From the desk of Tracie DeFreitas, M.S., Principal Consultant — ADA Specialist
Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may benefit from the use of Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) services during small and large group communication situations when verbatim conversation is essential to effective communication. CART is described by the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) as, "Communication Access Realtime Translation is the instant translation of the spoken word into English text using a stenotype machine, notebook computer and realtime software. The text appears on a computer monitor or other display. This technology is primarily used by people who are hearing-impaired or who are learning English as a second language." CART offers word for word translation and is provided by a professional who is skilled and trained in using the stenographic equipment. Many captioning services offer remote CART and Internet captioning where the stenographer is not physically present at the event but can listen-in through a telephone line.
CART might be used as a work-site accommodation for an individual who is deaf or hard of hearing. In situations such as a monthly or union meeting, workshop, seminar or awards ceremony, CART may be an effective communication solution to enable participation for someone who cannot hear during such events. CART services will typically need to be scheduled in advance so, such an accommodation would generally need to be requested or planned ahead of time. Always communicate with the individual with the disability to determine if CART will be an effective option. In some situations a sign language interpreter will be preferred or more effective as a communication solution.