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In This Issue:

ATSP Testifies at the nation's Capitol, Alternative Communication Services advocates for kindness, and members are abuzz about the Code of Professional Conduct!
A photo of the U.S. Capitol building with the words "ATSP is Fighting for YOU in Washington, D.C.!"

ATSP Goes to Washington

Over the past year, ATSP has been working with Associate Clinical Professor, Blake Reid, and students from the Samuleson-Glushko Technology Law & Policy Clinic on a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) exemption. This exemption would allow disability services offices, organizations that support people with disabilities, libraries, and other units at educational institutions, to circumvent technological protection measures on videos submitted by faculty either via streaming services or optical media (DVD, Blu-ray) for classroom use. This would allow speech-to-text service providers to add captions and descriptions to media for the purpose of ADA/Rehab Act compliance.

The United States Copyright Office has granted the petition to hold public hearings concerning the proposed exemption, and the rebuttal submitted by opposition parties. Past ATSP President and current Board member Shannon Cowling will be traveling to the capital in April to testify on behalf of ATSP. 

We will share more information at it becomes available on ATSP's webpage and blog, your source for reliable speech-to-text news.
Behind the Scenes
A gray background with an orange lightbulb and the words "BIG Ideas"

2017 Annual Report Preview

ATSP has completed its 2017 Annual Report and will post this document to the U.S. Attorney General's website by March. At that time, we will also make the report available on the ATSP website and blog, and will send a special email out to all ATSP members.

The Annual Report is a document designed to highlight our achievements from the past year, establish our goals for the coming year, and provide a transparent update on our organization's finances (Treasurer's Report). A few highlights to whet your appetite:

In 2017, ATSP . . .
  • Petitioned the U.S. Copyright Office for captioning exemptions (see below)
  • Teamed with the National Deaf Center, consulting on a speech-to-text salary survey
  • Drafted a professional Code of Conduct, which is now open for public comment (see below)
  • Gathered testimonials from a number of individuals praising the effectiveness of speech-to-text services
  • Managed expenses carefully and came in 29% under budget, leaving us with extra resources heading into 2018

Our theme for 2018 is "BIG Ideas," and we are celebrating this by working hard to make ATSP membership more valuable, adding new resources and benefits. We want to hear from you—what features, content, events, or services do you want to see as members of ATSP? Keep sharing your big ideas with us at
Black and White photo of two hands shaking

Conversation Street: Alternative Communication Services, LLC

We are excited to roll out a new feature this month: Conversation Street! Each newsletter, we will feature a different ATSP member or member institution, allowing them to share in their own words what makes the speech-to-text profession special and subjecting them to our (dreaded and revered) "Five Burning Questions!" crafted by ATSP's curious interns.
Small green logo for Alternative Communication Services
Who is ACS?

Alternative Communication Services (ACS) is "the alternative" in voice-to-text and sign language services. Their mission is to provide the highest-quality voice-to-text and sign language services possible, delivering these services to consumers throughout the world, and recognizing the unique strengths of each individual in the process.
ACS provides meaning-for-meaning text interpreting services onsite and remotely, using TypeWell and C-Print, as well as closed captioning, CART, and American Sign Language interpreting.

"Five Burning Questions!"

1. As a company, what makes ACS different or unique?

I think the one element that is unique to our family of companies is respect. It sounds simple but it is not.  Each co-worker and client are respected for what they have to share. While there are definite lines of responsibility, there is not a hierarchy at ACS. Each person (and client) contributes, and their contributions are valued. We listen. We compare ACS to a fabric. Each person’s style gets woven into our corporate fabric, making it strong.

2. According to your website, charitable giving is a big part of your company's missioncan you tell us more about this?

We are a blessed organization with phenomenal growth.  It is only fitting that we give back.  I wish we did more!  Co-workers are encouraged to support charitable work and we match their gifts.  We have even started a volunteerism program this year where employees are given extra days of “paid time off” for every hour of volunteer time.  We have also launched the Love Like Lija Foundation which supports projects of care and compassion.  Giving demonstrates the heart of folks and the staff at ACS are a very giving group of people.

3. What are the most important skills or traits that you look for in a speech-to-text service provider?

The most important element is being kind! Skill is learned, kindness is inherent. That’s not to say that we don’t all have bad days, but a transcriber needs to be kind, willing to help, willing to put themselves out there for another person. After that, transcription and technology skills are needed. Folks need to understand the process of transcription so they can see the bigger picture of providing communication access to students. 

4. In your opinion, what are the most important issues currently facing the speech-to-text profession?

Staffing shortages are going to be the issue. We are seeing volume increase quarterly and there are just not enough transcribers to meet the need. There are other uses of the service that are being explored, which will require even more providers. ACS has begun to recruit and pay for training for folks to increase the pool of talented transcribers.

5. What do you most want clients and consumers to know about ACS?

ACS is successful when the client and consumer are successful. Our joy comes when we hear from a student that the service we provided made a huge difference in their educational experience. We are committed to clients and consumers and care about them. We will do whatever is necessary to make a situation productive for all involved and we have a commitment to quality.
The Legal Stuff: ATSP does not have business holdings with nor financial interests in organizations featured on Conversation Street. Aside from normal membership dues, we receive no compensation for this feature. The order of featured members is chosen randomly from ATSP's member directory, with new  members added as they join. If you are an ATSP member and would like to participate in this feature, please contact us.
Calling All Members
Carved wood blocks reading "Our Values"

Comment on the ATSP Code of Professional Conduct

This month, ATSP took a significant step forward in promoting professionalism and integrity in the speech-to-text profession with the publication of the ATSP Code of Professional Conduct working draft.
The ATSP Code of Professional Conduct is the first unified set of standards designed specifically with multiple stakeholders in mind. Service Providers will be able to use these standards to guide their performance in the field. Employers can consult these standards when creating in-house policies and when assessing the services provided by their employees. Consumers will use these standards when advocating for high-quality communication access.

The period of public comment is an opportunity for members of the speech-to-text community to share their thoughts and to provide valuable input on these standards before the Code is finalized. So far, we have received some helpful feedback on how to make the Code more applicable for service providers working in K-12.

To comment publicly, just leave your message in the comments section at the bottom of each blog post on ATSP’s homepage. If you prefer to share your thoughts privately, you may do so by sending an email to

Please continue to check back for more opportunities to offer your valuable feedback on the principles that guide our profession!
Copyright © 2018 Association of Transcribers and Speech-to-text Providers, All rights reserved.

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