CART is an acronym for Communication Access Realtime Translation. There are 28 million people in the United States with hearing loss and only 500,000 are able to communicate with sign language. Persons who are oral deaf, late-deafened, or hard of hearing and do not know sign language and/or have no one to communicate with in sign language must utilize other methods, such as lip-reading, assistive listening devices, or CART. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) includes realtime captioning or CART in its definition of "auxiliary aid." The Texas Court Interpreter law requires certification in realtime for legal proceedings.
The CART provider becomes the "ears" for the person with hearing loss. CART is performed by a certified court reporter or certified CART provider using a stenotype machine, notebook computer, and realtime translation software to provide instantaneous text display as a person speaks. This allows the deaf or hard-of-hearing person to fully participate in a college classroom, a meeting at work, a public hearing, a seminar, a medical appointment, or other venue. The text can be viewed on the CART provider's computer screen by one person or projected onto a screen or wall with an LCD projector for viewing by a group. For large conferences, the text can be displayed as captions on a large screen with a live video picture using an encoder or character generator.
The term "Remote CART" refers to the ability to send the text to a "virtual" viewing room on the Internet, so deaf and hard-of-hearing participants in other locations can view the text as the CART provider listens to one or more persons over the telephone and inputs the text. For instance, the CART provider could be in Dallas and the meeting participants in another city or state. For more information on CART, please visit www.cart-info.org.