We have covered accessibility for podcasts and videos that are pre-recorded. There are also some examples of live events and streaming media that need to be captioned too – video conferencing, webinars, webcasts, vodcasts.
Captioning media in real time is more challenging than transcribing pre-recorded audio. It requires at least 225 wpm with the minimum 98% accuracy to make good quality captions to keep up with the pace of a speaker’s speech.
In the video below, Mirabai Knight, a CART writer, demonstrates that it is faster to type on a steno machine where you can type up to 220-240 wpm (shown in bottom part) than on a QWERTY keyboard where you can type up to 185 wpm (shown in top part). You need to be well trained to type fast with a few errors.
(Video: Steno Versus Qwerty)
Therefore, it would be best to hire only a professional CART (Communication Access Real Time Translation) writer using a steno machine. They are originally trained as court reporters, but they would have different requirements in order to provide smooth real-time verbatim captioning to deaf and hard of hearing people at various events such as conferences, lectures, workshops, classes and work meetings as well as to access TV programs.
Voice writers (who use speech recognition) can also be used for CART services, but there are even less qualified voice writers that can meet the quality requirements.
CART captioning can be done either on site or remotely via the internet. There are pros and cons to both depending on a situation.
Currently, there are about 300 CART writers in the USA which is not enough for the large number of deaf/hoh people who need their services (about 98% of them know a little or no sign language). Read more about one of the fastest growing professions if you or your friend/family member is interested in becoming a CART writer.
CART services can be offered at various events that deaf/hoh people attend in person or online:
- For live onsite events, a deaf person can view captions by sitting next to a writer or by viewing them on their own device. Captions can be open for the whole audience to see if they are displayed on a LED screen or a second screen next to a speaker – it is highly recommended as it benefits more people in the audience.
- There are many various tools used to display captions of streaming media online that are easy to use. Basically, you would need two online tools, one to embed multimedia and another one to view captions. Depending on software providers, both can be viewed in one website browser. StreamText.Net is one of most commonly used online tools to read captions of live events in any browser on any computer or mobile device (and sometimes used in addition to open captions).
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