This guideline has been created to facilitate securing and hiring captioners in a professional and efficient manner. If questions arise, please visit the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) at www.ncraonline.org.
- Begin to coordinate CART service requests as soon as you receive the request or decide to provide CART service as part of your event. Instruct participants to request a captioner as early as possible prior to the event.
- When coordinating CART services, aim to secure a professionally trained provider who is certified through NCRA. A real-time captioner should be able to write in excess of 225 words per minute. A captioner should be able to concentrate for long periods of time, have an excellent knowledge of the English language, and have extensive dictionaries built into their software to support a wide variety of captioning settings.
- You may contract services through a court reporting and/or captioning agency or an individual in private practice. Be prepared to provide, at minimum, the date and time of your request and the general nature of the assignment (conference, workshop, religious event, one-on-one, legal setting, medical setting, etc.).
- Once you have secured captioning services, provide as much information in advance as possible, i.e., conference or workshop schedule/agenda, handouts, outlines, names, topics, technical vocabulary, etc. This allows the captioner(s) assigned to prepare and add to their dictionary as needed to ensure as much accuracy as possible. If it is not possible to provide such information in advance, make every attempt to provide pertinent materials to the captioner(s) on the day of the event.
- If the assignment involves an extensive amount of time, is technical, complex, and/or quick-paced, you may need to schedule a team of captioners.
- Discuss in advance all financial and logistical details with the captioner or firm. You should ask or be made aware of the rates and billable services, i.e., is there a separate preparation time fee, portal time, transcript fee? Will any captioning be required during breaks and lunch? Before and/or after the event? For breakout sessions or small group discussions?
- Work out seating and visibility arrangements with the deaf/hard of hearing participant(s) and the captioner on the day of the event. Be sure to reserve seating in the front of the room close to an electrical outlet for the equipment. Also, it is helpful to inform the speakers or presenters that a captioner is present to provide an accommodation.