Captioning Matters

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A Captioning Consumer site

The ability to transcribe the spoken word very quickly led to new opportunities as stenographic court reporters began transitioning to the fields of broadcast captioning and CART captioning. Both offer the opportunity to transcribe the spoken word in different settings, whether it’s a sporting event, religious or civic service, news broadcast, or other form of entertainment.


The Captioning Matters site was created to promote the value of captioning services that is offered by many NCRA members. NCRA represents approximately 12,000 captioners, stenographic court reporters, and legal videographers across the country and has been the preeminent national organization for making the record since its founding in 1899.


Captioning for consumers

Captioning 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. Below are the primary forms of consumer captioning.


Broadcast captioning

Captioners, also called stenocaptioners, who practice broadcast captioning, use court reporting skills on the stenotype machine to provide captions of live television programs for deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers through realtime technology that instantly produces readable English text. Captioners work for local stations and for national channels and networks captioning news, emergency broadcasts, sports events, and other programming. 

The Telecommunications Act had very specific mandates for closed captioning of local programs around the country, which created an enormous increase in the demand for realtime captioners to cover local news broadcasts.

CART captioning

Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is the instant translation of the spoken word into English text using a stenotype machine, computer, and realtime software.

A captioner providing CART services 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.



Captioning consumer resources





Telephone compatibility with hearing aids


Telecommunication Relay Services (TRS)



FCC disability related actions



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