Cart News

How to Locate a CART Provider

What to Expect From a CART Provider

CART in the Classroom

Meeting the Communication Needs of Children in School

Meeting the Communication Needs of Postsecondary Students

CART in the Courtroom

Remote CART

Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing Resources

CART Legal Decisions

Benefits of CART

CART Environments

Digital Hearing Aids





Remote CART works exactly like on-site CART in that the reporter writes a realtime text of the spoken word, which appears on the consumer's computer screen. However, instead of needing to be physically present in the room where the presentation is being made, the CART provider listens to the speaker by telephone and writes the realtime account to a Web site that the consumer is logged onto. While the consumer and speaker are typically in the same location, they do not have to be, as remote CART can be used just as well with the speaker, CART provider and consumer in three different locations (as is often the case with business conference calls). The three locations could be as close as the same building or city, or as far apart as across the country.

The basic technology requirements of remote CART are simple: the speaker needs a phone line and the consumer needs access to the Internet. The type of telephone and telephone equipment used is mostly a matter of comfort (on the writer's part) and level of service desired (on the consumer's part). The speaker can use something as simple as a cordless phone, although a polycom microphone provides much better sound quality for the writer. (It also picks up more environmental sounds and cues, if that is important to the consumer, although the remote CART provider is never able to write in the entire environment the way an on-site provider can.) On the writer's end, he or she needs a minimum of a speakerphone with a mute key, although this isn't the optimum arrangement. Much better: telephone headsets. Better still is an auto-coupler into an amplifier box wired to a headphone set. The writer does have to switch to a regular phone if he or she has to speak for some reason, but the sound quality and volume are much easier to control.

As far as the realtime link between the writer and the consumer, there are three means for providing remote CART. First is a one-on-one computer link over a phone line, but both the consumer and the CART provider have to have the same communication software and using a chat function can be difficult; a dial-up connection can also sometimes cause a four- to five-second delay. Second is application sharing, where the writer and the consumer connect through a Web site on the Internet; the consumer sees a reflection of what the writer has on his or her screen, both input and output. There are several software packages that allow this, such as NetMeeting, a free downloading software, and WebEx.

The third option is streaming text. Several vendors offer software that will stream the CART provider's text across the screen in a consistent and even flow. Furthermore, the text box can be moved into a Webcast so that the consumer can use the audio, video and text feeds as well as employ the chat function. In addition, the text box runs independently from the video, so the consumer can, for instance, enlarge the text box or the font within the text box without disrupting the video feed; the consumer can also go back in the transcript to review something while the text is still flowing.

For more information on remote CART, read Remote CART: When the Provider Isn't There and Remote CART: How I Survived My PhD Research in NCRA's CART Special Interest Area.

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