Student Accessibility Services

Transcription Best Practices

The following are several things instructors should know regarding best practices for transcription:

  • Real-time transcribing is a method of using specialized software to convert spoken language into visual text onto a laptop computer screen. This software will be located on the student’s laptop. The transcriber is using a speed typing system to record in rich detail what you and others say.
  • Lecture materials and transcriptions are for the personal use of the student only as a means to provide equal access to communication. Students complete an agreement with Student Accessibility Services that outlines this policy.
  • Information said during class will be transcribed in order to provide real-time communication access to the student who is D/deaf or hard-of-hearing. Lecture material, class comments and questions, and social interactions among the student’s peers are all transcribed. The transcriber captures both the meaning and style of what is said. The text from the transcriber is not word-for word. It is meaning-for-meaning. All the major points are captured using the same level of vocabulary and grammar as spoken but possibly with different phrasing. The transcriber has been trained to condense information in order to keep up with the pace of the lecture, while retaining all essential points of the material.
  • The student who is D/deaf or hard-of-hearing in your class will look at the computer screen when they need to read what the instructor and other students are saying. The student may or may not watch the computer constantly.
  • The student is responsible for copying the information on overheads or written on the board.

Helpful Classroom Tips:

  • Speak loud and clear, so the transcriber can easily hear you.
  • Repeat or restate what students say. Students’ comments are often hard to hear, and their comments are sometimes disorganized.
  • Provide a short break every hour (if possible).
  • It is very helpful to a student who is D/deaf or hard-of-hearing to receive copies of PowerPoint presentations used during the lecture in advance.