What do they do, and how do they work?
It is important to remember that when a deaf person is either trying to lip-read the presenter or watch the Interpreter, they are unable to take notes at the same time, as this would involve switching eye gaze and missing the content.
Hearing people can take notes at the same time as listening to the content.
So, Electronic Notetakers would be used to take notes at staff meetings, conferences, public consultations, training events and also within an educational setting; lectures, presentations or seminars.
Electronic Notetaking does not produce a verbatim record. The Electronic Notetaker is specially trained in condensing language and would record a summary of what has been said, collating all the main points and accompanying comments. This is useful for team meetings and University lectures, where a summary is what is needed.
Some Electronic Notetakers, if required, are also able to stream live with the client reading a second screen in real time (online or face-to-face). In this event, the Electronic Notetaker uses specialist abbreviation software to speed up text and live stream as required. This software also enables the client to type messages to the Electronic Notekaker and add their own notes.
If you are booking a Notetaker on behalf of a deaf person, always ask if there are any preferences on how they would like the notes, as this will make them easier to refer back to afterwards.
When you compile your own notes, when you refer back to them, you know roughly where you are looking to find particular bits of information. It can be trickier to refer back to someone else’s notes.
Who would use this service?
Anyone! This could be used for taking notes during a team meeting, for a University lecture or any other meeting. Basically, in any scenario where the deaf person will need to refer to the content at a later date and will be lipreading or watching a BSL Interpreter during the interaction.
We would always recommend you ask the deaf person what service they would prefer, as this could change depending on the setting.