Everything You Wanted to Know About CART Writing - Part
By Cheryl Heppner
Editor: The folks at NVRC recently hosted (along with the local HLAA
and ALDA chapters) a panel of CART experts to provide the latest
information on this crucial technology. Cheryl did her usual outstanding
job of writing it up and sharing it with interested folks. Here's her
report. You are welcome to share this information, but please be sure to
This is part ten of eleven parts.
What does the acronym RPR stand for?
Registered Professional Reporter. There is infornation about it in some
handouts I brought with me.
Who is responsible for hiring and paying for the CART writers? Am I
assuming correctly that remote CART it would be less expensive than
Chris Gaskill (Alderson Reporters):
Who's responsible? It would depend on the situation.
For most things, like going to see a doctor, I don't think that an
individual is going to hire a CART reporter. For a school, maybe church,
or a medical conference, it's the person that's hosting that that's
responsible, correct? That falls under the ADA Act, doesn't it?
Karen McConnell (Metro Reporters):
When we do CART in the classroom, the school's responsible for paying
us. It's not the parents. When we do a conference, like a medical
conference, usually the person who needs the CART will contact the
coordinator of the event, and those people in turn call us and they will
We've actually had users who want to go to a conference, but the
conference for whatever reason has no intention of providing CART. We've
been hired by the user on a few situations. As far as responsibility,
ideally it would be the person putting on the event. Not everybody is
willing to do that, though.
Chuck Motter (VLI):
One other area is that government agencies are covered by Section 508.
That mandates that they provide captioning and pay for it. So if we're
dealing in the government arena, that's another resource. But the Office
of Student Disabilities usually is our pathway to the funding of classroom
captioning, or CART.
Most conferences, in fact, now have on their registration form a place
for to you identify if you need an accommodation. I have had people with
hearing loss come to me and say, "Well, I didn't really think that applied
to me. I thought that they were talking about mobility access -- someone
in a wheelchair, or someone needing another kind of accommodation." But
that applies to people with hearing loss as well. And if you identify that
you need the service, then that is the trigger for them to then find us,
and they become responsible for the payment of the CART.
Some conferences that are more disability-friendly than others
regularly include CART. Where they get the funding, frankly, is right out
of your pocket because the registration fee goes up a little bit to cover
those things. In the end, our source of funds is the person who hires us.
If I can add to that, and Chuck alluded to it, many places of public
accommodation are required to provide these accommodations under the ADA.
Conferences may be covered. Unless a conference is by a private club,
chances are it will be required by the ADA. If not the ADA, accommodations
like CART for the conference might covered in the Rehab Act, or local law.
In Montgomery County, Maryland, for example, we have local law that covers
things that are not covered by the ADA. If you go to a house of worship,
in most of the country it's not covered by the ADA. In Montgomery County
local law covers it as if it was on equal part with the ADA.
Another scenario, there may be some people who were willing to pay for
CART for their own personal needs, but it really depends on the situation.
And I would ask the host of the conference first rather than depending on
your own resources unless it's really clear they are not required to
provide it. Small private clubs, no, but for almost everything else you
should be able to get CART covered.
You also asked about whether remote CART was cheaper than on site. The
answer is no. It's not cheaper. Sometimes it's more expensive. It just
depends on the provider, and the situation. Every situation is different.
I'm sort of looking into the future. I would like to ask if you have
visions for this CART technology? I can see it in my home where I have
people coming over, my grandchildren, my son, and I have a very hard time,
even with the cochlear implant, really getting the essence of what they're
saying without them really being in my face. Do you see houses being built
for people who are deaf and have these houses fitted to enable that
I would talk to Debbie Jones [NVRC's Resource and Technology
Specialist]. I can envision in the future people having houses that are
looped so that you can hear everything going on in the house. We've
actually had meetings here at NVRC about different ways to make your home
more accessible. Some people loop a room, and within that room they can
hear everything that's being said by all the people in the room, and it
really makes a difference. Talk to Joe Duarte or Debbie Jones, and she can
help you with that.
I can't say that I would see CART in every room. There is voice
recognition technology and there are some voice writers who say that they
provide CART. But to this day I haven't seen any that come near the
accuracy that we have. There may be some people out there; I haven't seen
any. I've seen about 85%. If I had a day that was 85% accuracy, that would
be the worst day of my life. I would quit.
That's a very relevant point. We've talked about 96% accuracy, and 95%
accuracy. In reality, I would say that we're 98-99% most days. In fact, a
98% day would be a poor day. So you need to realize that if somebody comes
to you and says, "I provide at 90% accuracy," you are not going to be
happy with that at all. What Mike is doing on the screen today [by remote
CART], and Mike is absolutely one of the best writers in the country, is
well over 99%. I personally can't see that screen, but I can tell you I've
worked side by side with him, and I know that he doesn't do anything less
than 99.9%. He is among the stars of our industry. And this is what you
are probably used to and would like to have. If that were to drop to 96%
even, you would be throwing vegetables at us up here.
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