The Association of Transcribers and Speech-to-Text Providers (ATSP) is a non-profit organization devoted to advancing the delivery of real-time speech-to-text services to deaf or hard-of-hearing people by establishing a national standard of excellence for real-time transcribers/captionists.
ATSP will establish and measure best practices, and provide training in and advocacy for real-time speech-to-text services. Please join us and help build the future of speech-to-text services.
Who We Are
|Jason Kapcala (President) is the Coordinator of Auxiliary Aids at West Virginia University and supervisor of WVU's in-house staff of Transcribers and Interpreters. Originally from northeast Pennsylvania, Jason is a graduate of Penn State University where he majored in English and minored in Women’s Studies. Jason went on to earn graduate degrees in Creative Writing from Ohio University and West Virginia University. Prior to joining the West Virginia University Office of Accessibility Services, Jason worked as a college English instructor and a TypeWell-qualified transcriber. He is also the author of the short story collection North to Lakeville (Urban Farmhouse Press).|
|Bill Graham (Vice President) is the founder and CEO of CaptionAccess, a full-service captioning and transcription company. He has been a relentless advocate for captioning since becoming deafened as an adult. He co-founded the Association of Late-Deafened Adults (ALDA) and has served on numerous national boards and committees related to captioning and disability, as well as the Gallaudet University Board of Trustees. He is featured in the book Great Deaf Americans. Bill also spent a decade as a manager at Microsoft Corporation. He’d be a cross-country ski bum if he had the time.|
|Jodi Tobin (Interim Secretary) has been a staff transcriber at The Ohio State University since 2004. She is one of the initial incorporators of Association of Transcribers and Speech-to-text Providers (ATSP). Jodi is collaborating with Karen Walraven and Student Life at OSU to create an organization on campus for students who are hard of hearing.|
|Karen Walraven (Treasurer) Karen Walraven has been a staff transcriber at The Ohio State University since 2004. She is one of the initial incorporators of ATSP. Karen earned an Applied Science degree in Court Reporting and was a freelance court reporter for several years. She has been an active participant in OSU’s Champions in the Workplace staff development and community building initiative, and is collaborating with Jodi Tobin and Student Life to create an organization on campus for students who are hard of hearing.|
|Shannon Cowling (Board Member and Past President) is the Assistant Director, Accessible Communication and Media at Kent State University and Video Relay Interpreter for Sorenson Communications. She has worked as an American Sign Language interpreter since 1998 and holds NIC certification. Her interpreting practice spans over community, education, and video relay settings. Shannon became a TypeWell transcriber in 2013. As the Assistant Director of Student Accessibility Services, she evaluates and coordinates accommodations for deaf and hard of hearing students. She furthered her expertise by earning a master of education in Higher Education and Administration and Student Personnel.|
|Kate Ervin (Board Member) has served as TypeWell’s Director since 2011, a TypeWell trainer since 2009, and a transcriber since 2004. She oversees the development of TypeWell’s software features and provides consulting, demos, and technical support for speech-to-text providers as well as consumers, parents, and teachers. Kate also develops online training courses and coordinates professional development conferences and workshops for transcribers, captionists, assistive technology specialists, and disability service coordinators.|
|Jarred Bowers (Intern) is currently a student at West Virginia University majoring in English with concentrations in Creative Writing and Professional Writing and Editing, and minoring in Communication Studies. He has experience as a copyeditor at WVU's student-run newspaper, The Daily Athenaeum, and has published fiction in WVU's literary journal, Calliope. Bowers is set to graduate in Spring 2018. For the duration of his internship, he will be focusing his efforts on editing ATSP's newsletters and assisting in website design.|
History and Formation
Initial planning began and a task force formed at the Mind, Body and “Sole” Conference in Columbus, Ohio in 2013. Early support was provided by TypeWell, The Ohio State University’s Disability Services Department, and Kent State University’s Student Accessibility Services. In the fall of 2015, a donor provided the funding to establish ATSP as an official nonprofit organization.
We are grateful to attorney Jason Stowe, Eric Troy, Program Director, University Outreach and Engagement for Student Life at The Ohio State University; Erin Scott, lecturer and nonprofit organizations expert; Dennis Priebe and Brooke Parker from the Center on Education and Training for Employment at The Ohio State University; and LaunchNet Kent State for their guidance in our efforts. We appreciate Chelsea Bertram from Initial Focus for her graphic design contribution, and the following individuals who provided support to the Task Force early on: Chanel Carlascio, Carly Gerard, Bill Graham, Andrew Hansen, and Randi Hecht.