While I was in college I became a transcriber for deaf and hard of hearing students. I was trained on a program called TypeWell, which is a short hand/abbreviation word processing program. In short, this is how it works: A transcriber goes with a deaf student to class and types the lecture as it happens. The student and the transcriber each have a laptop. The transcriber types on his/her laptop and the text comes up on the student’s laptop through a wireless connection. Because of this linking technology, the student can sit wherever in the classroom he or she wants. The transcriber sits in a convenient place and many people don’t know that the deaf student is even receiving services.
I worked as a transcriber while going to school and have continued to work a little bit since I graduated at two different universities. I love this job because I get to sit in on many interesting classes without having to actually take or pay for them. Some of my favorites so far include drawing, anthropology, geology, nursing, and criminal justice. Another great thing about being a transcriber is that I get to feel like my work is really helping someone. (I’ve also looked into using my experience as a transcriber to do medical transcription).
TypeWell is a fabulous program, I can’t say enough about it. I have experience with a few different transcription programs, and TypeWell is my favorite by far. It provides the highest quality communication access and really benefits the student.
If you have a child who is either deaf or hard of hearing, look into TypeWell. TypeWell is a great option for both the deaf and hard of hearing, for those who do and do not know ASL. And if you’re looking for a little part time work, check with the accessibility services department at nearby colleges or universities. In my experience, transcription is a job that has flexible hours and good pay. Best of all, it’s fun and is an important service!