Progressive Unemployment Take Two: Working Online as Audio Transcriptionist

When it comes to looking for work online, I call this constant process "Progressive Unemployment". As noted in a previously written – yet similarly named article – I came to the conclusion that the ONLY way to make money for me personally is through the Internet, because I require an oxygen concentrator 24/7, and have pretty severe mobility limitations.

Freelancers Are a Dime a Dozen

About two years ago I was just finishing my degree in web development when my disease really began hindering my ability to reach that proficiency level necessary to compete in the web design marketplace. I just can't type anymore, voice technology isn't there yet, and haven't been in the industry long enough to be a teacher. Thanks to /r/WorkOnline on Reddit, I have found that the Internet is full of monetary opportunities, But yet again, my inability to be fast enough to get the job done is hindering me from either making enough to make it worth the work, or the marketplace is just oversaturated with far cheaper and faster labor. Freelance writers and graphic designers are a dime a dozen.

Working from Home Is Possible

I've been trying my hand at audio transcription and feel that I really have the possibility of finally making a living for myself. However, many if not all of the companies that I have applied or began working for – such as Scribie – have been very inaccessible.

So far my impressions have been so–so. The audio quality of the files are extremely hit or miss, generally very poor and full of excessive background noise. Because of this I have to listen repeatedly, turning a 6 minute clip into a nearly two-hour job – which is the maximum allotted time you have to finish before you can ask for an extra hour. It also seems like the grading curve is quite steep given the quality of audio that we are to transcribe.

At $1 per 6 minute audio transcription, if that takes me two hours because the process is highly keyboard dependent and does not allow for accessibility extensions, it causes me to question if this is a viable option either. At the end of the day, $40 a month sounds pretty bad. It also makes me wonder if companies like this crowdsource freelancers in order to allow them to skimp on website accessibility, and skirt employee ADA obligations.


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