Communication support

Speech-to-text reporters: top 10 questions

If you’re arranging communication support for someone who is deaf or has hearing loss, always check what their preferred type of support is first. If they require a speech-to-text reporter, here’s all you need to know when making a booking.

1. What is a speech-to-text reporter?

A speech-to-text reporter (STTR) – sometimes called a stenographer or palantypist – provides communication support to people who are deaf or have hearing loss. The STTR uses a special keyboard to type each word that’s spoken phonetically. The phonetic version is then converted back into English to produce a real-time translation of what‘s being said.

2. Who is speech-to-text reporting suitable for?

This type of communication support is suitable for people who are comfortable reading quickly from a screen for up to a couple of hours at a time.

Speech-to-text reporters

3. When are speech-to-text reporters used?

In the workplace, speech-to-text reporters are often used at meetings, conferences and training sessions when one or more attendees is deaf or has hearing loss. The text is either displayed on a laptop for one person, or projected onto a large screen or a series of screens if several people require support.

4. What details should I provide when making a booking?

Please provide as much information as possible about the assignment, including the date, time, venue, duration and number of people needing support. It’s also advisable to send any background notes in advance so the speech-to-text reporter is fully prepared for any specialist terminology that may be used.

5. What will the speech-to-text reporter require on the day?

They will need early access to the room to get set up in advance. In terms of equipment, please supply a comfortable chair, desk or table, and power socket.

6. How many speech-to-text reporters do I need?

For assignments of more than two hours, you should book two speech-to-text reporters to co-work. Speech-to-text reporting requires a high level of concentration so by taking regular breaks, a consistent service can be maintained throughout.

7. What is the cost of a speech-to-text reporter?

We’ll be able to provide you with a quote when we have full details of your assignment and the number of speech-to-text reporters required.

8. Is funding available for speech-to-text reporters?

The government’s Access to Work scheme can provide funding for working people who are deaf or have hearing loss.

9. Are the speech-to-text reporters you provide professionally registered?

We only supply speech-to-text reporters who are registered with the National Registers of Communication Professionals working with Deaf and Deafblind People (NRCPD).

10. Is confidentiality guaranteed?

Yes – by using a registered speech-to-text reporter, you can be assured of the utmost privacy and discretion.

Find out more

For more information, or to book a speech-to-text reporter, call 0845 685 8000, (Monday to Friday, 8.30am-5pm), email: communication.services@hearingloss.org.uk, SMS: 07537 410 086 or fill in an enquiry form. We also have an out-of-hours 24/7 service – call 0700 341 8352.

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