CART, sometimes referred to as real-time reporting, is one of the less-common ways for deaf and hard of hearing people to understand the content of a spoken discussion. It involves a trained stenographer, who records what is being said, and a computer to simultaneously translate the stenographer's notes into text on a video screen. Before this technology was available, written transcripts took days to produce, but CART allows for not only the simultaneous transcript but a hard copy as well. Errors may appear in CART as in any real-time transcription (including closed captioning), but if voice recognition software is ever perfected accurate automatic CART systems may become available.

CART is only useful for deaf individuals with excellent reading skills, which for linguistic reasons is less common than among the hearing population. It is typically only used when the person does not know sign language; for many reasons an interpreter is preferred in most situations. Generally considered a reasonable accommodation under the ADA, it is most frequently seen in the judicial system, because it originated from the skills of court stenographers, but has also been used in classrooms, lecture halls, and other situations.

Legal Rights: The Guide for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People, fifth edition (2000). Pages 10-11. (Google cache version)

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