WHY CART and quality captioning is needed universally, in so many places, for so many people (about one in ten people anyplace, or more). Here are CCAC’s five bullet points – inviting comments and edits:
*Only professional real time speech-to-text (aka CART in the USA, STTR in the UK, or just call it “real time captioning”) gives us full communication access; equal communications, a human right, a human need.
*Hearing aids and all assistive listening systems, even implants of many sorts, do not work like eyeglasses which actually correct vision; hearing is much more complicated; there is no system or device that corrects our hearing to 100 percent normality. Imagine what is might be like if there were not yet any fine eyeglasses; how frustrating it would be for millions to see only blurs, to see sometimes, and not other times, etc.
*When we talk about close to 40 million Americans with hearing loss and deafness, a small percentage of them use sign language fluently; another larger percentage have mild hearing loss or hearing loss where hearing aids, implants, loops and other systems can give them something closer to full comprehension, yet only in quiet settings, when talking with one other person only. And importantly, hearing loss is often progressive which means that it gets worse as each year goes by.
* There is another group among the 40 million about that really needs full verbatim real time text because it’s too much of a struggle in all human communications to understand fully – any conversation where the acoustics are not good, where the speakers do not speak clearly or have accents, where the lighting is not good, where there is background noise, and many other interfering factors; we suggest that this is the largest percentage in fact, for all group situations where there are 3 or more people who want to communicate together (i.e. this is real everyday life – at home, at school, at work, in the community) — in other words, the majority of close to 40 million people, in the USA alone, needs cart for full communication access (as ramps are needed for the majority of people who must use wheelchairs).
*Since real time CART is the least “known” – many will be happy to have some improved hearing while spending to buy many other systems; yet once they experience CART, they know what full communication with other human beings can become once again for them; it’s life-changing and life saving.
Bottom line: there has to be a lot more advocacy (and awareness, and education) for inclusion of quality captioning.