Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART)

Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART) is the process of translating spoken word into written text for persons who may be deaf, hard of hearing, learners of English as a second language, etc. This process is also known as captioning.

Captioning requires a skilled stenographer (typically a court reporter), stenotype machine, notebook computer and real-time software. Captions may be displayed on a small screen read only by a few people, displayed on a large screen for groups (i.e., conference settings), or broadcast on the Internet or via satellite. Captions appear almost instantaneously so there is very little lag time between the spoken message and the message being displayed.

A partial listing of private practice captioners and court reporting/captioning firms is available. Individuals and firms are listed alphabetically with their certifications and city or county of residence or business location. This does not indicate work proximities as many captioners expect and are willing to travel to a job site.

Captioning is not regulated by a specialty governing body. CART captioners generally get their start by developing court reporting skills. Certifications that are offered through the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) include:

RPR: Registered Professional Reporter
CRR: Certified Real-time Reporter
CRC: Certified Real-time Captioner
RMR: Registered Merit Reporters
RDR: Registered Diplomatic Reporter
CRI: Certified Reporting Instructor

The Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing strongly encourages you to secure the services of a professionally trained CART captioner. It is also recommended that you first consult with the deaf or hard of hearing consumer for their preference if this is possible. A guideline for securing and hiring a CART captioner is available.

Please see the websites below for more information on CART:

Last Revised: July 18, 2017