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CART Captioner's Manual

CART Manual cover



Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is a word-for-word speech-to-text interpreting service for people who need communication access. Unlike computerized notetaking or abbreviation systems, which summarize information for consumers, CART provides a complete translation of all spoken words and environmental sounds, empowering consumers to decide for themselves what information is important to them. CART consumers include people with hearing loss; individuals with cognitive or motor challenges; anyone desiring to improve reading/language skills; and those with other communication barriers. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) specifically recognizes CART as an assistive technology that affords effective communication access.

A CART captioner supplies instant speech-to-text translation on a computer monitor or other display for the benefit of an individual consumer or larger group in a number of settings: classrooms; business, government, and educational functions; courtrooms; religious, civic, cultural, recreation, or entertainment events. A CART captioner is sensitive to the varying needs of consumers and has had training in conveying a speaker’s message, complete with environmental cues. This expertise distinguishes a CART captioner from a court reporter in a traditional litigation setting.

Attainment of certification so that an individual’s skills and knowledge can be examined objectively is strongly recommended. NCRA’s Certified Realtime Captioner (CRC) certification and workshop provides captioning training as well as the resources needed to transition into captioning. Other exams that may be relevant to judging an individual’s capability to perform the required work are the Certified Realtime Reporter (CRR) and Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) designations. 

For more information on the qualifications expected of a professional CART captioner, please review NCRA’s policy on providing quality CART services and the CART Consumer Bill of Rights.

Access the full manual in PDF format