Cart - Computer Assisted Real-Time

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FAQs about CART

What Is CART?

CART is an amazing technological advancement that has allowed us to provide live transcription of speech to the hard of hearing and the deaf. It can stand for Computer Assisted Real-Time or it can stand for Communication Access Real-time Transcription. There are people that think differently depending on who you ask as to the actual definition of the acronym. One thing is clear though, and that is what it does for those that use it. Most often you will hear it referred to as the first one though.

How Old Is The CART Philosophy?

The steno machine has versions of it that can date back all of the way to 1913. Obviously these were no where near as advanced as the stenos that you can see today. The steno machines that can send code to computers however have only been around as far back as the 1980s. In 1981, we were able to witness the first captioned television broadcast that was live. CART was created to help compliment live captioned television broadcasts in the mid 1980s.

Are Court Reporters Different Than CART Providers? How?

The main difference between the court reporter and the CART provider is that the court reporter is taking down all of the information and giving it to members of the judicial system. Whereas a CART provider will use the same equipment often and transcribe the information in real time for the hard of hearing of the deaf. They are so similar in so many ways and yet they both serve completely different clientele.

CART providers will often be used in situations in which someone needs the information in transcribed format that otherwise wouldn't be able to get that information from speech. Therefore the CART provider will often charge a higher hourly price tag for their work, but if they choose to provide their clients with transcripts, it will be considerably less for them than with court reporters. Court reporters make the majority of their money from selling transcripts.

Another major difference is that court reporters might use shorthand and get a bit sloppy in order to maintain the speed in which they need to catch every single word on the transcript. A CART provider is charged with keeping the transcript readable during real time and they will never use that kind of short hand or get sloppy with their transcriptions.

ASL Interpretation Vs. CART

There are always going to be certain times when sign language just isn't going to be enough to get the specific message across. For instance, if you are in a classroom and have technical or highly detailed information that you need, sign language may fall short. CART allows a student in that situation to get the information they need and do so at their own pace. When you are dealing with sign language, you can't really go at your own pace, you have to keep up or your risk falling behind in certain areas of the information.

CART seems to be just about equal to ASL when the final price is given for students and people that need transcriptions that are hard of hearing or deaf. CART tends to be favored by those that are listening to lectures or things that are less interactive. That way they can have the notes to look back over and things of that nature. ASL is often preferred when people are at seminars or are in the presence of something that is far more interactive.

CART Vs. Captioning

Captioning and CART might go hand and hand in some aspects, but contrary to popular belief, they are not the same thing. Captioning is when a QWERTY typist will create sub titles to a program or broadcast that people are following, usually giving the end user the option to turn the text on or off during the program. You will also find that closed captioning occurs when you have a situation in which the broadcast is scripted. Usually if it is a live captioning, you will have a stenographer do it instead of a QWERTY typist.

Open captioning that is live is then referred to usually as CART. This gives the end user the chance to read the transcription that is being given in real time, which is completely different from captioning. You may also see Internet streaming captioning being called remote CART. The main difference here being that people will be seeing the words on a computer monitor and not on a television. Usually this is used at presentations, seminars, and things of that nature.

Should I Hire A CART Provider Through An Agency, or Individually?

The obvious answer is that you should always try and hire the person individually rather than through an agency. As with most jobs, whenever you have an agency representing you they are going to take a cut of the pay right off the top, therefore they charge a bit more to make up the difference. When you find an individual that you can just hire without going through an agency, you are far more likely to get a better price. Often times you will also be able to work with an individual and get a more customized package or deal, which is not the case when dealing with agencies all of the time.

Will Speech Recognition End CART?

The fact of the matter is that computers are never going to be able to understand the context in which something was said. They have no emotions and therefore don't right with emotions or understand the situation in which someone is talking. Therefore there is always going to need to be human input in order to see the whole picture. Even the best auto speech recognition software in the country still only hits in between 80% to 90% correct, which means there is still a significant gap between speech recognition software and human transcription. A gap that I am sure will remain for quite some time.

There is a bridge that seems to involve both speech recognition and CART/transcription though. You will often see what is called a voice writer. These folks will use speech recognition software combined with human input in order to achieve the best possible results the quickest. You won't find these people that often, as it can take years to really get to a level that is worthy of the title of voice writer. Training is a huge part of the job, and they are always looking for ways to increase efficiency.

Is CART Useful for People With Vision Loss?

I get this question a lot, and most of the time the CART provider that you are working with will be able to help people that have poor vision. One example would be to increase the size of the font as they are typing. There really hasn't been much of a connection with CART and Braille, but it is extremely possible to have the output converted to Braille. Perhaps that is one of the ideas that will really take off in the future years. Simply said, many CART providers will change the type of font and color in order to make sure you are more comfortable if you are a client. You just have to ask them beforehand.

Why Do Some CART Providers Stop Typing When Clients Leave The Room?

The simple answer is that a CART provider is not a personal assistant or someone that takes notes while they are not in the room. A CART providers job is to simply write down what would usually be heard by the client if they were in perfect health. So, if they decide to go to the bathroom or leave the room for some reason, they are going to miss what they wouldn't have heard. If they show up late, the same principle can be applied.


Court Reporter Salary

Did you know that some court reporters make up to $77,770 a year?

One of the most important jobs in the courtroom belongs to the court reporter. They are an integral part of the judicial system because they produce permanent records of court proceedings. In short, a court reporter records verbatim the conversations that take place in a courtroom....