CART Translation: A Common Misnomer

CART Service provides instantaneous translation of what is being said into visual print display so that it can be read (instead of heard). CART is also referred to as realtime captioning. CART Service is one means of communication access for deaf or hard of hearing individuals who read English fluently.

There has been some controversy over the accuracy of the term CART. Although CART is acknowledged as an acronym for ‘Communication Access Realtime Translation’, there is no actual translation included within the service. Skilled linguists transcribe the spoken word into English text using a stenotype machine, notebook computer and realtime software. The text appears on a computer monitor or other display. When spoken language is converted into written text, the service is called transcription. Translation is a service in which written text in one language is then converted into written text in another language.

Although Communication Access Realtime Translation may be a misnomer, the benefit of CART services for the hearing disabled community is undeniable. The Americans with Disabilities Act specifically recognized CART as an assistive technology which affords “effective communication access.” Communication access aptly describes a CART provider’s role, distinguishing CART from (for example) traditional stenographic reporting in a courtroom setting. A CART provider is sensitive to the varying needs of consumers and has training in conveying a speaker’s message, complete with environmental cues.

Onsite CART can be provided for meetings, classes, training sessions and events and requires the CART writer to travel to the event’s location. In this increasingly interconnected age, CART is now being provided remotely via the Internet or a telephone connection. Remote CART requires the CART writer to be in a remote or off-site location. The individuals requiring the CART services will only need a computer with Internet connection in the location of the event so that the text can be streamed directly to that computer. The delay time is generally less than 3 seconds.

The versatility of CART has proven to be very successful in a variety of settings. CART services can be used one-on-one or in groups of any size. CART equipment is easy to set up and easy to use for both the writers and the participants. American Language Services not only provides top transcription talent, but also rents CART equipment on a per-event or longer basis. The popularity of CART has grown at an exponential rate in the past several years and is one of the only services available today that allows those with hearing disabilities to be 100% involved and an active participant of an event through live captioning and technology.

American Language Services’ CART Services can be provided for meetings, classes, training sessions and events that require the CART writer to travel to the event’s location. This can include all manner of transactions, such as corporate training, conference calls/Video Conferencing, web conferences & seminars. Public events as diverse as government meetings, retirement communities, religious services, ceremonies, and funeral services have called on CART transcription. In the legal arena, hearings, courtroom appearances, depositions, or meetings at lawyer or public notary offices may require CART services. Medical professionals may seek help communicating information about doctor appointments, rehabilitation centers, and counseling. CART applications in entertainment and the arts include theater, cultural events and concerts.

Although many factors come into play with dealing with transcription projects, there is one thing that remains constant. Transcriptions should be done by experienced, professional transcriptionists with the proper and necessary equipment to ensure the best quality transcription service possible. We at American Language Services have provided just that for over 26 years. AML-Global is happy to assist you with your CART needs. Please contact us at the numbers listed below for more information or to schedule your next event.


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