Communication access real-time translation

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Communication Access Realtime Translation, or CART, offers instantaneous transcription of the spoken word into English text through the use of speech-to-text software, a computer, and either an open headset or closed microphone (speech silencer) or stenotype machine. The text is then displayed on a computer monitor, large screen, or other display device for the individual or individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to read.

This technology is primarily used by people who are deaf and persons with hearing loss, but it is also utilized by people with learning disabilities, with central auditory processing disorder (CAPD), and those for whom English is not their primary language. CART services are provided to students in elementary through post-secondary classrooms and labs, in government and private industry workplaces, in public and private meetings, conferences and conventions, and many other venues. CART transcripts may be viewed on laptop or tablet screens, monitors, or large room-size screens, either through direct connection to the CART provider or remote connections such as the Internet.

The most important aspect to recognize is that CART provides equal access, allowing consumers to receive the same information as anyone else present, thus affording them the ability to interpret the meaning for themselves and permitting full interaction in any setting. CART provides complete communication access by capturing the spoken word as well as any environmental sounds. As a result, the consumer has the opportunity to fully participate.

While real-time speech-to-text serves many with hearing loss and deafness, it is also useful for people whose first language is different from the language being used, to understand speakers with different voices and accents in many group situations (at work, in education, community events), to have a "transcript', and for learning languages. CART professionals have qualifications for added expertise (speed and accuracy) as compared to court reporters and other stenographers.

Remote CART is done with the trained operator at a remote location. A voice connection such as a telephone, cellphone, or computer microphone is used to send the voice to the operator, and the real-time text is transmitted back over a modem, Internet, or other data connection.

All CART providers require training to be able to provide this service. There are two national associations that offer CART certifications. NVRA (National Verbatim Reporters Association) and NCRA (National Court Reporters Association)

Some people use CART as the short form of computer assisted realtime transcription. The service is identical.

In other countries, CART may be referred to as Palantype, Velotype, STTR (speech to text reporting).

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