By Theresa (Tess) Crowder, RPR, CRR, CRC

After receiving feedback from CART captioners from all over the country, I have established some key points from successful professionals in our field. An overwhelming majority of responses had the words preparation and organization in the tips they were offering. I would also add the word practice in the top three key points. And when the preparations are completed and you are ready to roll, remember that a sense of humor is essential.

 

Checklists

To help with both preparation and organization, one of the tools I rely on is checklists. To help you, I’ve created a few checklists from the responses I have received.

Of course, the first checklist you will need is one of all the equipment you normally carry on a CART assignment, but you probably have one of those already. I don’t have a checklist for you for your equipment, but I do have a few tips:

  • Always pack your software key first!
  • Pack equipment in the same order every time.
  • Keep your cords, cables, and such stored in clear plastic bags.
  • Pack your wireless headsets.
  • Pack your practice material, in case you have a little time on your hands.
  • Turn off the wireless internet on your computer.
  • Keep your software updated.
  • Plan your purchases. Keep in mind that the best deals on equipment are often found at the NCRA Convention & Expo.

In addition to your equipment, you may want to consider the following comfort tips that different CART captioners suggested.

  • Bring back pillows — or store some at the meeting place.
  • Dress in layers for temperature fluctuations.
  • Warm your hands near the fan of the LCD projector.
  • Do stretching exercises at breaks.
  • Insure all your equipment.
  • Email dictionaries to yourself for out-of-town assignments.
  • Learn basic signs.

When you are preparing for a specific event, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Checklist for prep materials for schools

  • Binder with tabs
  • Schedule taped to front of binder
  • Syllabus — terminology, text books, authors
  • Handouts from instructors
  • Three-hole puncher for handouts
  • Highlighter and notepad
  • Textbooks from the library

Checklist for prep materials for meetings

  • PowerPoint presentations
  • Agenda, including speaker names
  • Meeting packets for board meetings
  • Diagram of seating chart
  • Confidentiality and payment agreements
  • Printout of alphabetized job dictionary
  • Highlighter and notepad

Checklist for prep for conventions

  • Binder with tabs — printout of job dictionary
  • Schedule taped to front of binder
  • List of board of directors and officers of the organization
  • List of sponsors and exhibitors
  • Abstracts and PowerPoint presentations
  • Hotel and flight information in binder
  • Contact information: CART captioners, consumers, and audio/video dept.
  • Highlighter and notepad

Writing tips

So far in this article, we’ve discussed the physical items you will need with you. You will also need to mentally prepare for your job — and that means coming prepared to write. Here are a few of the things CART captioners have suggested you do to prepare for your next CART assignment.

  • Use one-stroke speaker IDs.
  • Use one stroke for common words and phrases. (See table at the end for some of my favorites.)
  • Double stroke an acronym brief to global as the complete name.
  • Create “include” files for common recitations, such as the Pledge of Allegiance.
  • Add a script to top of job file, such as text for songs.
  • Include some briefs in both main and job dictionary for reminders.
  • Warm up your fingers by practicing as you are waiting for the event to begin.
  • Always add new fads and proper names of celebrities to dictionaries.
  • Add new terminology, such as the latest slang words, and add common slang words and phrases, such as thingamajig, whatchamacalit, and doohickey.

Remember that preparation and organization are the keys to CART success!

 

A little bit

-BT

A lot of (the)

LAO*F(T)

Across the

KRAOTS

All in favor?

FL*FR

All of a sudden

AFS

Board of Directors

BREKTS

By and large

BLARJ

By the way

BAE

Deaf and hard of hearing

D-FG

deaf-blind

D-BD

First of all

FAUFL

Found out

FOUT

Good afternoon

GAFRN

Good evening

GAOENG

Good morning

GORM

Happy birthday

H-BD

Hard of hearing

H-G

High school

H-S

It was

TWAS

Kind(s) of (the)

KAOEUF(T)(S)

Late-deafened

L-FD

Let me see

LAOEMS

Let’s see

LAOETS

Like I said

LAOEUKDZ

Part(s) of (the)

PAFR(T)(S)

Pretty good

PR-G

Pretty much

PR-FP

Quality of life

KW-FL

Thank you so much

THAUFP

Thank you very much

THAU*FP

Thank you, Mr. Chairman

THAUFRP

Type(s) of

TAOEUF(S)

University of

Y*F

Vice President

V-PT

Vocational rehabilitation

VORK

You know,

Y-N

You’re welcome

URM

 

 

Favorite one-stroke briefs for words

Across

KRAOS

Adjustment

JAUMT

Analysis

NALS

Analyze

NALZ

Apparently

PAERNLT

Around

RAUND

Assessment

SAEMT

Beautiful

B-FL

Birthday

-BD

Comfortable

K-FRL

Congratulations

KLAIGS

Copy

KOIP(S)

Email

M-I(S)(G)(D)

Fortunately

FORL

Girlfriend

GIFRLD

Grandchildren

GR-FP

Grandfather

GR-FR

Grandmother

GR-M

Happy

HAIP

Issue

ISH

Money

MOIN

Mosquito

MOIK

Movie

MOIV(S)

Obviously

OBL

Outstanding

OUGD

Party

PAIRT(S)

Perspective

PR*F

Probably

PR*BL

Reality

R-LT

Really

R-L

Single

S-LG

Standpoint

ST-PT

Unfortunately

UFL

Viewpoint

V-PT

Welcome

W-M

Wonderful

W-FL

 

(Tess) Crowder, RPR, CRR, CRC, from Tampa, Fla., was the 2006-2007 Chair of the  NCRA CART Community of Interest.