I am honored to assume day-to-day management responsibilities for TypeWell. Although the responsibilities are new, I am not new to the company.
I began as a transcriber in 2004 and quickly grasped the vital need for equal communication access in schools, the workplace and all public settings. Over the last few years, TypeWell's founders, Judy and Steve Colwell have mentored me in the business they created. Now they have entrusted me with continuing the vision and values of the company. (Click here to read their November 2011 announcement about this transition.)
Here are some lessons I have learned along the way.
Our job is not only to make each class or meeting more accessible to the deaf consumer, but also to make the consumer accessible to his or her classmates, teachers and colleagues. This promotes learning and camaraderie. If we do the job right, consumers will succeed in contributing their ideas and energy to the discussion, whether it's in the classroom, at work or in a public forum.
When you see someone succeed, you are rewarded, because your efforts have helped to make it possible.
Transcribers are the face of TypeWell, whether managing scheduling and logistics for a new user or site, or building rapport and relationships with instructors who may not be used to having a service provider in their classroom.
Transcribers are also entrepreneurs. Every new assignment is, in effect, a startup, requiring nimble, mature thinking, flexibility, and even improvisation.
Although there is ample independence and many opportunities to make decisions, I want to assure each transcriber, administrator and consumer that you are not operating alone. If you are uncertain about how to handle a situation, chances are we have encountered it before, or may be able to provide some insights. We are always here to help you.
Thanks for your perseverance and pride in this important endeavor.