CART – Communication Access Realtime Translation

Communication Across Real Translation, or CART, is a type of instant translation from spoken English to text. The most common example of CART is closed captioning on television done during a live broadcast. This type of translation must be done very, very quickly—there is very little or no lag involved. Because CART communication across realtime translation must be done so quickly and with as few mistakes as possible, it is often done using computer-aided transcription rather than having a person type what the person is saying.


Access Translation Services are Available at Home

Access translation services are actually fairly common and are readily available at home. This software requires a basic computer and a microphone to work, but other than the dictation program, no other special software is required. The person speaks into the microphone, and the software captures their voice and translates it into captions. In many cases, the individual will need to work with the software for a few minutes before it “learns” the person’s voice. This is especially true for those with heavy accents.

CART translation may be used in a variety of situations. It may be used in classrooms to translate a teacher’s lecture, in the courtroom, or in any situation in which someone is speaking and deaf or hard of hearing individuals are in the audience. While CART is much faster than human interpreters, it isn’t always as accurate, so there is a tradeoff. Working with the software prior to using it does make it more accurate.

Communication Access Realtime Translation, commonly referred to as CART, is an instant translation of spoken English to printed English.  It’s instant or live captioning.  The process is so fast that there is typically little or no lag time in the translation.  CART can be performed on location or remotely by a stenographer.  To learn more about CART and ADA requirements, please visit:

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