Job Opportunities - Textbook Recorders

  • The textbook recorders for Disability Services  students must be a student at Northern Michigan University, must be interested in working with students with disabilities, must be enrolled in at least six credits if they are an undergraduate orfour4 credits if they are a graduate student, and maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.5.
  • Please Note: There are no guaranteed hours with this position. Once you have completed the textbook you are taping, your job is complete. If there are other textbooks that need to be taped once you have completed your assignment, we will assign another one to you at that time.
General Responsibilities
  • textbook taperAssist the student who has a disability by reading the written work into a tape recorder to create a tape of the work.
  • It is the responsibility of the textbook taper to pick up the tape recorder, tapes, book, course syllabus and time sheet from the Disability Services Office at 2001 C.B. Hedgcock. All materials are to be returned to the office upon completion of the task.
  • Hours are to be entered in UltraTime by noon on the last Friday of the pay period, unless otherwise notified. If you do any taping for the time period after you have turned in your time card, add those hours on to your next time card.

All information regarding the service recipient is confidential. Any questions regarding the service recipient are to be referred to the coordinator of Disability Services at 906-227-1737.

Tips for Textbook Tapers

When reading, be aware of how your voice sounds. Be aware of:

  • Intonation and enunciation. Be clear in what you say, but do not over enunciate the words as this may distort the listener's perception and distort the meaning. If you cannot pronounce a word, spell it (slowly) and/or look up the proper pronunciation in a dictionary. Pause where there are commas and stop at the end of sentences.
  • Do not read in a flat or monotone voice. In general, the pitch of your voice should fall firmly at the end of sentences and rise at a question.
  • Extraneous noise is distracting to the listener. Record in a room where there is as little noise as possible.
  • Do not read too loudly, as this will tire your voice.
  • Be wary of breathing, mouth and throat noises (e.g., sniffling, sharp inhaling or exhaling or restrained attempts to clear the throat). Do not chew gum, smoke or eat,  while recording.
  • Read at a comfortable pace. After a few minutes of taping, go back and check your rate. Close the book and listen to what was taped to see if you understand it.
  • Keep in mind that this listener may not be able to see the page. This means that you are responsible for charts and graphs (unless stated otherwise by the listener or Disability Services). Present the material in the most logical order. Graphs and charts should be read at the end of the paragraph where they most logically fit.
  • Never editorialize the text. Even if reading in a field that you are very familiar with, do not allow personal attitudes to color your reading. It is up to the listener to interpret what is heard.
  • If at any time you do not understand the material, such as mathematical or chemistry equations, please do not hesitate to ask - there may be someone who will be able to help.
  • Correct small errors as you go along, but larger errors must be re-taped immediately.
Some Common Reading Faults
  • Punching (like a commercial radio announcer): Emphasis is placed on every other word as if it were the most important ever uttered.
  • Dropping the voice at the end of a sentence or paragraph. This results in frequent loss of words and a monotonous reading pattern. The voice should be dropped only slightly in certain specific places. Occasionally, it should even be raised. It should almost never be dropped to a very low level.
  • The bedside manner. A patronizing, so-happy-to-be-doing-this-for-you-tone. Listeners easily sense this condescending tone of voice.
  • Over-preciseness. Every word, however unimportant, is pronounced with painful exactness.
Disability Services is glad to have you aboard! We look forward to a successful relationship with you. Please feel free to call us at any time (you can leave a message 24 hours a day at 906-227-1700) if you have any questions or suggestions.