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Byword: A blog by and for the TW community

The Magic Behind the TypeWell Dictionary (Part 2)

When someone submits a new addition for our dictionary, I personally look up each word in a variety of dictionaries to try to verify that it's a real word. There's a large grey area of semi-words, with fuzzier boundaries than one might think. We have 500,000 words, and probably at least that many additional grey-area words that we've pruned to keep the dictionary high-quality.

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The Magic Behind the TypeWell Dictionary (Part 1)

Mobile technology aside, the true foundation of the TypeWell system is the transcribing software with its robust and intuitive abbreviation system.

I interviewed Steve Colwell — TypeWell’s co-founder and chief software architect — about how the abbreviation system was developed, and how the underlying dictionary has evolved over the years.

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Seven Questions: Jarren Kinch

Jarren lives in Bothell, Washington, and works north of Seattle as a self-employed independent contractor. He is both a TypeWell Transcriber and an ASL interpreter.

"A common misconception is that I am either the Deaf student's helper, a teacher's assistant, a student, or a volunteer. I'm not! This is my career!"

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Real feedback from real students

We as TypeWell transcribers try to improve our skills every day, but whether working on-site or remotely, we usually don’t get much feedback from the real end-users of the TypeWell system: the students who utilize our services for communication access.

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Seven Questions: Aisha Moore

Aisha started as a TypeWell Transcriber in June of 2009. She is a Transcriber at the Student Affairs Academic Success Offices at the University of Nebraska-Kearney.

"My favorite classes have always been English classes or any class involving reading novels or plays. But I must say that my love for typing happened in middle school typing class. I loved the sound..."

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Transcribers "check in" on training anniversaries

Each month, I send the out a message to the cohort of transcribers whose training anniversaries fall during that month. We're about halfway through the year now.

We're learning that although many transcribers still work in relative isolation, many do benefit from regular interaction with colleagues. Their employers are offering mentoring, workshops, skill consultations, and travel assistance for transcribers to attend conferences. Some even set aside regular time during staff meetings to focus on professional development.

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New feature supports transcriber recruitment

It can be challenging for schools and businesses to find qualified candidates to send through TypeWell's transcriber training. Even though it takes just half an hour to apply for the course, some prospective transcribers aren't able to complete the application in one sitting. 

Could that mean that schools and businesses are losing good candidates without even realizing it? Not anymore!

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Heartbleed OpenSSL Bug does not affect TypeWell account security

There's been a lot of buzz around the Heartbleed Bug, a vulnerability in the OpenSSL encryption software used by up to two-thirds of websites. The TypeWell websites are not affected by this vulnerability.

In the future, we may add capabilities to our site that require additional security — for example, allowing users to set their own passwords or store payment information. In that case, we will add the necessary security infrastructure, and we'll review and update it regularly to keep your data safe.

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The 'mission critical' mindset

Ken Deutsch has been a transcriber since 2007, working first on-site in Ohio and now remotely from his home in Sarasota, Florida. This month marks his 2-year anniversary with TypeWell as the official examiner for candidates completing the Basic Skills Course. To celebrate, we interviewed Ken about past work experience, challenges overcome, and what he loves most about providing communication access services.

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