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, an Electronic Notetakers would be used to take notes at a meeting, conference and also at University lectures, presentations or seminars.

There are two ways that notes can be presented:

Summarised notes:

The notetaker 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.

Verbatim notes:

The notetaker would type as much of what has been said as possible.  This is useful for the compilation of transcripts or recording information from a workplace disciplinary.

If you needed a transcript of every single word, it would be better to work with a Speech to Text Reporter.

The notes are electronic, which means that it is easier for the deaf person to find specific content afterwards, simply by using the FIND function.

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.