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2017 In Review

With the New Year upon us, now is a good time to reflect on a few of ATSP's biggest accomplishments over the past year, and to set our goals for 2018.

ATSP’s Board entered 2017 with three primary goals, as follows:

1.    Strengthen partnerships with other professional entities 

This year, ATSP worked with the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), the American Library Association (ALA), the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD), and Samuelson-Glushko Technology Law & Policy Clinic (Colorado Law) to petition the U.S. Copyright Office to consider new captioning exemptions to section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

ATSP also worked with the National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes (NDC), consulting on their upcoming salary survey of speech-to-text service providers, a project that is designed to yield useful data about our profession, including the methods by which services are provided nationally, and the needs of service providers.

These partnerships and advocacy projects help us to build a stronger organization for speech-to-text providers.

2.    Develop professional standards for speech-to-text service provision

ATSP’s Standards and Ethics Committee Drafted the first-ever codified list of standards and expectations for the field of speech-to-text service provision. That document underwent revision and editing by the ATSP Board, and was reviewed by outside readers. We are now in the process of finalizing two guides designed to help educate and support service providers, employers, and consumers, as follows:

The ATSP Code of Professional Conduct will encompass professionalism and ethics, and will be released for public comment in early 2018 on ATSP’s blog. (For more information, see the “Behind the Scenes” below.)
The ATSP Best Practices Guide will outline recommended service provision practices. This publication will follow in summer 2018. 

3.    Continue moving toward certification

ATSP is currently in the process of examining its certification goals to determine whether certification remains something that would benefit its members.
Behind the Scenes
A piece of notebook paper with a pen lying on it and the words "2018 Goals" above a blank list of five items.

2018 Goals

In 2018, ATSP looks to continue expanding its services for members and the larger speech-to-text community by building on last year’s accomplishments and by setting the following goals:

Conduct a feasibility study of speech-to-text certification

Certification can certainly lend credibility to a field and its practitioners. However, it can also be a costly process for an organization and its members. Before ATSP pushes further toward implementing a certification process, it is important to consider whether certification will yield the desired and anticipated results, and whether it will represent the best interests of ATSP’s members and member organizations. 

Therefore, we will be conducting a feasibility study to answer some of the following questions: 
  1. Are employers likely to require certification as a condition of new or ongoing employment?
  2. Are employers likely to increase (or decrease) the pay of current and prospective employees based on their level of certification?
  3. Do the answers to the above questions justify the substantial expenses required to move forward with the certification design process?
  4. Are ATSP members and member organizations still interested in certification?
  5. Are members willing/able to pay for certification testing?

Finalize standards for the speech-to-text profession

ATSP is preparing for the upcoming release of its Code of Professional Conduct, following positive and constructive feedback from outside readers Susan Stella and Ann Marie Kuntz. The Association of Transcribers and Speech-to-text Providers will finalize this Code after a period of public comment.

To help facilitate meaningful discussions around this document, we will be releasing the Code one section at a time through the ATSP blog. The first section is set to go live in early February with the four subsequent sections slated for release in the weeks to follow. We hope that ATSP members and other invested stakeholders will take this opportunity to offer feedback about the content and message of this important professional document.

ATSP also plans to release its Best Practices Guide later in the year. That companion piece will provide recommendations for day-to-day service activities, such as on-site service provision, remote service provision, teaming, preparation, editing, captioning, ergonomics, and professional development.

Provide new educational resources for members

In addition to the member directory, and the upcoming Code of Professional Conduct, ATSP has many plans in the coming year to increase the resources offered to its members and the community. Here’s a peek at a few new projects we’re excited to unveil in the coming year:
  • The ATSP Forum: ATSP has plans to design an interactive message board for speech-to-text providers, agency owners, coordinators, and consumers to ask, answer, and discuss questions related to the speech-to-text field
  • The ATSP Blog: ATSP plans to expand its blog, offering new features, including equipment reviews, member spotlights, professional development challenges, and fresh articles addressing some of the most relevant and controversial subjects in our field. If you have suggestions about the content you would like to see, please contact us!

Expand our support of ATSP members

With new projects in the works, we believe there’s never been a better time to join ATSP!  We look forward to furthering the partnerships we've established over the past year, as well as increasing our advocacy projects and contributions to the speech-to-text profession.

We are especially interested in expanding our Board and will continue to accept applications to the position (see “Calling All Members” below).


ATSP Welcomes New Interns for Spring 2018

ATSP has taken on two new interns for Spring 2018. Both students are English majors at West Virginia University studying Professional Writing and Editing. They will be contributing to ATSP’s online presence and helping to write and edit different projects on behalf of the organization.

Kody Goff is an English major at West Virginia University, concentrating on Professional Writing and Editing. He has written opinion columns for WVU’s student paper, The Daily Athenaeum. On track to graduate in Spring of 2018, Kody’s internship focus is writing and editing content for ATSP’s monthly newsletter and website.

Zack Smith is an English major of Professional Writing and Editing at West Virginia University, with minors in Political Science and Communications. Set to graduate in Spring of 2018, Zack's role is writing and editing content for ATSP’s social media feeds and blog


A newspaper sits roughly folded on a laptop, as if the user is undergoing an intensive job search

From ATSP’s Blog: Why Job Descriptions Fail

Not all job descriptions are created equal. A common mistake that agency owners and service coordinators make when looking to hire new speech-to-text providers is drafting an inappropriate call for applications. How you present your agency or department in a job description can determine the success of that job search. The Association of Transcribers and Speech-to-text providers, would like to help employers craft realistic and appropriate job descriptions that attract top-tier candidates. 

In ATSP’s latest blog entry, Board President Jason Kapcala investigates four negative tropes commonly found in job descriptions for speech-to-text service providers and offers suggestions on how to avoid these pitfalls. 

Have you ever made a rookie mistake when drafting a description? Have you ever seen a job description for speech-to-text services that left you scratching your head? Please feel free to leave a reply in the comments box and share your tips, insights, and humorous or disastrous job search stories. (No public shaming please—let’s keep things positive!)
Calling All Members

Call for ATSP Board Members

ATSP is looking to expand and diversify its Board of Directors as we continue our mission to establish best practices possible, providing training and advocacy for service providers. We are looking for committed individuals who enjoy working collaboratively and creatively as part of a team.

We are especially interested in applications from members of the C-Print® community, and professionals with marketing backgrounds or degrees.

Board members officially meet for 1-2 hours, once or twice a month online. In addition to meetings, additional time can be expected for internal emails, communicating with working committees, and advancing special projects. Meeting accommodations are provided as needed.

Read the full job description online.

To apply, please send a résumé and cover letter to Questions about the position can also be referred to this address.
Copyright © 2018 Association of Transcribers and Speech-to-text Providers, All rights reserved.

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