Working With Real-Time Captioners

CART stands for Communication Access Real-Time Transcription. CART captioners (also known as Real-Time Captioners) are professionals who adhere to a Code of Ethics and are often referred to as "captioners". The captioner uses a stenographer's device to input everything that is spoken during live classes. This device is connected to a laptop computer where the verbal information is displayed as text for the student to read.

How to Work Effectively With Captioners in the Classroom

  • The captioner records information presented verbally or in audio format verbatim.
  • Successful captioning requires the ability to hear, understand, and keep pace with the speaker. Speak clearly at your normal rate, but be open to slowing down a little if asked.
  • Avoid speaking directly to the captioner or asking them questions during class time. Captioners cannot talk and transcribe at the same time.
  • Please give copies of the syllabus and handouts to the captioner, and add them to your course D2L as a guest if they request so. This all allows them to smoothly get basic course information and updates as needed.
  • Captioners cannot provide real-time captioning for video content. All video content must be accurately captioned before it is shown in class. Requiring a student to look back and forth at a separate screen with the captions means missing visual cues and it is not an equitable experience.
  • Captioners are not a replacement or an alternate to peer note takers, as note takers capture summary information in different formats. If you have been contacted to make an announcement about peer note taking for the same student, please do so. 
  • For in-person courses, the captioner needs to have access to a power outlet. Furniture labeled as belonging to the DRC may be placed in the classroom for the captioner to use. No one else should use this furniture.
  • For remote/online courses, the captioner will need to have access to join the synchronous meeting link. Do not use the Zoom setting “Authenticated Users Only” for your course meetings, as service providers may be unable to join. Instead, try requiring a passcode that can be shared to all attendees!

Captioners Should Not Be Asked To

  • Add or delete information
  • Explain, define, or repeat information
  • Take responsibility for the student's absences
  • Provide service during tests (unless requested in advance)
  • Participate in class discussions or activities
  • Advise people on the subject of hearing loss or being deaf
  • Talk about their profession during class

Washington State's DO-IT program has developed an excellent video regarding CART services that can be found below. Note that things may be done a bit differently at P.S.U.

DO-IT Video About Benefits of CART in Class

Access Services Coordinator
For Interpreting and Captioning
Phone: 503-725-6504

Check our home page for hours and Virtual Front Desk information.