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.
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.
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.
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.
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