What is CART Captioning?

\nThanks to the efforts of disability community leaders, the number of laws to improve access for people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing have increased significantly over the past decade. With approximately 48 million deaf and hard-of-hearing people in the United States, the demand for CART captioning has increased as well. Despite the climbing demand, there seems to be limited information on the Internet about CART captioning and how it is used to improve the quality of life for those who are hearing impaired. Whether you’re interested in studying CART captioning or you’re already a court reporter looking to make a change in your career, it’s important to understand what CART is and how it can be utilized in professional, education and personal settings.\n\nCART stands for Communication Access Real-Time Translation, which is a fancy way of saying the translation of speech to text in real time. This type of translation can be used in a classroom to transcribe the lessons of a teacher or during a live television program in the form of closed captioning. \n\nAs voice recognition technology becomes more sophisticated, there is a misconception that CART captioning will eventually become obsolete. This is not the case. The reason disability groups like National Association of the Deaf (NAD) are advocating for CART captioning as opposed to voice search technology is because computers simply can’t understand the context or meaning to distinguish between similar words and phrases, thus creating room for many errors. Even the best automatic speech recognition system still misses or misinterprets 1 out of every 10 words. Unless true artificial intelligence becomes a reality (which is unlikely in the near future – if ever), voice recognition technology will always fall short of a human transcriber. \n\nJust like all court reporters, a CART provider uses a steno writer to transcribe the spoken word at a much faster pace than on a standard keyboard. The difference between these two professions is that a CART provider needs to show a real-time feed that is complete and readable as it is being spoken. Although a court reporter who works in the courtroom is equally accountable for providing a complete and accurate transcript, they have the luxury to take shortcuts with untranslated code and then clean it up later. For this reason, additional qualifications for speed and accuracy are required in order to become a certified CART provider. \n\nIf you’re interested in becoming a Certified CART provider, you must first pass the CCP exam administered by The National Court Reporter’s Association (NCRA). The two-part test consists of a written knowledge test (commonly referred to as the WKT), and a skills test (commonly referred to as the SKT). All CART providers must furnish their own steno machine and CAT Software throughout their career. If you’re interested in this line of work, make sure your steno machine is up-to-date with the latest advanced product features.\n\n

Next Steps

\nTo learn more about the equipment and software required to become a CART provider, talk to the experts at Stenograph, the leading supplier of productivity tools for the court reporting profession 1-800-323-4247.\n\n\n