Understanding Communication Access Real-Time Translation

By: Verbit Editorial



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Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART), also known as “open captioning,” or “real-time captioning,” involves the conversion of speech to text. CART services provide instantaneous translation of the spoken word into a visual print display. Like closed captions, CART services ensure that people who are Deaf or hard of hearing have access to audio content.

What is CART real-time captioning?

CART captioning allows text to appear in real time. This feature often makes this solution the best choice for live events. While the speaker is communicating, the audience has options for displaying captions on their screens or mobile devices.  

CART services are a critical tool that allows many people to participate effectively in courses, events, meetings and more. Additionally, CART captioning companies can provide this service both in-person, as well as remotely.  

Remote CART services are becoming increasingly important in today’s highly digital world. Still, traditional CART captioning offers many in-person students, employees and others the opportunity for an equitable experience. However, it’s important to note that for CART captioning services to be effective, they must be both accurate and available without a delay. Enlisting a partner with expertise in using these live tools can make all the difference.  

What is the difference between CART and captioning?

CART captioning is a type of captioning. CART refers specifically to live captioning that a professional transcriber produces using a phonetic keyboard. The people who learn to provide CART captions often study to be stenographers or court reporters. A distinction exists because there are other methods of producing live captions.  

The other tools that produce captions will, in many cases, lead to the same results. 

people in a board room

Who uses CART?

The most common reason to use CART accessibility services is to offer access to content for those who are Deaf or for hard of hearing. Communication access is vital in many settings, and businesses and other institutions are obligated to offer some form of accommodation.  

Additionally, CART captioning can help a variety of other individuals. For instance, content creators may choose to provide CART captions for those who aren’t native English speakers and to accommodate individuals who are neurodiverse. Accurate live CART captioning can also allow people to better understand those who have heavy accents or speak in a different dialect.

In many cases, companies, government offices, courtrooms, schools and other entities must provide CART services for Deaf or hard of hearing individuals. These entities have obligations under civil rights laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Laws like the ADA prohibit discrimination and require companies to provide accommodations such as communication access real-time translation to ensure equal access.  

CART Captioning vs Interpreters 

Content creators and others may want to provide CART and real-time transcription instead of sign language interpreters. However, it’s important to note that these two accommodations are not the same. Sometimes people who are Deaf or hard of hearing prefer sign language while other individuals may want to use CART captions.  

For many members of the Deaf community, a sign language, like American Sign Language (ASL) is their first language. Captions aren’t an equal accommodation for these individuals. For others who are Deaf or hard of hearing, captions are the better option. In fact, many people lose their hearing later in life, and never learn sign language. Those individuals won’t benefit from an ASL interpreter but may require captions to participate and engage in meetings or with content.  

There could be audience members that need CART captioning and others who need a sign language interpreter at the same event. It’s important to know that just one of those solutions might not offer true equity to an entire audience.  

person working on a computer

Remote Uses for CART Captioning

In today’s world, many people are working, studying and connecting virtually. As a result, CART is also supporting businesses that post live videos and host webinars or board meetings, podcasts, graduation services and training sessions. Useful integrations, including CART services for Zoom, make it easy for companies to offer this critical accommodation. 

Fortunately, CART captioning companies can make it easy to offer captions for live events, including captions for Facebook Live, Zoom and other major platforms.

Overall, CART captioning is one of the tools that provides equal communication access, independence, freedom, full participation and independent understanding for all individuals. There is also evidence that captions have added benefits, including the ability to boost engagement.  

Benefits of Communication Access Real-Time Translation for All

In addition to those who rely on CART captioning, all audiences and participants can benefit from these services. Research shows that adding CART captions can make communication more engaging for everyone 

Students who have their captions on often pay attention better compared to those not using this feature. Additionally, captions can increase retention of information. Even marketers have found that people are more likely to watch their content through to the end if they include captions.  

Also, people often watch or listen to meetings in public. Anyone who is consuming events or participating in meetings and courses in noisy or loud environments will be able to understand better if they have access to captions. CART’s benefits are helping make events, speeches, classes, workshops, seminars, religious services and meetings more accessible to all individuals.  

How do CART Services Work?

For many years, the CART captioning process involved hiring a person to provide captions in real time. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to find and book a captioner for every event. In cases where there is a need for large quantities of captioning, it can be challenging for people using that process to scale. Luckily, there are different ways to produce captions.   

CART captioning companies, and accessibility providers like Verbit, work to create seamless captioning processes. Verbit’s many integrations help create a simple solution for captioning. By working within many conferencing and video hosting platforms, Verbit is able to offer a user-friendly experience.

When it comes to Verbit, users need to book their captioning session, and Verbit can provide this solution within platforms like Zoom. An added benefit is the ability to caption live events and turn those live captions into an edited file for recorded video content. Additionally, users can convert the captions into a transcript. That transcription file is often useful after the fact for preserving information, reviewing lecture notes and other purposes.  

All captioners use some form of technology. Verbit leans on its sophisticated AI to efficiently create captioning and transcription files.  

What is CART assistive technology?

CART captioners use stenography machines that have special phonetic keywords. However, more captioning providers are turning to automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology to support their captioning efforts. ASR can convert speech to text quickly. This AI-powered technology is also easy to use and scalable. Still, ASR does have some substantial drawbacks.  

Currently, ASR can’t provide the level of accuracy that companies need to offer for accessibility purposes. In fact, universities that relied on ASR for captioning have even faced lawsuits for the lack of accuracy.  

Verbit’s process benefits from the efficiency of ASR but uses human transcriptionists to edit the captions. The result of this combination is fast, reliably accurate captions that offer equitable access to the people who need them.  

Additionally, when Verbit creates transcripts, the final product is searchable. This feature makes it easy to locate relevant text as well as the matching point in an audio or video recording.  

people working on a computer

Real-Time Transcription

CART captioning is one speech to text solution that supports many individuals, but there are other tools as well. Real time transcription, for instance, is another option. Transcripts are different from captions because they aren’t divided into time coded frames. The use cases are also somewhat different.  

Transcripts are often the tool of choice for individuals who are recording interviews, meetings or lectures. Whereas captions offer in the moment access, transcripts aim to preserve information for future review. Still, real time transcripts can also benefit people in the moment much in the same way as captions.  

When it comes to business meetings, live Microsoft Team transcripts may be a useful way to avoid needing to repeat information. In addition to Zoom and Teams, Verbit can offer live transcription for Webex.   

In the case of universities, lecture transcription can help support students with diverse learning styles. For example, offering live transcription for Zoom lectures or in-person courses can serve as a study aid for any students with ADHD and other learning disabilities. 

In addition to the classroom and office, transcriptions of sermons, town halls, important speeches and other events are useful for record-keeping. Regardless of the reason, it’s important to have a transcription services provider that can meet strict accuracy standards. Working with Verbit is a great way to streamline this process while being able to scale transcription efforts.  

What does a CART provider do?

CART services are crucial in creating inclusive environments so that everyone can take part. Verbit’s CART services are assisting a variety of universities and businesses to ensure they’re meeting the needs of all individuals and offering them with live tools that translate to real-time participation. Without tools like Verbit’s, many students and employees cannot engage with peers effectively or comprehend the content and materials in meetings, lectures and events.

Additionally, effective CART solutions offer their users interactive features. Verbit provides the ability to take notes, search and highlight specific elements of the content captioned and transcribed content in real-time.  

Verbit is an essential accessibility partner for businesses, universities and other institutions. Contact us to learn how our captioning, transcription, audio description and other solutions can help your organization.