Communication Access Real-Time Translation (CART)

From ElateWiki

Communication Access Real-Time Translation (CART) refers to the real-time transcription of spoken information and sound effects, into text translations. (Closed captioning refers to the textual equivalent of sound information, whether or not the particular speech or event is live.)

Various web conferencing software tools have a closed captioning button that may be activated to show a live textual stream of the conference proceedings and presentations. Behind that button is a live human being who is capturing the auditory information and rendering it into text.


Standards for CART

Standards for CART are determined by various professional organizations, including the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA). Registered Professional Reporter (RPR) certification, The Certified Real-Time Reporter (CRR), Registered Merit Reporter (RMR) or CART certification is often required for those engaged in this captioning work.

The accuracy rate for transcripts should be 98% or higher.

Conference Participants’ Contributions to Quality in CART Translations

Those who provide CART services suggest that having the slideshows, participant names, and unique terminology prior to the live conference will strengthen their ability to provide transcription work. Such preparatory materials help the captioners to address the new words and names as they encounter them.

It is also important to make sure that the equipment and microphones are fully functional and well placed in order to enable the transcriber (who is working remotely) to capture the information.

Enabling Participant Voices

Participants in a web conference may ask the captioner to “voice” questions for them by contacting them via chat…and requesting the voicing. The captioner then translates responses back into text, for a closed communications loop.

Types of CART Events

Jeanette Christian of 20/20 Captioning & Reporting said that a variety of events outside of academia are also rendered into text form. She cited graduations, television shows, funeral services, church services, and stadium captioning of all sports.

Typical Rates

Rates range from $75 to $150 an hour.

Live Accessibility and CART

Communication Access Real-Time Translation (CART) then enhances live accessibility of events. This service results in a transcribed and archived event for later reference as well as value-added high-interactivity for those who may have accessibility issues (in particular auditory acuity issues).

See Also

CART Style and Format Guidelines (of the NCRA):

20/20 Captioning & Reporting:


Christian, J. (Aug. 9, 2010). Email interview.