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Transkript: Ensuring sustainable development of simultaneous online transcription services for people with hearing impairment.

Prague, Czech RepublicPrague
Project Stage:
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Online speech transcription is a service of potentially tremendous positive impact on quality of life of the hearing-impaired. We present a business model of a socially orientated service enabling its long term sustainable development in the environment, where no governmental support is guaranteed. From the commercial perspective, the project offers an effective tool for communicating with deaf people to companies as their competitive advantage.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

There is a widespread myth in the majority hearing society, that all hearing impaired people are able to use sign language or lip-reading. In fact, only 1,2% of all hearing impaired people in the Czech Republic are capable to use the sign language. The deafened and hard of hearing people (cca 100 ths.) have to face huge communication barriers. Because of their handicap, they prefer Czech language in its written form as their means of communication. Even though there is “simultaneous transcription” enshrined in the Czech legislation as means of communication of hearing impaired people, so far there have not been created any systematic conditions from the state, that would financially and organisationally ensure this right to be fulfilled.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The presented solution is to build a social enterprise, which provides the online simultaneous transcription as a service. The project has designed and implemented such a business model of a socially orientated service that enables its long term sustainable development and provides online transcription for the personal use for free. From the commercial point of view, the project is based on offering an effective tool for communicating with deaf people to companies as competitive advantage. This leads to shortening the service time and especially it prevents any possible misunderstanding. In the long term the offer will be extended with the possibility to fulfil the companies’ statutory duty of full-time employing people with disabilities.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Transkript’s online solution significantly reduces the costs of operating the service as compared to physically present transcribers and considerably increases their capacity. It solves the lack of transcribers. Both corporate and hearing impaired clients benefit from the Transkript service: - Corporations: shortening the service time; preventing misunderstanding, strengthening CSR domain, competitive advantage, community marketing (targeting the group of hearing impaired people and their families), public relations. -Hearing impaired: ubiquitous availability of the online transcription using Smartphone application, service for free (limited amount, covered by the profit from corporate clients), reductions of communications barriers.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Transkript has huge potential to minimize communication barriers and to make cultural, educational, social or other events accessible to the hearing-impaired. A major difficulty of the project is the lack of professionally trained transcribers. Therefore, we prepare an activity, which aims to train suitable candidates for online transcribers from the target group of people with visual disabilities. These people have significantly better short term memory and concentration, due to their handicap. These abilities are the main prerequisites of professional transcribers. Due to the orientation barriers and difficulties to travel to unknown places, this profession was not available to people with visual impairments. Online solution of the service allows to work from home and opens career opportunities. Such an approach has a significant potential to multiply the social impact of the project.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Currently there is no social enterprise registered in the Czech Republic dealing with similar activities. The main competitive advantage of this project is the technical solution reducing the costs and increasing the transcriber’s capacity. The Centre for Mediating Simultaneous Transcription also deals with the simultaneous transcription. This centre provides services of physically present transcribers. The Masaryk University in Brno is working on developing a Polygraf system, which allows a local provision of a transcription by using a physically present transcriber in the same room. The equivalent of this service is offered by Telefonica O2 in “Call for people with hearing disability”. However this service does not allow remote transcription in a real-time communication between a deaf person and the hearing person – which is the most common communication scenario.


The core team consists of project manager, solution designer, developer, representative of the deaf and team of professional transcribers. Ing. Zdeněk Bumbálek – CEO and cofounder of Transkript online; strategy, project management, business development; Graduate of Telecommunications (CTU, 2008) and in Business and management (MUVS CTU, 2011). Ing. Jan Zelenka – cofounder of Transkript online; requirement engineering, solution design, testing; Graduate of Telecommunications (CTU, 2005). Ing. Miloslav Brada – cofounder of Transkript online; chief technical developer; Graduate of Telecommunications (CTU, 2005). Ing. Martin Novak - cofounder of Transkript online; relations with hearing impaired people; the president of the Czech Union of the Deaf. Team of professional transcribers. Our typists are recruited from the finalists of national and international contests in fast typing.
About the Lead Co-Creation Partners
Československá obchodní banka, a. s. (CSOB)
Visit website
Type of organization (e.g. NGO, association, not-for-profit, foundation, social enterprise)

Social enterprise

Total Number of Full-Time Employees


Lead Contact First Name


Lead Contact Last Name



Ing. et Ing.


Czech Republic

Twitter URL
Organization Name

Československá obchodní banka, a. s. (CSOB)

Total Number of Full-Time Employees


Lead Contact First Name


Lead Contact Last Name



CSR manager


Czech Republic

Twitter URL
Organization Website
Basic Info
Project Starting Year


Primary European Country where this Project is creating social impact

, PR, Prague

Additional European countries where this Project is creating social impact

Project has started negotiation about expansion to Slovakia.

Select the category that best fits the type of your project:

New products & services: Entries in this category develop and offer essentials product and services that address needs currently unmet, Other: If you feel that your entry does not fit any of the above categories, please suggest another category name..

What awards or honors has the project received?

Awards received by partners for our services: CSOB - bank of the year 2012. Vodafone - finalist of Mosty 2012.

Project Summary
Co-Creation Model: Tell us about your main strategic partners and how the partnership truly create value. For each Partner please include its type (business/social/public), its name, a short description, its key motivation to participate in the co-creation project, and the key contributions it is making in the co-creation project. Please follow the format displayed below:

- Partner 1: Ceskoslovenska obchodni banka, a. s.
-Type of partner: business
-Short description sentence: [Max 25 words/partner]
CSOB group is the leading player in Czech financial services industry. CSOB group is a part of the international bancassurance KBC group.
-Key motivation to participate in the co-creation project: [Max 35 words/partner]
Corporate Social Responsibility; support new and innovative ideas; attract the community of hearing impaired people; make CSOB‘s products and services accessible to all clients without any barriers.
-Key contributions in the co-creation project [Max 35 words/partner]
Support of an operational pilot at selected bank branches; Enabling an origin of Transkript online s.r.o.; 1st commercial institution providing simultaneous transcription to its clients, currently at 87 contact points; 1st commercial client of Transkript online.

-Partner 2: Vodafone Czech Republic a.s
-Type of partner: business
-Short description sentence [Max 25 words/partner]
We believe we can help to build a more sustainable future by delivering products and services that enable positive economic, social and environmental outcomes for our stakeholders worldwide.
-Key motivation to participate in the co-creation project [Max 35 words/partner]
Corporate Social Responsibility; support new and innovative ideas using modern technology; attract the community of hearing impaired people; make Vodafone‘s products and services accessible to all clients without any barriers.
-Key contributions in the co-creation project [Max 35 words/partner]
Vodafone Foundation supported the academic project eScribe, which developed the prototype of system providing online transcription. This enabled also to create a team, which established later the social company Transkript online.

-Partner 3: Czech Union of the Deaf
-Type of partner: social
-Short description sentence [Max 25 words/partner]
Czech Union of the Deaf is an organization which, was created to protect and promote the rights, interests and needs of persons with hearing disabilities.
-Key motivation to participate in the co-creation project [Max 35 words/partner]
Minimize communication barriers; promote simultaneous transcription as a means of communication of deafened and hard of hearing people;
-Key contributions in the co-creation project [Max 35 words/partner]
Cofounder of Transkript online s.r.o; ethic codex of professional transcribers, definition of the users’s needs; continuous feedback from the target group; promotion of simultaneous transcription among the community of hearing impaired people

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact. Please specify using qualitative and quantitative data (e.g. # of indirect and direct beneficiaries); help us understand how this solution truly makes a difference.

In October 2012 the Transkript social enterprise was founded. Online transcription service is currently available at 126 contact points of three corporate clients throughout the Czech Republic. The mobile application eScribeDroid, which allows providing online transcription for personal use of the deaf people across the whole Czech Republic, has been developed. There was a total number of 1,627 units of transcriptions provided in 2013, of which 67% were provided free of charge to deaf users for personal purposes. The upward trend of this service is confirmed by the fact that 37% of all transcripts were realized in Q4 2013. The service is available 8 hours a day, 5 days a week and it is provided by two transcribers working in parallel. The company financially and materially supported the Czech Union of the Deaf and its members from the company profit in the amount of CZK 110,000.

Funding: How is your project financial supported? [select all that apply]

Businesses, Customers, Other.

Sustainability Plan: Has your project already reached financial sustainability? If not, what is this solutio’s plan to ensure financial sustainability? Do the main partners have enough stake to sustain the solution? If this project requires limited budget, how will other resources be secured to maintain or grow this work?

The project had to be designed as self-financing from the beginning, because there were no other financial resources except the initial investment from the cofounders. The more commercial clients we have, the more donated transcriptions we can provide for personal use of hearing impaired people. In 2014, we expect an increase of more than 300% of the commercial points of contact with the transcription. Expected revenues have the potential to offer a total of 18,000 units of the transcripts for personal use by hearing impaired people for free. We intend to extend the project to Slovakia, where we have already entered into a partnership with organizations of hearing impaired people ANEPS. We are preparing also an “advert” model. The online transcription will be available at public places (post offices, waiting rooms,...) in exchange for advertising on screens (intended for transcription).

Founding Story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the Partners to get started and/or to see the potential for this to succeed.

The idea of a social enterprise operating the online transcription developed as a part of the thesis of Z. Bumbalek (2011). The technical solution followed the previous work of the project implementers, who developed a prototype at the Czech Technical University. The initial student works were supported by the Vodafone Foundation. The main objective of the initial phase (03-06/2012 ) was to prepare a feasibility study, the cost model, the legal requirements and to identify suitable corporate clients and employees. The implementation began in 10/2012 with the foundation of the social enterprise Transkript. The partner and 1st client, the CSOB bank, was motivated by real problem by communicating with deaf clients. CSOB appreciated the online solution with lower costs, minimal implementation impact on daily operation and the potential to address the community of hearing impaired people.

About the Co-Creation
Barriers: What main barriers may you have encountered to co-create during the creation and implementation of the project and how did you try to overcome them?

Barrier (B): Missing information among major society and partner‘s employees about communication needs of hearing impaired people. Solution (S): Several workshops for employees. "The Ten Commandments" of communication with hearing impaired people. Promotion of online transcription (news articles, TV reports, video spots, academic papers)
B: Concerns about the usability, reliability and quality of the service. S: Pilot at selected partner’s branches.
B: No financial support of simultaneous transcription for deafened and hard of hearing from government. S: Social enterprise; transcription as a service for companies with large customer basis.
B: Fragmentation of the target group. Social exclusion of deafened people. S: Culture actions, lectures. Promotion in major sociaty.
B: Lack of transcribers, high costs. S: Online solution. Sharing transcribers. No needs to travel.

Governance: What is the type of the relationship between the partners? (e.g. joint venture, contractual relationship, joint project...)

1) Main partner - CSOB.„Icebreaker” – strong reference. Pilot project at the beginning of the partnership. Currently contractual relationship (Supplier - Customer). CSOB strongly supports activities limiting barriers for the hendicapped people.
2) Vodafone. Contractual relationship (Supplier - Customer). Vodafone foundation supported the related student activities at the Czech Technical University.
3) Ceska sporitelna (member of Erste group). Contractual relationship (Supplier - Customer).
4) Czech Union of the Deaf (CUD). Joint project. The president of CUD is a cofounder of Transkript.

Interaction model: How is the project a transformative partnership? How is the interaction transforming the partnering organizations and their employees/ leadership in terms of creating a new vision, new management practices, new skills and new organizational structures? Please provide for concrete examples

The project has a positive impact on both parties. The partner CSOB extended its friendly approach to the hearing impaired clients. Hundreds of partner’s employees were trained in best practises, how to communicate with hearing impaired people. The employees understood the communication needs of this group of people and they can transfer this knowledge to their private life too. The partner benefits from an effective communication service and was rewarded as the Bank of the year 2012 for the transcription services for its deaf customers. The social enterprise Transkript strongly benefits from the partnership in the area of management and leadership consultancy provided by partner’s managers. All these factors enabled to implement a long term sustainable development of the online transcription service in the environment, where no support from the government is guaranteed.

How did you find out about this competition?

Email notification from partners in CSR and NGOs domain.