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Speech-to-text Reporting (STT)

Speech-to-text reporters type every word that is said by a speaker. They use a keyboard designed to let them type phonetically; that is, how words sound rather than how they are spelt.

The words are then converted back into English by a computer software programme. In this way, the STT reporter can keep up with the speed of spoken English. STT reporting is suitable for deaf people who are comfortable reading English, often at high speed and sometimes for a couple of hours at a time.

Everything that the STT reporter types appears on the screen of one or more laptop computers. It can also be projected onto a large screen or onto other monitors, if more than one person wants to read it. The quality of what you see on the screen depends on a number of factors, including how fast and how clearly the speaker is talking. One advantage of using STT reporting is that you can ask for a transcript of what has been said, on paper, via email or on a cd, however, you might have to pay extra for this. Also, a cd transcript cannot be used as proof in a court of law.

STT reporters also use systems called "Palantype" or "Stenograph".

It is generally accepted that an operator needs a break after half an hour; however, they often work for up to one hour.

To get the best out of the electronic notetaker, try to give advance copies of any papers so that they can prepare properly. For example, if they know about jargon or long words they can enter these into their computer and create shortcuts before the assignment.

Who May Benefit?

  • People with hearing impairments who are comfortable reading English.
  • People who do not use British Sign Language.


As a rough guide, 3 weeks' notice as a minimum or as much notice as possible. If an event is being planned then it is recommended that interpreters are booked as early as possible.

Please Note

In the case of an emergency, not all short notice requests can be guaranteed to be fulfilled.

Information to be Supplied

  • The customer's requirements – what do they need?
  • The date and time at which the service is required.
  • The likely duration of the service requirement.
  • The venue, including the full address, telephone number and contact person.
  • The subject matter – what is the event about?
  • The number of participants at the meeting (and names where possible).
  • Any background information, such as agenda, handouts and/or verbal summary of the event.
  • The invoice details (the invoice address and your cost code).

Other Information

If booking is more than 2 hours long this may require two interpreters. Please contact for advice. These costs do not include travel; this can be quoted on confirmation of any booking.

Period of Notice

Three weeks' notice is required prior to booking date. If it is not possible to book in advance, they will always try to assist even at very short notice.

Contact Details

Deaf Direct

Vesta Tilley House
Tel: 01905 746301
Text: 01905 746300
Fax: 01905 746302 
SMS: 07725 244129


Wolverhampton Communications Services
Norwich Union House
31 Waterloo Road

Tel: 0808 8080123

This Information can be made available in other languages (including British Sign Language) and alternative formats (large print, audio tape, computer disk and Braille) on request from Corporate Diversity Manager on 01905 766225 or email

Further Information

In this section

More Information

See also in our website

External websites

  • Action on Hearing Loss
    An organisation that helps people with hearing issues to live and perform everyday tasks.
  • British Deaf Association
    The largest organisation of Deaf people in the UK that is run by Deaf people.
  • Sense
    The leading national charity that supports and campaigns for children and adults who are deafblind.
We are not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more

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This page was last reviewed 29 May 2013 at 15:01.
The page is next due for review 25 November 2014.