Group of Students Working on Laptops while Listening to a Lecture in a Modern Classroom

Why is real-time communication access important?

Equal access:

Everyone in a class or meeting has the right to participate as the conversation unfolds.

Real-time transcripts enable live, two-way conversation between the recipient and everyone else—unlike “notes” which are typically provided after-the-fact.


TypeWell can help your organization comply with accessibility laws. In the 2004 revision of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Congress specifically named TypeWell as a transcription service that meets the definition of interpreting services and should be considered as an effective tool to meet the communication access needs of students with disabilities [Section 300.34(c)(4)].

Fluency in English:

Many people who are deaf/hard-of-hearing are not fluent in sign language. In fact, many use English as their primary language. TypeWell services can benefit veterans, seniors, people with auditory processing or language processing disorders, those who are in the process of learning English, and others who experience hearing loss later in life.

On-Site Transcriber

Meeting Room

An on-site TypeWell transcriber uses a laptop on a steno table and sits in an area of the room that ensures optimal ability to hear lecturers and participants and to view an overhead screen or board.

Remote Transcriber

Meeting Room

An off-site TypeWell transcriber uses a laptop or desktop computer and listens to the lecture or discussion remotely via Skype, phone, or another audio platform. The live transcript is visible in the recipient’s web browser within seconds.

Key characteristics of real-time transcribing:

  • a live service that takes place wherever people need immediate access to spoken conversation in text format
  • provided by human transcribers who understand and process the meaning of what is spoken
  • resulting in an accurate, rich transcript that can be used both during and after the class or meeting
  • formatted for reading ease to minimize strain on the reader’s eyes and prevent mental exhaustion

What real-time transcribing is NOT:

  • notetaking, summarization, or any other “high points only” system
  • produced by automated voice-to-text software, resulting in a high rate of confusing spelling and punctuation errors, and absent of speaker identification
  • limited to real-time use
  • “censored” by the transcriber, resulting in unequal access