Providing real-time access to live television broadcasts for deaf and hearing-impaired viewers can offer added avenues of entertainment for these individuals. Professional court reporting specialists who specialize in this field can transcribe spoken words quickly and accurately to ensure that hearing-impaired people have access to information regarding the programs they are viewing. Communication Access Real-Time Translation (CART) professionals are in demand throughout the television industry and provide a valuable service for community organizations, conferences, academic settings, and many other venues.
Demanding requirements for CART professionals
Court reporters must meet high standards for accuracy and speed to maintain positions in the legal arena. For CART captioners, however, the requirements are even more stringent. CART technicians must generally perform their duties in real time. This means that they cannot edit their work as they go. Instead, an extreme degree of accuracy is required on the part of CART specialists to ensure that their captions are correct and understood. Speed is also critical to ensure that the images on the screen correspond with the information provided in the real-time captions.
Vocabulary and spelling
While some modern captioning machines provide auto-correct options for spelling, CART specialists must have strong vocabulary and spelling skills to ensure the most accurate captions for their viewers. This includes general knowledge of the terminology used in the particular field:
- CART technicians who specialize in sports programming must have an understanding of the events they cover and a broad grasp of the various positions, plays, and rules governing the sports in question.
- Medical, dental, and scientific conferences may require an in-depth knowledge of terms and terminology relevant in these fields.
CART specialists must also possess a reliable sense of context to ensure that they select the right words and spellings in each situation.
Legal requirements for CART services
Agencies and academic institutions that receive federal funding must comply with a variety of laws and regulations designed to provide equal access to those with disabilities. Some of the most important pieces of legislation guaranteeing equal access to information and services for hearing-impaired individuals include the following:
- The 1997 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act was enacted in an effort to promote the mainstreaming of children with disabilities and to end the practice of separating these students from others in the academic environment.
- The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 is one of the most far-reaching legislative initiatives and requires that accommodation plans be put in place to ensure equal access to public services and areas for those with disabilities. Schools, public transportation systems, and medical facilities are all required to provide reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities.
- The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 includes a section specifically outlining the requirements for federally funded schools and agencies to provide assistance to those with disabilities. The act was amended in 1998 to include language guaranteeing equal access to the electronic and digital information technology made available to the public by federal agencies.
CART services may be required for full compliance with these federal regulations.
Court reporters who specialize in CART services can enjoy a wide range of employment opportunities. By taking on the challenges of this fast-paced field, captioning experts can improve the quality of life for hearing-impaired individuals while putting their skills to the test in this challenging segment of the court reporting industry.