Why do People Need CART?

Like sign language, Communication Access Realtime Translation, or CART, may be used as an accommodation for individuals or groups of people who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing at live events, in public places, at government proceedings, in classrooms, or where the need arises.

Two girls speak in sign language.
Some children with hearing loss are mainstreamed and don’t learn sign language. photo credit: Learning sign language via photopin (license)

CART may be needed when people who are Hard of Hearing or Deaf:

  • need to receive communication information;
  • amplification alone isn’t sufficient;
  • precise word choice matters, such as in meetings or during class,
  • when they need extra time to review spoken language, and/or,
  • they don’t know or prefer sign language.

Avoid making assumptions about hearing loss or deafness

When a person has a hearing aid, assistive listening device, or cochlear implant, those devices don’t make communication perfectly clear. They are machines with limitations.

Some people with hearing loss speak as if they can hear and may read lips. Because of their speech, assumptions are made about their hearing, while their speech doesn’t reflect their hearing. It is possible to be deaf and speak.

Lipreading is not exact, and is dependent on the individual’s skill at reading lips, the accents and methods of pronunciation used by each speaker, and distractions. Lipreading is hindered by distance from the speakers, inability to see the lips, and darkness or low lighting.

People who prefer and use sign language may use CART too, particularly when they need transcripts to digest what was said.

Statue of Liberty holds up torch and seagull flies overhead
Whenever possible, offer the individual freedom of choice regarding their accommodations. photo credit: New York – Liberty Island “Statue of Liberty & Seagull” via photopin (license)

Trust the individual to know or learn what accommodations they need to adapt to their environment, which is always changing.

How often is CART needed?

Few people use CART daily, but rather, as a part of their communication tools. A similar tool that many who use CART use is the captioned telephone, currently a free service for individuals who provide documentation of their hearing loss or deafness.

However, during intense language sessions, such as during meetings, conferences, training, classes at school or college, CART may be needed for longer periods of time and with greater regularity.

Sign language and CART provide some of the fastest communication access.

One woman takes notes for another.
Note taking is a lower-tech option for accessibility. It is much slower than CART, so more information is lost. photo credit: Design as Inquiry – Socially shared PLEs via photopin (license)

Note taking, an older form of accommodation for people with hearing loss or deafness, is dependent on the point-of-view of the note taker, who may not know what notes are most important. Without specialized shorthand equipment, note taking is slower. As a result, information can be lost.

CART providers can work from different locations

CART providers may work in close proximity to the individual or group, or they work may remotely, listening to what is said via computer or phone. Some webinars and online events provide CART as an accommodation for those who are Hard of Hearing or Deaf.

In classroom settings and other situations when an overhead projector or technical vocabulary is used, or when computers are used in combination with lecture, the CART provider would be at a disadvantage working remotely because they couldn’t see what is referred to when someone says, “Look at this” or “See this here.”

In live situations, when the CART provider is unclear about what is said, they ask questions for clarification. This isn’t possible remotely.

CART transcripts

Notebook with many pages
CART transcripts can serve as part of the student’s notebook to study for tests. photo credit: english note book via photopin (license)

The person who is Hard of Hearing or Deaf may request a transcript from the CART provider. Since what is typed is only seen for a few seconds or minutes, and also because the person requesting CART may be reading lips and processing ideas while reading CART, transcripts give consumers the chance to review content and remember or learn it.

CART transcripts may be essential for student success.

When CART may not be appropriate

Even advanced readers may have difficulty with CART, because people may speak quickly, causing many words to cross the screen rapidly. While not terrible for a few minutes, this could become overwhelming.

Some people know or are more comfortable with sign language. They may have learned sign language first, and are more comfortable with symbolic or iconic language, as opposed to print, which is based on spoken—and heard—language.

CART should not be requested for an individual based on an assumption that the person may prefer it.

When possible, government recommendations are to accommodate individuals based on their requests. They have determined their needs based on experience that the event organizer, business leader, or teacher should weigh heavily during decision making.

When CART is the preference

Others may not know sign language or are more comfortable with CART. In some cases, sign language or CART is preferable because of the individual’s style.

Amplification with devices such as assistive listening devices, note takers, and close seating with a view of the speaker are other accommodations that might be requested in combination with CART.

One law student and blogger who is Deaf debated the use of interpreters versus CART for law classes, showing how each experience differs. The blog post shows the intricacies—and the humanity—involved in receiving communication support.

How Sign Shares uses CART in the office

Sign Shares, Inc./International provides CART, or Communication Access Realtime Translation, as one of the communication options available for people with hearing loss or deafness.

Some staff members at Sign Shares benefit from using CART during meetings and events, while others prefer sign language. Sign Shares honors staff requests.

Requesting a CART provider

Do you need CART for an event, class, meeting, or other auditory experience? Request CART from Sign Shares here.

More information about CART

Yesterday’s blog shared about What is CART?

 

 

 

What is CART?

CART, or Communication Access Realtime Translation, is a way for people who are Hard of Hearing or Deaf to receive communication information, especially when they don’t prefer or know sign language.

This might occur when the person who is Hard of Hearing or Deaf lost their hearing later in life, or if their family chose for them to attend mainstreamed schools where the opportunity to learn sign language may not have been provided.

According to the National Court Reporters Association, CART is “a way to transcribe the spoken word into readable English text using a stenotype machine, notebook computer, and realtime software.”

Picture of a person typing on a shorthand typewriter, or stenograph.
The CART provider uses tools that require natural ability and technical skill. photo credit: Playing Chords via photopin (license)

Their equipment is similar to the court reporter’s, with a stenotype machine that types shorthand so that they can record the natural pace of speech closely.

“CART is also referred to as realtime captioning or live-event captioning,” according to the association. During captioning, a CART provider types text that appears on a computer screen or on a projected screen or other display.

The CART provider types all environmental sounds for the person, serving the same purpose as hearing. For example, if a phone rings while a professor is speaking, the CART provider might insert “[phone ringing]” into the transcript, while also typing what the professor says.

To provide this accuracy, certified CART providers must type between 180-225 words a minute, according to the association. They must also understand and use the technology needed to provide CART in live settings, including computers, software, projectors and other equipment they need.

According to a Houston Chronicle article , typing over 120 words per minute is considered highly proficient and the fastest typist on record typed 212 words a minute.

Talent combined with technology makes the certified CART provider one of the fastest and most accurate conveyors of communication.

Transcripts from the captions may be requested from CART providers, usually for an additional fee, since transcripts may require the provider to review the content and make slight corrections as needed for a polished product.

Some businesses that use CART for employees request a copy as an internal record of their meeting, a perk from providing accommodations.Sign Shares boat logo with blue hands

Do you need a live or remote CART provider for an event, class, meeting, or other auditory experience? Request CART from Sign Shares here.

Where to Connect to DeafBlind Resources

The Sign Shares’ blog has posted the past few articles relating to support people for individuals who are DeafBlind, or who have
both vision and hearing loss.

However, how do individuals seek DeafBlind Interpreters, Support Service Providers (SSPs), or Interveners? How do those who are DeafBlind pay for them?

One of the first stops for assistance is vocational rehabilitation. If an individual has a severe enough disability–and having both
vision and hearing loss qualifies–then most individuals can receive some assistance with services and/or equipment and training they need to maintain their independence from their state’s vocational rehabilitation program.

Here is a list of vocational rehabilitation agencies across America. It lists agencies by state.

Vocational rehabilitation may assist individuals who are going to school or work, as well as individuals who aren’t working and need support to live, work, and play independently.

Once an individual is a client of a vocational rehabilitation program, they may assist with the cost of DeafBlind Interpreters and potentially SSPs.

However, federal and state agencies, as well as cities, will provide these services if the individual requests them. They usually need some advanced notice so they have time to make an appointment for the individual to have services. Also, large businesses that serve the public are also required to provide these services as requested.

Schools provide Interveners as needed, and the request for one should be in a student’s education plan. The first step for this is for the student to be enrolled with special education or disability services programs at school or college/university. From there, they can request DeafBlind Interpreters and Interveners to assist with communication and/or learning, as is needed by the student.

While most services can be paid for through vocational rehabilitation, schools, colleges, and universities, as well as sometimes through government agencies and businesses, it
takes extra information to be prepared and learn what is needed for independence.

Joining organizations that have other individuals who have similar needs makes it easier to socialize and learn more about ways to adapt.

There are many organizations to choose from, based on the person’s needs and interests.

Here is a list of nationwide DeafBlind Organizations.

These supports are the beginning for a person who is DeafBlind getting assistance to have the services he or she needs to live the fullest life possible.

How Interveners Contribute to Services for People who are DeafBlind

There are a variety of supports available to people who are DeafBlind. Yesterday, the Sign Shares’ blog discussed the difference between DeafBlind Interpreters and Support Service Providers, or SSPs.

According to the National Task Force on Deaf-Blind Interpreting, there are three support roles for people who are DeafBlind.

  • DeafBlind Interpreter
  • Support Service Provider (SSP)
  • Interveners

While a DeafBlind Interpreter supports formal communication situations, and SSPs may assist with informal situations, guiding, and transportation, Interveners help educate individuals who are DeafBlind in ways that enhance their independence.

According to the National Task Force on Deaf-Blind Interpreting, Interveners often work with students who are DeafBlind, but can also work with children and adults in their homes and communities. These individuals need the one-to-one support of a trained, consistent professional who understands and is prepared to address the needs of the student.

Two people use tactile sign language
Interveners and DeafBlind Interpreters may work together in educational settings, with the Intervener focusing more on meeting individualized educational plan goals. photo credit: Communication via photopin (license)

Interveners team with school staff, family, and community providers to achieve individual goals for the person who is DeafBlind, according to the task force. They are gaining recognition as a service for individuals who are DeafBlind to have access to education under the IDEA, the law that guarantees equal access to education, and within their home and community,

According to the task force, “an Intervener provides a bridge to the world for the student who is DeafBlind” by facilitating access to the environmental information that is usually gained through vision and hearing, such as:

  • gathering information,
  • learning concepts and skills,
  • developing communication and language, and
  • establishing relationships that lead to greater independence.

Qualified Interveners have completed training and credentialed through the National Resource Center for Paraeducators (NRCPara) and may work together with school districts on the student’s Individualized Education Plan, according to the task force.

According to What’s My Role? A Comparison of the Responsibilities of Interpreters, Interveners, and Support Service Providers, the Intervene:

  • “acts in a manner that is governed by the local education agency and federal education laws,”
  • “uses the Individual Education Program as a road map for learning,” and
  • “is considered a paraprofessional and works with, but does not replace, the teacher.”

You can learn more about Interveners at the National Center on Deaf-Blindness and at http://intervener.org/.

The Difference between DeafBlind Interpreters and Support Service Providers

Many supports are available to people who are DeafBlind. Yesterday, the Sign Shares’ blog discussed DeafBlind Interpreters. There are others who provide support besides interpreting, so that people who have vision and hearing loss can live independently.

According to the National Task Force on Deaf-Blind Interpreting, there are three types of support roles for people who are DeafBlind.

  • DeafBlind Interpreter
  • Support Service Provider (SSP)
  • Interveners

If their need regards formal communication, such as medical appointments, education, meetings, etc., they will need a certified professional, a DeafBlind Interpreter, according to the task force.

What happens if the individual’s need involves more than communication, such as transportation?

Person walks down street using cane and talking to another person.
Traveling and navigating around unfamiliar locations are one of the reasons a person who is DeafBlind might need the services of a Support Service Provider, or SSP. photo credit: Marchez sur le trottoir (Walk on Sidewalk) via photopin (license)

If the person who is DeafBlind needs transportation and support navigating an environment such as a conference, shopping, hobbies and sports, or informal settings, they may need a Support Service Provider, or SSP.

Friends and family members often take the role of Support Service Providers, according to a white paper by the American Association of the Deaf-Blind.

There are problems with people close to the person who is DeafBlind performing the SSP role, according to the white paper. They often lack formal training, may not provide reliable support, and the person requesting SSP support “may have feelings about infringing on others’ time. Often, this will lead the person who is deaf-blind to change their plans or not get out into the community…”

According to the paper, not getting out into the community “can lead to isolation, depression, low self-worth, and frustration…”

Hiring SSPs may offer greater independence for the individual with need because they are involved in their travel experiences.

According to the National Task Force on Deaf-Blind Interpreting, SSPs:

  • provide visual and environmental information,
  • assist with communication access, and
  • guide within the physical environment, generally in community-based or informal settings.

In a white paper, the American Association of the Deaf-Blind describes the SSPs main role as:

  • “Providing access to the community by making transportation available (by car, bus, or other conveyance), and serving as a human guide while walking,” and
  • Relaying “visual and environmental information that may not be heard or seen by the person who is deaf-blind. This is done in the person’s preferred language and communication mode.”

    Several cars drive through traffic and between many people trying to walk through a crosswalk.
    While an interpreter isn’t needed for communication during heavy traffic situations, an SSP could provide support. photo credit: Californian Crosswalk via photopin (license)

An important aspect of the relationship between the person who is DeafBlind and an SSP is that the person who is DeafBlind makes all decisions, according to the white paper.

Support Service Providers, according to the task force, might assist in the following locations:

  • airports,
  • train stations,
  • restaurants,
  • shopping,
  • recreation and leisure sites,
  • during health and fitness pursuits,
  • errands,
  • community activities,
  • at home reading mail,
  • social gatherings, and
  • other activities in private settings.

SSPs may work in together with DeafBlind Interpreters at events like conferences, where the interpreter supports workshop communication, and the SSP supports travel and navigating the event, according to the task force.

According to the American Association of the Deaf-Blind, SSPs and Interpreters share some traits:

  • precepts they share:
  • remaining impartial,
  • maintaining confidentiality,
  • and working in a variety of settings.

However, they differ in important ways, because Interpreters:

  • work with people who are deaf, hard of hearing, and also people deaf-blind;
  • Interpreter education is available from colleges/universities and can culminate in state/national certification;
  • Interpreters are paid based upon their certification and/or the rate established by the referring agency/community.

SSPs work only with people who are DeafBlind or have a combination of hearing and vision loss, according to the association.

Their training is less formal than interpreters, may be taught in workshops or through life experiences. Because of the less formal education and certification of SSPs, they may be volunteers, or receive less pay.

Review a detailed Interpreter/SSP/Intervener comparison chart here under What’s My Role? A Comparison of the Responsibilities of Interpreters, Interveners, and Support Service Providers.

Tomorrow, we’ll examine the role of Interveners.

If you’d like to request a Sign Shares’ interpreter, you may do so here.

 

DeafBlind Interpreters: When and How They are Used

There are many supports for people who are DeafBlind, those who experience both vision and hearing loss.

People who are DeafBlind may have any combination of hearing and vision loss. For example, they may be Blind and have some hearing loss, or Deaf and have some vision loss, or a combination of both at any degree. Because vision and hearing are two sensory needs, having a loss of both presents an additional challenge with communication and navigating their world.

Two fingers read Braille on a page.
Some people who are DeafBlind read Braille. Others don’t need it. Each person has their own specific needs. photo credit: Aprendiendo a leer via photopin (license)

The goal of providing supports for the individual who is DeafBlind is that the individual can make decisions and live independently.

According to the National Task Force on Deaf-Blind Interpreting, there are three types of support roles for people who are DeafBlind:

  • DeafBlind Interpreter
  • Support Service Provider (SSP)
  • Interveners

When a person might need assistance from one of the support roles above depends on their needs, level of disability, and  preferences.

If their need regards communication, such as at medical appointments, school or college, conference workshops, government or professional meetings, then they will need a certified professional, a DeafBlind Interpreter, according to the task force.

According to the task force, DeafBlind Interpreters are skilled with:

  • Tactile signing, a hand-over-hand method for people who receive signed information through touch;
  • Tracking, used by DeafBlind people who have some vision but rely on understanding signed information by touching the interpreter’s wrist or forearm to visually follow their hands;
  • Providing visual environmental information in addition to spoken or signed content;
  • Modifying the signing space, the distance between the consumer and interpreter;
  • Adjusting pacing; and
  • Delivering the content in a manner which is meaningful and understandable way for the individual.

A DeafBlind Interpreter may also offer other additional support, according to the task force, which may include:

  • Guiding the individual when walking from one place to another,
  • Sharing visual information,
  • Note-taking,
  • Translation of printed materials, or
  • Assisting with seating arrangements.

Tomorrow’s blog will discuss the difference between DeafBlind Interpreters and Support Service Providers.

Disability Study Points to Important Factors for Employee Retention

A national British study involving major employers and employees determined two major factors related to the retention of employees with disabilities: organizational values and reasonable adjustments, or accommodations.

The research was conducted by the Business Disability Forum, which includes businesses that employ 20 percent of the United Kingdom workforce. The study involved 352 employees. It follows an earlier employees with disabilities study conducted with 145 businesses.

Woman wearing business suit and smiling.
According to the report, retaining each employee saves a company an average of the American dollar equivalent of $43,000 a year. photo credit: Happy businesswoman via photopin (license)

According to the report, retaining employees with disabilities saves money for businesses, because it’s cheaper to keep them than replace them: “…staff turnover in just 5 sectors cost UK business more than £4 billion each year and the average cost of replacing individual employees is estimated at £30,000[1]. The business case for investing in retention is a compelling one.”

Wheelchair ramp placed at bottom of stairs.
Sometimes, employers and employees have differing views on what accommodations are needed. While the ramp is an accommodation here, a wheelchair can’t roll over the stairs. photo credit: Ramp to No where via photopin (license)

One of the areas needing to be addressed were workplace accommodations. According to the study, employees with disabilities felt their employers knew their legal obligations to provide accommodations, while few employees knew where to get advice about them from within their place of work:

  • “Less than 7 in 10 employees with disabilities were ‘very’ or ‘mainly’ confident that their employer has the knowledge to manage legal obligations with respect to adjustments;” and
  • “Close to 3 in every 10 employees with disabilities indicated that they were ‘very’ or ‘mainly’ confident about where to source advice about adjustments from within their organization.”
Business people hold meeting with a man on video.
Advanced technology offers solutions for the needs of all employees. Sometimes, people don’t know the options they have to get the technology. photo credit: Skype panelist via photopin (license)

Existing programs could have provided accommodations for employees, but employees didn’t always know about the programs, according to the report. “Far fewer employees than employers report awareness of the Access to Work program which can assist with funding specific adjustments for individuals that would not reasonably be expected for all employers to fund.”

The Access to Work website says that employees can apply for grants to assist with accommodations.

In the U.S., Centers for Independent Living, resource centers for people with any disability, and vocational rehabilitation programs assist with accommodations for people with disabilities:

Human with a question mark
The study revealed that line managers need resources and support with employees with a disability. photo credit: question mark via photopin (license)

According to the report, organizational barrier to employee with disability retention involves what they refer to as “line managers”  most directly. Line managers need skill and confidence in addressing disability-related needs, and in some cases, employees said that line managers had negative attitudes toward disability.

Man with a cochlear implant
Does your company website include profiles of individuals with disabilities? photo credit: Cochlear Implant via photopin (license)

The report provides suggestions for employers, including:

  • giving visibility to disability, such as having employee testimonials on recruitment webpages and staff profiles, and having staff networks for employees with disabilities;
  • building the skills and confidence of line managers by providing “centrally stored, up-to-date advice and guidance on all aspects of how disability affects employers on the intranet” and providing support them when hiring new team members with accommodations needs;
  • having a “stand-alone disability-related absence policy and clear guidelines for line managers about how disability-related absence is managed;”
  • having a workplace adjustment process that involves employees in the accommodations process. Line managers need training and guidance with this, according to the report; and
  • “reviewing performance appraisal systems for unconscious biases that limit the progress of employees with disabilities.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] See: HR REVIEW (Feb 2014)

The report, State of the Nation: Retaining and developing employees with disabilities – Stage 2,