CART Services Broadcast Captioning Text Interpreting Realtime Fitness Online
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P.O. Box 278
Lombard, IL 60148


The Need for CART and Closed-Captioning Services

It is a common assumption that a deaf person can only communicate through a sign language interpreter. That is true for someone whose primary language is ASL, American Sign Language. It may be untrue, however, for a late-deafened adult, an individual who, due to illness or degenerative disease or genetic inheritance, became deaf after living in the hearing world. This individual does not necessarily use ASL, may not read lips, but does communicate orally.

What technology provides instant access to the classroom and ensures that individual full participation? Realtime text at its best through our CART [Communication Access Realtime Translation] services is the conversion of the spoken word from stenotype shorthand simultaneously into printed format using computer-aided translation. [CAT]

CAT started as a government experiment in the early '50s. The U. S. Air Force and IBM embarked on an experiment to translate foreign languages into English. The idea of inputting data into the computer using a stenographic machine rather than a standard QWERTY keyboard was pursued as the fastest method to accomplish this task. By the mid '60s, the U. S. Government was successful in computer translation of Russian and Chinese into English, but it was not until later that decade that stenographic shorthand outlines would translate into English words.

In 1985, the court system started experimenting with realtime as an assistive device for hearing-impaired litigants and jurors. Through this process, live closed-captioning of TV programs was accomplished. In the '90s, realtime saw its way into the college classroom. With instant text appearing on the computer screen during class lectures, and verbatim notes being provided through this method, students with hearing impairments found their grades were markedly improved. Realtime in the class also offered compliance with certain accessibility requirements under the ADA.

CART is being provided remotely to college campuses. Receiving an audio feed of the class, text is instantly sent back to the student's laptop screen in class via web streaming over the internet. For more information on sources of realtime reporting nationally, also known as CART, visit the National Court Reporters Association at