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Ins and Outs of CART (Communication Access Realtime Translations)

What is the definition of court reporting specialty known as CART? Communication Access Realtime Translation – or Computer Assisted Realtime Transcription – refers to the transcribing of realtime events (i.e. court reporting) for the benefit of either the hearing-impaired, people who suffer from learning disabilities, or people whose first language is not English. The hearing-impaired will need a CART reporter to help them understand speakers at events like meetings and conventions. Someone with a learning disability might need a CART reporter so that he/she may be able to look over a hard copy of the classroom’s proceedings in order to succeed in education. A person who speaks English as a second language may need the transcriptionist to help them understand people who are not speaking clearly enough for them to discern their meaning at places like community events, or even work. So, at any given time there may be a person who needs a CART reporter to help them understand speakers in a variety of areas.

With technology as it is today, new innovations are being made in the CART world. Remote CART is the new thing. This allows the reporter to transcribe whatever event they are to report on from a remote location by the use of a cellphone or a computer microphone. They hear what is being said through these devices, and send the transcription right back via the internet.

What CART reporters are most know for, however, is their presence in schools. A CART transcriptionist who works in a classroom, must be quick. The average time for what has been said to be transcribed to the computer is approximately four seconds. The work that goes into reporting in the classroom setting starts way before the actual lesson. A CART transcriptionist is usually provided with a syllabus and a textbook, as many classes might have specific/technical terminology that the transcriptionist would have to be familiar with in order to copy down the lesson quickly. In addition, a CART reporter may be asked to stand up in front of the class and explain what they are doing there so that the students understand their presence. The classroom CART reporter must be careful in choosing their seating arrangements. It is important that they are in a spot that they may be able to hear both the professor and as well as the student (because the students may ask questions or make comments). The reporter must also sit in a place where the person he/she is transcribing for can both read the screen the transcription pops up on and the professor at the same time. At the end of the class, the student for whom the transcription was taken will be able to receive an edited copy of the notes.

Employment for CART reporters is looking good. The federal government has declared it law that colleges and universities supply assistance for the hearing-disabled by way of the Americans with Disabilities Act, thus making it mandatory for higher education entities to hire a CART transcriptionist. What’s more is CART reporters are paid well. The National Court Reporters Foundation recommends a CART reporter be paid $15.00-$40.00 per hour for prep time, $40.00-$75.00 per hour for time spent in the actual classroom, and an additional $15.00-$40.00 per hour to edit these transcriptions. With numbers like that, who can say CART reporting isn’t a great career opportunity for court reporters?

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