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In this Issue:

ATSP returns after a month's hiatus to share our advocacy efforts in DC, our Strategic Planning Workshop in Columbus, and an outsider's perspective on speech-to-text services.

Past-President Cowling Goes to Washington

In our last Newsletter, we previewed ATSP's upcoming activities in Washington, DC. In this month's newsletter, we interview past ATSP President Shannon Cowling about her time spent advocating at the Nation's Capitol.

Why was ATSP in Washington DC last month?

We wanted to do some advocacy work because some transcribers are on the front lines of the classroom, and they're often presented with materials which aren't immediately accessible. This was mostly in the form of video that didn't have subtitles available. With video, including movies and shows, there are very specific and very strict copyright laws that prevent any kind of modification and redistribution. Unfortunately, that also applies to captioning, so we wanted to petition the US Copyright Office for exceptions that would benefit our field and the captioners within it.

What groups was ATSP working with during these hearings?

The Samuelson-Glushko Technology Law and Policy Clinic was especially helpful in our advocacy, and the Library Copyright Alliance, Association of Research Libraries, and Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD), were also present and contributed to the long form comments submitted to the Copyright Office.

What Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) exemptions are we looking for?

The comments submitted pertained mostly to video, and that can cover anything from Motion Pictures, DVD, Blu-ray, and some streaming services. We were looking for exemptions that would allow disability services professionals to circumvent technological protection measures on videos for the purpose of creating captioned versions of the media when those videos lawfully arrive at their offices in an inaccessible format.

What did ATSP bring to this conversation?

We wanted to demonstrate to the policy-makers the nature of captioning, so that they were able to contextualize what the process looked like. Audio descriptions were also brought up, and though those pertain more to the visually-impaired, it is essentially the same process for that community as well. The groups present wanted to show that the processes we were undertaking are not meant to steal or manipulate video material in order to make money. The captioning and audio-description services were purely to assist with accessibility.

What are the potential results or benefits we might see from this?

Ultimately, we hope that it benefits those that need the material in an efficient and an effective way, and that we’re able to provide this newly accessible content in a more timely manner. We’d also like to finally have these conversations about copyright and captioning without worrying too much about repercussions. So we’re hoping that, nationwide, libraries and other agencies that can help with accessibility begin taking these steps.

ATSP expects more information on the outcome of our DMCA petition in early Fall. Stay tuned at for more information!
Behind the Scenes
A group of professionals, possibly architects, workshop plans for an upcoming project while huddled over a large table.

ATSP Strategic Planning Workshop

On May 4 and 5, ATSP held its 2018 Strategic Planning Workshop in Columbus, OH. Over the course of two days, the ATSP Board discussed our organizational goals for the 2018-2019 year and beyond. 

From this meeting, we have narrowed down our top goals as follows:

1. Establish a Marketing and Public Relations Plan to increase organizational visibility

2. Facilitate new professional opportunities and benefits for current ATSP members

3. Host an ATSP Conference in summer 2019
A white board against a red wall featuring bulleted notes about ATSP's vision, values, projects, and stakeholders
In the coming months, there will be plenty of opportunity for members of the ATSP community to get involved in these ambitious projects as we reform committees and begin accepting volunteer applications, so stay tuned!
Intern Kody Goff standing in front of his internship poster presentation

ATSP Bids Farewell to Spring Interns

Over the past five months, ATSP has benefited greatly from the contributions of Kody Goff and Zack Smith, our professional writing interns who managed our blog and website. They are off to explore exciting new professional opportunities, and we wish them the best as we prepare for a new crop of volunteers this fall.

To read more about Kody's internship experience with ATSP, check out his inspirational blog entry!
A black and white photograph of two peopel shaking hands.

Conversation Street


Who is PIE?

Displayed is the logo for Professional Interpreting Enterprise, or PIE

PIE prioritizes the right of each individual to communicate in the manner which they feel most comfortable and successful. PIE is proud to consistently provide quality, professional, ethical, and innovative services. Their team is comprised of both Deaf and hearing professionals who possess strong technical skills. Areas of specialty include Deaf interpreters, legal interpreters, qualified mental health interpreters, and speech-to-text service providers.

"Five Burning Questions!"

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

PIE invests in finding individuals with aptitude and attitude.  We want individuals with a passion for their work and the people they provide service to.  We want their focus on how to make the end users' experience positive. We want end users to think of PIE when they want speech-to-text services.

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

Lack of education to the general public, as well as the efficiency of technology. There are more people that can benefit from speech-to-text services, but many do not realize it is an accommodation for accessibility: what it is or how to request it.  We also see a great gap in getting people connected effectively and efficiently for first time clients.  Often, it is due to issues with weak wi-fi or firewalls. 

3. What do you most want clients and consumers to know about PIE?

We are here and we want to be part of the conversation.  We have capable staff and responsive team members. If we are doing something well or could be doing it better, we want to know.  

4. If you had to define your agency/company in three words, what would they be? 

Experience, Relationship, and Quality

5. What makes PIE different or unique?

Our focus on the people and relationships over our bottom line.  If you have excellent people and develop strong relationships, you will end up with trust and success.  
Calling All Members
A photo of a state capitol, with many flags flying in front of the building

ATSP Seeking Feedback on Code of Conduct

Before we begin distributing information about the new ATSP Code of Professional Conduct, we would like to formulate focus groups consisting of service providers, agency owners, a speech-to-text consumers, and get additional feedback on how these standards might impact your speech-to-text experience. If you are interested in participating in this study, please contact us at
Copyright © 2018 Association of Transcribers and Speech-to-text Providers, All rights reserved.

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