Manual Transcriptions for Radio Shows and Podcasts

Image: Typing on a keyboard.


In this section, we will investigate transcription as one way to make audio content for radio shows and podcasts more accessible to persons who have hearing loss, people who are hard of hearing, and who are deaf, culturally Deaf, oral deaf, and/or deafened.

Developing an Understanding

Before we get started with creating accessible audio content, let’s get familiar with the terminology that is used in the module and in the community.

A person is defined as being hard of hearing when his or her hearing loss ranges from mild to profound and when his or her usual means of communication is speech (Canadian Hard of Hearing Association, n.d.).

Hard of hearing is generally used to describe individuals whose hearing loss ranges from mild to severe, and occasionally profound. Hard of hearing people use speech and residual hearing to communicate, supplemented by communication strategies that may include speechreading, hearing aids, a signed language and communication devices. The term “person with hearing loss” is also used by this group (Canadian Hearing Society, n.d.).

A medical/audiological term referring to those people who have little or no functional hearing

Deaf Culture is a healthy sociological community of Deaf people. A culture is generally considered distinct when it has its own unique language, values, behavioural norms, arts, educational institutions, political and social structures, and organizations (Canadian Association of the Deaf, n.d.). Deaf people have a unique culture which is shown with the use of the capital letter D in “Deaf”.

Persons who are oral deaf are individuals with a severe to profound hearing loss, with little or no residual hearing (Canadian Association of the Deaf, n.d.).

Deafened describes individuals who grow up hearing or hard of hearing and, either suddenly or gradually, experience a profound hearing loss. Deafened adults may use computerized note taking, speechreading or sign language (Canadian Hearing Society, n.d.).

Deepening Your Understanding

There are many reasons why people transcribe their audio content. Media content creators transcribe for publication, radio, television, on-line broadcast, YouTube, podcasts, and webinars. In the legal system, interviews and court proceedings are transcribed and medical professionals transcribe diagnoses and notes from doctors and surgeons. Researchers and scientists transcribe interviews with participants for journal articles and publications and journalists transcribe interviews to ensure they are factual and accurate.

Transcription is the process of converting audio content into a written form. We will begin with manual transcription, which requires listening to audio and writing or typing what you hear. The process is slow but many media makers prefer to transcribe manually for accuracy and reliability.