What is Captioning?


Broadcast captioners, also called stenocaptioners, use court reporter 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 federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 had very specific mandates for closed captioning of local programs around the country. This created an enormous increase in the demand for realtime captioners to cover local news broadcasts around the country, mornings, afternoons, and evenings.

Captioning is an evolving and maturing profession, and the available technology associated with captioning is rapidly advancing. Consequently, the information and guidelines listed here will be updated from time to time.


What is CART?

Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) Captioning is the instant translation of the spoken word into English text using a stenotype machine, computer, and realtime software. The text appears on a computer monitor or other display. This technology is primarily used by people who are deaf or hard of hearing or who are learning English as a second language. 


What is realtime?

Realtime reporters are highly trained professionals who share a unique ability to convert the spoken word into English text instantly into a feed that can be read, streamed, broadcast, searched, and archived. This specialization includes broadcast captioning and realtime translation services for people who are deaf and hard of hearing, as well as providing near-instant translation in legal and other settings. Learn more


NCRA Professional Advantage logo