Equal Listening Opportunity
If you are a public speaker committed to equal listening opportunity for all, then you gotta have Communications Access Realtime Translation (CART). With CART, everything that is said is “captioned” live for deaf and hard of hearing folks. Think of CART as closed captioning for non-broadcast settings, such as classrooms, churches, training meetings and conferences, and, don’t forget, for all inspirational public speaking engagements by Brian Patrick Jensen
Good for You and Me
I use CART in some way or form during all BrianPatrickJensen.Com speaking gigs. In addition, I use CART for training and meetings (both live face-to-face and via web conference) with my employer and of, of course, to interview job candidates. It is, after all, critical to see every word they say!
In my case, being a public speaker who is deaf and all, there are two main purposes to CART:
For ME to know what is being said by all others during my own presentations. Audience participation is common during many of my seminars, so I get a look-see at your questions, comments and insights translated to text through CART. Good for me!
For YOU, my dear audience, to enhance the entire group communication process for all and, most specifically, for the benefit of my deaf and hard of hearing comrades. For everyone, the enhanced part happens by seeing your very questions and comments on a display screen pretty much as you say what you say.
And, yes, of course, I see my own words too on the projection screen as I speak. Which is kind of cool because I can’t hear myself either and sometimes I can’t wait to see what I have to say!
Enhanced Communication for All
Some hearing people are a bit intimidated at first with the prospect of seeing their own words on a projection screen pretty much as they say them. There is a bit of a self-conscious dynamic there to be sure; but it’s all good. It reduces mumbles and curse words right off the bat. Second it makes for far more thoughtful questions and comments; and third, it virtually eliminates wise cracks, rude interruptions and boos!
But fear not because CART ultimately enhances the audience experience in a big way. It adds another sensory node to the learning game and it helps all people “listen” that much better across the board. Don’t take my word for it; come to one of my seminars and see for yourself!
And, for the record, CART captions are not always projected up on a big screen. For example, during a recent program, I was the only deaf “listener” in the audience. Therefore, the captioning came across on my handy-dandy iPad for my eyes only and without distracting everyone else.
In fact, CART is very flexible that way. The captioning may be on a small screen that can be read only by one person; or the CART captions can be displayed on an overhead (for a small group like in my workshops); or broadcast on a large screen (as so described during my larger training sessions).
Remote CART and Streamtext
Remote CART captions streamed to an internet browser deserves special mention too. That’s the form of CART I use most. That is, the CART captioner is listening in from a remote site via conference call, Polycom speaker phone or web meeting (think Google Hangouts, GotoMeeting, WebEx, etc.).
See, many CART captioner types work from home using their own equipment. They dial into the meeting at the designated time and caption everything being said. The text is then immediately streamed to a web browser where anyone with the URL to the aforementioned “streamtext” can read it. Nifty, huh?
How the Magic Happens
Sorry, it ain’t all that high tech, even though it is super awesome. CART is nothing more than a really, really, really good stenographer as in courtrooms. In all forums the magic happens the same way: The CART provider quickly types into a stenotype machine using machine shorthand, and the computer software translates that shorthand into realtime captions.
The process is so fast that there is hardly any lag time between what is said and what is read, which is very important to we without hearing, because communication lag time is a super-duper nuisance to us. So that’s it for now about CART, except for the most important point of all:
People who are deaf and hard of hearing are welcomed to each and every BrianPatrickJensen.Com seminar and training session I hold. Obviously, I am a passionate advocate for Equal Listening Opportunity. I look forward to seeing you and, especially, you seeing every word I say!