TypeWell Services: Information for Instructors

This information is provided to you by the Center for Educational Access in order to give you a brief summary of the process and procedures of real time captioning within the classroom at the University of Arkansas.  Please feel free to contact our office at 479-575-3104 or email ceaterps@uark.edu if you have any questions or concerns.  We look forward to working with you during this term.

General Information:

  • TypeWell (Real-time transcription) services are provided to students who have a documented need in order to provide real-time communication access. The Center for Educational Access (CEA) has the responsibility to provide access for all regular academic programs and essential student services.  These include classes, meetings with instructors and advisors, instructor-led study sessions, group project meetings, etc.

  • Real-time transcribing is a method of using specialized software to convert spoken language into visual text onto a laptop computer screen or PDA. Students read the transcription from a second computer.

  • 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”.  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 use of two linked computers allows the student to type questions and comments to the transcriber during class.  The transcriber can then read (“voice”) for the student, if that is the student’s preference.  If you find the student’s speech difficult to understand, you are encouraged to request that the student type his/her questions and comments to the transcriber for voicing.

  • It is very helpful to a student who is deaf/hard of hearing to receive copies of overheads used during your lecture. The student is responsible for copying the information on overheads or written on chalkboards.  The transcriber will type your comments while you are using an overhead or chalkboard, but it is impossible for the student to simultaneously copy the information and watch the computer screen.

  • The transcriber must be seated towards the front of the classroom to ensure that the instructor can be easily heard. The equipment may need to be plugged in to a power source; every effort is made to identify an outlet that will allow the extension cord to be out of the major traffic areas. Fire codes do not permit cords to be permanently taped to the floor.  Please let the transcriber know if you have preferences regarding his/her positioning in the classroom.

  • The transcriber will begin to set up equipment as soon as he/she arrives at the classroom.  If the student is absent, the transcriber will remain in the classroom and transcribe in order to avoid distraction to the class during breakdown of the equipment, and to remain current with the vocabulary used during the class.

  • Transcribers may be scheduled with back-to-back classes. Time required for breakdown of equipment may occasionally cause the transcriber to be a few minutes late to the next class.  If this becomes an issue, please communicate your concerns to the transcriber, or contact the Center at 479-575-3104 or email ceaterps@uark.edu.

  • A remote transcription service may be used if no live transcribers are available. In that event, you will be provided with a microphone to wear so the remote transcriber can hear you. The CEA will arrange for a network link for the student’s computer allowing them to read the transcript provided by the remote transcriber.

  • At the end of the class, the transcriber will edit out non-subject related material, and will provide a copy of the transcript to the student to serve as the class notes for the day.

Success in the classroom depends upon:

  • The ability of the transcriber to hear, understand, and keep pace with the speaker

  • Access to the class syllabus, general vocabulary and/or glossaries of words from class text books.

  • The professor’s confidence in the process.

The transcriber is a professional who follows a code of ethics. He/she will not participate in class discussions, and follows strict confidentiality guidelines.

Understanding the health concerns of transcribers.

  • Transcribing is physically tiring and can lead to permanent damage if done for extended periods.  It is crucial to provide a break for the transcriber during any class which continues longer than one hour.


Real-time transcribing within the classroom is a relatively new service at the University of Arkansas for students who can benefit from this technology.  We value your suggestions and feedback.