About Sign Language Interpreting & Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART)
What is a Sign Language Interpreter?
An interpreter is a specially trained professional whose job is to convey the messages of people who do not share the same language, culture, or mode of communication.
The purpose of providing an interpreter is to allow hearing, deaf and hard of hearing people equal access to information and interactions.
People who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing Communicate in a Variety of Ways:
- Many use some form of sign language, usually American Sign Language (ASL).
- Other modes of sign language may also be preferred (i.e. Signed English – a hybrid of ASL signs expressed in English grammatical order)
- Others may prefer to use their own voice and/or lip read
What is a Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART)?
Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is a word-for-word speech-to-text interpreting service for people who need communication access. Unlike computerized notetaking or abbreviation systems, which summarize information for consumers, CART provides a complete translation of all spoken words and environmental sounds, empowering consumers to decide for themselves what information is important to them. CART consumers include people with hearing loss; individuals with cognitive or motor challenges; anyone desiring to improve reading/language skills; and those with other communication barriers. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) specifically recognizes CART as an assistive technology that affords effective communication access.
What are the various ways to use CART?
A CART provider supplies instant speech-to-text translation on a computer monitor or other display for the benefit of an individual consumer or larger group in a number of settings: classrooms; business, government, and educational functions; courtrooms; religious, civic, cultural, recreation, or entertainment events. A CART provider is sensitive to the varying needs of consumers and has had training in conveying a speaker’s message, complete with environmental cues. This expertise distinguishes a CART provider from a court reporter in a traditional litigation setting.
BROADCAST CAPTIONING While broadcast captioning falls under the CART umbrella in its broadest sense — communication access — it is considered a separate specialty. The software, hardware, and technical knowledge base will not be addressed in this document.
REMOTE CART When providing remote CART, the provider is in one location and the consumer is in another. The CART provider is listening to voices via the phone or over the Internet, translating the speech to text in realtime, and transmitting the text to a designated Uniform Resource Locator (URL), Web page, Internet site, other locations or devices. This is particularly helpful in areas where there is a lack of CART providers. Special technical training and support is necessary when providing this service. For equipment requirements.