Real-time captions, also known as live captions or Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART), can provide access in many settings. When someone asks your business or event for captioning, it is your business or event's responsibility to arrange and pay for captioning services. This page will help you learn more about captions and how to arrange captioning services.
Real-time captions and Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR or automatic captions) are NOT the same. Automatic captions may not meet your entity’s legal obligation to provide access. Ask the person requesting captions what meets their needs and follow their request.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other laws protect people’s right to communication access. These laws require governments, businesses, and nonprofit organizations to provide access to people who are deaf, deafblind, hard of hearing and late-deafened. Businesses and entities cannot discriminate against people because they ask for accommodations. For more information, visit Laws and communication access or contact us.
Captions provide access in many places, including:
First check to see if your entity has a contract with a captioning service agency. If you do not have a contract, DHHSD has a list of providers.
The person arranging captioning services needs to know:
The contact person will need to set up a tablet or laptop computer and connect it to a secure, strong, wired internet browser. The captioner will send an email to the contact person with a link to view the captions. Those who need access will read the captions on the tablet or laptop. If you have a large group, you may project captions onto a large screen. Users can also access captions from multiple devices.
Some people may need help setting the font size and color to make it readable for them. Ask the captioning service agency for directions in advance so you know how to do this.
The captioner may be in-person or remote. If the captioner is remote, you will need a phone or digital platform for an audio connection. Make sure that the captioner can hear all speakers clearly. Use microphones when needed. The captioner will listen to everything that is said through the audio connection and caption what they hear. Captioners also find video connections helpful for their work.
The captioner will send a link to view the captions to the contact person. It is the contact person’s responsibility to share the link with the person or people who need access and make sure they can access the captions.
Depending on the virtual platform you are using, captions may be delivered through the platform or in a separate web browser. The captioner will need to join the video platform to hear what is said.
If you have questions about real-time captions, you may contact us.
The number of Minnesotans with hearing loss is projected to increase in the future due to factors like aging and noise exposure. As a result, the demand for CART captioning services is also expected to grow. To assess the workforce supply and consumer demand for these services in Minnesota, DHHSD conducted a survey during 2018-19. You can read the results of this survey in the report >Assessment of the Statewide Supply and Demand for CART Captioning Services(opens a PDF).
DHHSD then conducted a focus group discussion in 2019 with agencies, training programs, and professional organizations to learn more about what has been done to promote career opportunities in the CART captioning field, provide support to CART captioning students and new graduates and recruit experienced court reporters to make the transition to the CART captioning field. The CART Focus group Summary Report (opens a PDF) presents the results of that discussion.