are saying. This is much more detailed than notetaking. Many TypeWell transcribers capture what is said nearly verbatim. Some other phrases used to describe TypeWell services include "text interpreting" or "hybrid captioning."

Regardless of how you choose to describe meaning-for-meaning transcription, the information captured in a TypeWell transcript includes teacher lecture, comments by other students, jokes, off-point stories told by the teacher, etc. The information typically left out of the meaning-for-meaning transcript includes false starts, misspeaks, and repetitions.

For a more detailed comparison of TypeWell services vs. verbatim transcribing—including a brief video demonstration—see our overview of meaning-for-meaning.