Speech-to-Text Reporting (also more commonly known as captioning) is an area of realtime work providing communication support for the D/deaf and hard-of-hearing communities, as well as people whose first language is not English. Hearing people also benefit from the services of an STTR. Captioning assignments include meetings, conferences, festivals, museums, seminars, lectures, or one-to-one support. The captioner can be either onsite or remote.

The primary role of an STTR is to provide communication support, not to provide a legal, official transcript. If and when a text-format document is provided by the STTR, this is purely as an aide-memoir for the service user and has no legal standing, i.e., it cannot be quoted in the Court of Appeal, for example. A disclaimer to this effect will accompany an STTR’s transcript:

DISCLAIMER: Live captioning is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility. This document contains the real-time captions in a text format, and has not been edited, proofread, or corrected. It is not an official, legal transcript and is not certified to be true and correct. It may contain computer-generated mistranslations of palantype/stenotype code and/or electronic transmission errors, resulting in inaccurate or nonsensical word combinations.

  • Melanie Ball

  • Contact Info

  • +44 (0)7876 358830
  • rtrlimited@gmail.com
  • http://www.real-timereporting.co.uk/
  • About Our Member

  • MELANIE BALL
    BA (Hons), FBIVR, ACR, CLR

    I was educated at Victoria College, Belfast and went on to obtain a BA (Hons) degree in Classics at Queen's University. Thereafter I trained as a stenographer at the College of Business Studies. Upon leaving college in 1987 I moved to London, where I was based for the next twenty-seven years. In my first year of work I passed the Associateship and Membership exams of the British Institute of Verbatim Reporters and have been a Member now for well over thirty years. Eight years ago I returned home to N. Ireland, but still travel extensively for work.

    For the past thirty-three years I have been working as a freelance stenographer in civil and criminal hearings all over the world, specialising for the last twenty-four years in real-time reporting, having obtained LiveNote Real-time Accreditation in 1996. I also have extensive experience in US depositions. Other types of work I am familiar with are arbitrations, medical inquiries, ecclesiastical inquiries, board and shareholder meetings, courts martial, interviews, industrial tribunals, audio transcription, and I have limited experience of speech-to-text writing for those with a hearing impairment.

    In recent years I have specialised in working on several public inquiries of note in the UK, namely, the Guildford Four/Maguire Seven Inquiry, Billy Wright Inquiry, Robert Hamill Inquiry, the Iraq Inquiry, the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry in N. Ireland and I am presently involved in the Infected Blood Inquiry.

    Since September 2020 I have been a Member of the BIVR Council.

  • Member
  • Arbitrations, Court, Disciplinary Hearings/Regulatory Health, Realtime, Audio Transcriber, Scopist (Editor), Certified LiveNote Reporter
  • UK, EU, Worldwide
  • County Down