Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART), also referred to as realtime captioning or live-event captioning, is a way to transcribe the spoken word into readable English text using a stenotype machine, notebook computer, and realtime software. Through the services of CART providers using the latest realtime technology combined with a stenotype machine and notebook computer, the text appears on a computer monitor or other display and serves as an important communication tool for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or learning a second language. CART provides a complete translation of all spoken words and environmental sounds for the benefit of an individual consumer or larger group in a variety of settings, including classrooms, courtrooms, religious services, conventions and conferences, personal appointments and events, civic events, cultural presentations, or anywhere communication access is needed. Increasingly, CART is being provided remotely via the Internet or a telephone connection.
SEVEN TIPS FOR LOCATING AND SCREENING CART PROVIDERS
1. To find a CART provider in your area, check out "How to Locate a CART Provider" on NCRA's Web site. You'll find links to NCRA's Professional Services Locator, which lists CART providers and includes their certifications, other credentials and areas of experience, and to the membership directory of CARTWheel, which is a voluntary association of CART providers committed to adhering to guidelines of quality service and who have been endorsed by deaf and hard-of-hearing consumers.
2. While you're at the NCRA Web site, you can familiarize yourself with NCRA's CART Provider's Manual, which provides information on the professional skills expected of qualified CART providers, and review Sections III and IV of NCRA's Guidelines for Professional Practice, which set out the ethical behavior expected of CART providers.
3. The Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) designation at this time is a requisite for the qualified CART provider. The RPR certifies the entry-level reporter's ability to provide a verbatim record at speeds ranging from 180-225 words per minute with a minimum accuracy of 95 percent. NCRA also recommends that CART providers earn the Certified Realtime Reporter (CRR) designation, in which a CART provider has proven his or her ability to write realtime at variable speeds ranging from 180-200 words per minute with a minimum accuracy of 96 percent.
4. A qualified CART provider must be able to provide a basic display. Make sure any CART provider you hire has a stenotype machine with realtime cable, a notebook computer, CAT/realtime software and text-enlarging software. In addition to technology, a qualified CART provider should also be able to furnish the small stuff, like an extension cord, a surge protector with an indicator light, a 3-prong or 2-prong ground cord adapter, additional realtime cable and disks.
5. If you want projection capabilities beyond a laptop screen (i.e., multiple monitors, projection screen, L.E.D. message board), make sure the CART provider is willing to test for hardware and software compatibility, and make arrangements to do so.
6. Arrange all payment details in advance, and be sure any quote includes hourly fees, equipment fees and charges for each rough-edit disk. A qualified CART provider will be upfront about all charges.
7. Always ask for references. A qualified CART provider will always share this information and will be eager to put you in touch with others who can sing his or her praises!
Arlington, VA 22204
703 362 5182
Alderson Reporting Company, Inc.
1111 14th Street NW, 4th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20005-5650