The Disability Programs and Resource Center

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RTC logo Tips for using Computer-Aided Realtime Translation (CART)

What is the role of the CART Reporter?

A Computer-Aided Realtime Translation (CART) Reporter’s role is to facilitate communication for Deaf and hard-of-hearing students. CART Reporters enter everything that is spoken in the classroom into his/her equipment, which the Deaf or hard-of-hearing student can read in a text format. CART Reporters are to remain neutral and do not share personal opinions or advice. Furthermore, CART Reporters are obligated to respect confidentiality.

Why use CART?

Some people who are Deaf or hard-of-hearing grew up hearing or were trained in the “oral tradition,” and therefore do not know sign language. Other communication accommodations, including sign language interpreters or assistive listening devices are not effective for some Deaf or hard-of-hearing people. For these individuals, CART may provide an effective adjunct to seeing exactly what is said in the classroom.

Working with a CART Reporter: Some Important Tips

  • Provide the CART Reporter with a seat location near an electrical socket because their equipment batteries do not last long and the extension cords and power bricks can be a tripping hazard. This also assist the CART Reporter who is coming in from another class assignment because the seat is available and the equipment can be set up quickly for the class session.
  • Before the class starts, it is helpful to meet with the CART Reporter to explain what will be covered. Provide the CART Reporter with a copy of the course syllabus and/or other print materials (e.g., lecture outline, PowerPoint presentations, reading passages, etc.) for review and to follow as the class progresses.
  • Speak directly to the Deaf or hard-of-hearing student, not the CART Reporter. For example, say “Do you have anything you would like to add?” rather than “Does he/she have anything to add?”
  • Direct eye contact. While direct contact is valued particularly in one-to-one interactions, direct eye contact on the part of the Deaf individual is not always possible, as the Deaf or hard-of-hearing individual will need to watch the captioning screen.
  • Try to face the class when you speak. Some Deaf students prefer to follow a lecture through lip reading and use the CART as a backup when they cannot understand.
  • Speak clearly, in a normal tone, and at a normal pace. If there is a problem with keeping up, the CART Reporter or the Deaf student may ask the speaker to slow down or repeat a word or sentence for clarification.
  • Repeat other students’ questions. This will allow the CART Reporter to make sure he/she does not miss the questions especially if they are asked in the back.
  • Ensure Deaf or hard-of-hearing students’ participation. Remember that the CART Reporter is a few words behind the speaker. Therefore, allow time for the Deaf or hard-of-hearing student to obtain all the information and ask questions.
  • When there are audio-visual presenatations, allow the Deaf or hard-of-hearing student using the CART the time to both follow along with the presentation, as well as to look at what is being displayed visually. If possible, provide “advance copies” of the visual presentation to the Deaf or hard-of-hearing student prior to the presentation.
  • Use overheads or handouts. This is especially important when you will be reading extensive passages aloud. Rather than having to watch the captioning screen, the student can read the passages in print. If you cannot provide written materials or cite a page number in the students’ text, remember to speak at a normal pace. Most people speed up when they read written materials aloud.
  • Give the deaf student sufficient time to read any written materials before you speak. Deaf and hard-of-hearing students receive their information visually. If you speak while they are reading, they will not be able to watch the captioning screen and read simultaneously.
  • Permit only one person to speak at a time during group discussions. It is difficult for a CART Reporter to follow several people speaking at once. Ask for a brief pause between speakers to permit the CART Reporter to finish before the next speaker starts. It can be helpful to ask people to raise their hands and wait to speak after they have been recognized. This allows the Deaf student to see who is commenting.

For additional information or further assistance, please contact:
San Francisco State University
Disability Programs & Resource Center (DPRC)
Tel.: (415) 338-2472 (voice/TTY)
Fax: (415) 338-1041

Revised: 1/30/07

Partially based on original document courtesy of the San Francisco Mayor’s Office on Disability

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