CART or Real Time Captioning

CART stands for Communication Access Real Time Translation. CART is an instant translation of the spoken word into text. CART reporters typically use a stenotype machine, notebook computer, and real time software. CART is a form of communication access primarily used by individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. CART can be provided in-person or remotely.

Booking CART Services

Requests for CART reporters can be made by contacting a local CART transcription service. CART requests should be initiated about two weeks in advance of the event date in order to ensure that communication access is available to all attendees. If a request is made just a few days before the event, a good faith effort should nevertheless be made to secure CART services.

Creating Your Account

Each Northwestern department or organization should set up its own customer account in order to book a CART provider. Please contact the agency to find out more about setting up a customer account, billing information, and CART requests.

Be sure to have all relevant event information on hand when submitting the CART request:

  • Date of event

  • Start/End Time

  • Location – Address, Building, Room

  • Type of event and important details

  • Onsite contact name and contact information

Chicago Area CART Provider Resources

Alternative Communication Services (ACS)

800-335-0911 or 630-456-5124

Illinois Court Reporters Association

ILCRA Professional Members List

Event Planning & Space Considerations for CART Services

  • Request presentation materials from the speaker a few days in advance. These materials can be sent to the CART reporter prior to the event. This provides the reporter with advance notice of specialized vocabulary and names to be used in a presentation.

  • Consider the room setup. In-person CART reporters will need a desk or table for their equipment. Remote CART reporters will require the a microphone near the speaker and a reliable internet connection. Seats near the front and next to the CART reporter should be reserved for individuals who request CART.

  • Keep the event space well lit so that the captions and any visual aides are easy to see.

  • Ensure that presenters utilize close-captioned videos and, when possible, include key points on an overhead/slide.

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