Booking a transcriber or captionist for your Departmental or Unit event (i.e. for a conference, a meeting, etc.)

Can I book a transcriber/captionist last minute?

Do not wait until the last minute to book a transcriber/captionist. They get booked up quickly as they provide services throughout the Greater Victoria area as well as at the other local post-secondary institutions. Provide as much advanced notice as possible as this increases your chances of securing an available transcriber/captionist. There might be an one available one or two days ahead of your event, but you are risking the chance of not providing access for Hard of Hearing students/community members to enjoy and participate in your event.

What will the transcriber/captionist need from me?

It is very useful to provide the transcriber/captionist you have booked with an agenda, speaking notes, PowerPoints etc. that will be discussed, this will allow them to prep the material ahead of time, get an understanding of the session and get the spelling of specific vocabulary or names into their system prior to captioning the event.

How many transcribers/captionists do I need?

Due to Occupational Health and Safety Guidelines, events that are longer than 90 minutes may require two. The two transcribers will both be working throughout the event taking turns ever 20-30 minutes. One of the transcribers will be providing service while the other listens intently supporting the other transcriber with any details that may be difficult to hear or are missed in the transcript.

Do transcribers/captionists work elsewhere on campus?

The University of Victoria contracts with a number of TypeWell Transcribers to provide service in courses that have a Deaf or Hard of Hearing student registered in them. These transcribers are contracted on a semester by semester basis by CAL. CAL does not currently contract with any captionists.

What is the difference between a transcriber and a captionist?

A trained TypeWell transcriber synthesizes the essence of the lecture/event/speaker and captures it using advanced abbreviation software. The recipient simultaneously sees the live transcript using a standard web browser on their own mobile device, such as a laptop, tablet, smartphone or up on an overhead screen if you decide you want all participants the opportunity to access it.

A captionist uses a regular keyboard without any specialized software and tries to capture word for word what the speaker is saying. Those Deaf/Hard of Hearing individuals that are relying on the captioning services will need to sit beside the captionist or the captionist will need to connect their laptop to an overhead screen so that the Deaf/Hard of Hearing participants can access the live captioning services.

Why do I need to book a transcriber/captionist for our event?

Booking a transcriber/captionist ensures successful communication between you and the student and/or ensuring that your event, meeting, seminar, conference is fully accessible to Deaf and Hard of Hearing students or community members that are attending your event/conference. Without this service, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing students/participants may not follow along with what is being presented at your event.

How much will it cost to hire a transcriber?

Depending on the length of the booking and the nature of the assignment (i.e.: meeting, conference, lecture etc.) you can anticipate paying $30-50/hr per transcriber. When you contact Transcribers to inquire about their availability for your event, ask they to provide you with the cost of their services. Depending on the nature of your event the transcriber(s) may quote you time to prepare the material you provide ahead of time. I.e.: one hour of prep time.
Once you have received transcriber’s invoice submit it through to Accounting using your FAST code. If it is under $2500 you will not need to have a Business Retainer Form filled out.
If you are unsure about what FAST Code to use or concerned about where the funds will come from connect with your Dean.

What if I don’t need the transcriber after all, how do I cancel this service?

You can expect to be quoted with at least a 48hr cancellation policy by the transcriber(s) when you book them. If you do not cancel them within a 48hr (Mon-Fri) window, you will be charged in full for the services. Keep in mind that there are many people in the general population that have a mild to profound hearing loss. Providing transcribing services on an overhead screen at your event will be utilized by many attending your event, not just those that have specifically requested the service.

What if I’m not sure whether or not any Deaf or Hard of Hearing people will be attending our event?

Ensuring full access to your event means that a Deaf/Hard of Hearing person which includes many senior citizens that access events on campus can attend and be confident that you are being fully inclusive and making sure there are no barriers to attend your event. it shows that you are welcoming diverse participation and are prepared by ensuring access needs have been taken care of.

Where do I find transcribers for my event? 

There are a couple of agencies you can contact here in Victoria:

Island Access Transcribing Services at 250-634-1642

Island Deaf and Hard of Hearing Centre (IDHHC) at 250-592-8144