Academic journal article Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness

Accessible Online Medical Transcription Course in Texas

Academic journal article Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness

Accessible Online Medical Transcription Course in Texas

Article excerpt

The Lighthouse of Houston, which has been training visually impaired adults in Texas in medical transcription for 35 years, will offer its medical transcription course in an online, distance education format beginning in January 2009. The online option became a reality thanks to a $100,000 grant from the William Stamps Farish Fund, which provided the funds in 2006 so the Lighthouse of Houston could create its Distance Medical Transcription Training Course as a pilot program. The program takes 18 months to complete, and new classes begin every six months.

Medical transcriptionists transcribe dictated recordings from health care specialists and physicians and prepare reports, correspondence, or other materials regarding patient care, and is a job that individuals, including those with visual impairments, can perform at home using a computer. The fully accessible course was designed by Jennifer Blando, the former director of education for the Lighthouse of Houston, who had experience in making the distance learning program of a community college accessible to visually impaired individuals. Ms. Blando's concept was to couple audio conferencing technology for lectures and question-and-answer sessions in Microsoft Word.

Since the pilot program began in November of 2006, two of its three graduates are currently doing on-the-job training at the Lighthouse of Houston, which offers all graduates six months of experience and an opportunity for contract employment. At present, nine students are enrolled in four different classes. Most of the students are from Texas, and three of the students are in a satellite class that operates in partnership with the San Francisco Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired. …

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