T-Base FASTtrack: Accessible educational materials 2x faster

FASTtrack is a T-Base innovation that turns the arduous, manual process of document transcription into one that’s streamlined, fast and accurate. We do it through guided transcription, using automation tools. Our trained operators, armed with proprietary FASTtrack software, produce alternate formats in half the time, every time. Certified subject matter experts perform QA for the highest quality output. FASTtrack speeds up not only braille transcription, but the transcription of all alternate formats for end-users who are blind or low vision.

State of the industry

Alternate formats—digital and print—are an essential resource for students who are blind or have low vision. Braille, despite today’s technology, is an important format to have readily available. Braille literacy not only improves academic performance, it makes graduates more employable. Trouble is, students can’t get their braille educational materials fast enough because textbook transcription is a manual, slow, antiquated process plagued by a shortage of qualified transcribers. In fact, manually transcribing printed textbooks into braille typically takes 4–9 months.

This approach is impeding equal access to education for students who are blind or have low vision. It’s not just manual braille transcription either: to manually convert a PDF document into an accessible PDF takes subject matter expertise and time. Quick access to learning material in the student’s preferred format—accessible PDF, EPUB, e-Text, audio, braille or reflowed large print—is key.

Icon of pen writing on paper depicting results from a survey about long wait times typical in the transcription industry today.

Long wait times

According to a recent T-Base-conducted survey: 91% of respondents from educational institutions said they would like to see their textbooks transcribed faster.

Icon of a head and shoulders profile of a professional depicting shortage of braille transcribers typical in the transcription industry today.

Transcriber shortage

“There is a significant shortage of braille transcribers…(students) go weeks or months without the textbooks their sighted peers have,” says the American Foundation for the Blind. A more critical shortage is projected in the coming years.

Icon of person standing beside a pie graph indicating high demand of braille transcription and low supply in the transcription industry today.

High demand, low supply

Supply is inadequate but demand is high: K-12, universities, colleges, and publishers need fast turnaround, high quality, and the ability to handle high-volume, complex orders. They also need a variety of alternate format types in order to provide students the options they deserve.

Icon of thumb pointing down indicating how late delivery of accessible materials can negatively impact the learning environment.

Poor learning environment

Students who don’t get their materials on time—which is the case especially for complex subject matter such as math or chemistry—run the risk of falling behind in their studies, impacting their ability to succeed.

The solution: FASTtrack guided automation

With T-Base FASTtrack, high-quality accessible instructional materials are in students’ hands in half the time. Transcription into accessible PDF, EPUB, e-Text, audio, braille and large print (either reflowed or enlarged) is 2x faster. We call FASTtrack “guided automation” because our software takes the first pass at inferring the structure of a document (automatically), then a trained FASTtrack operator perfects the document’s structure. Next, T-Base certified transcribers and subject matter experts QA the transcribed material to ensure it accurately reflects the original and meets customer requirements.

Our innovation: the best of technology and the best of human expertise

Our unique FASTtrack software delivers the speed, and our expert in-house team fine-tunes the technology. A winning combination.

AUTOMATION
Extensive development of proprietary automation technology for guided transcription.

Image of Venn Diagram depicting the combination of speed with a circle on the left intersecting with a circle on the right representing quality for T-Base’s FASTtrack innovation.

EXPERTISE
Guided by trained FASTtrack operators. QA by certified transcribers (UEB, Literary, Nemeth) and subject matter experts.

FASTtrack devours high volumes at lightning speed

FASTtrack handles high-volume orders at a speed that fundamentally transforms the transcription process. Students receive accessible instructional materials at least 2X faster.

FLEXIBLE
Ability to scale quick and handle more volume. Accepts the widest range of input file formats: NIMAS, Word, PDF, EPUB, RTF, etc. Accessible Media Producer (AMP) for NIMAS files. Handles all document types, from forms to dense textbooks with columns, tables and mathematical equations.

AUTOMATED
Guided transcription into all types of alternate formats. Software speeds up transcription by way of automatically inferring the document’s structure before QA and completion by a certified transcriber or subject matter expert. Consistency (system-generated transcriber’s notes.) Less opportunity for human error.

SECURE
Ironclad security infrastructure: PCI DSS & SSAE-16 SOC2 Type 2 certifications for the transcription of secure standardized testing.

TRANSCRIPTION
EBAE Literary. UEB Literary & Nemeth Quality is standardized, with rule set for alternate formats built into the software.

Join FASTtrack for exclusive membership benefits

Become a FASTtrack member and receive exclusive benefits and valuable rewards, including a credit applied to all T-Base services.

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