Court Reporters are Captioning Friends

December 27, 2011 § 1 Comment

Do you all know that Court Reporters are important for captioning concerns and advocacy too? Why? Because many choose to get additional training and certification for “realtime” and for captioning and CART services, sorely needed in so many places. We encourage this :-). The standards of the professions are important too.

Here’s a blog we learned about today, and with permission, we share it with you all here:

December 2011

“I will call you out.”
“If you misrepresent what’s in this plan, we will call you out.” So said President Barack Obama in a speech on health care some years ago. “Know this,” he said. “I won’t stand by while the special interests use the same old tactics to keep things exactly as they are. If you misrepresent what’s in this plan, we will call you out. And I will not — I WILL NOT — accept the status quo as a solution. Not this time. Not now.”

Somehow, those words made me think about quality in our profession, especially on the CART/captioning side, and the thousands of hearing-impaired persons who depend on us as their ears for their window on the world. The status quo … doing things a certain way because that’s the way we’ve always done things … has left hearing-impaired people marginalized. Cast off to the side with condescension. They’re not asked if their ADA accommodation is of good enough quality to be helpful to them. In rare instances where they are asked and do complain, they’re told they should be grateful for whatever they’re offered in the way of accommodation, accommodating or not.

This means late-deafened adults may receive American Sign Language interpreting even when their hearing loss is so sudden that they do not know ASL. This means hearing-impaired viewers are left in the dark when television stations use cheap, low-quality computer software programs instead of competent broadcast captioners to caption TV. This means hearing-impaired students are impaired even further when they’re offered a notetaker throwing disjointed concepts at them instead of the full accomodation afforded by a qualified CART provider.

Low-ball contracting practices, corporatization, and commoditization affect our profession. But unskilled, unqualified providers and the fly-by-night agencies they work for will do more damage to the reporting profession than any amount of low-ball contracting, corporatization, or incentive gift-giving practices. But who suffers most from lack of quality? It’s the client.

The level of service for CART/captioning work demands excellent CART and broadcast captioning providers. Near perfection, in my opinion. Anything less is a violation of the requirement of the Americans With Disabilities Act … a violation of the very law that was enacted to protect the hearing-impaired consumer from being taken advantage of. I never want to see that happen.

Many agency owners are happy to squeak by the way they’ve always done things … with The Warm Body Syndrome for their CART consumer. They want to misrepresent to the CART consumer that this is the best we can do, and their last thought is to quality. I’m extremely disturbed when methods such as typewell are offered as full accommodation for a deaf or hard-of-hearing person. I won’t stand for that. Not now, when quality matters more than ever. I won’t permit the same old excuses to keep things as they have been for years. When agencies offer accommodation that is not full accommodation, I will call them out by letting CART consumers know there is something better out there for them. I will call them out by demonstrating the superiority of CART over typewell for hearing-impaired students. I will point out the high price paid for low cost … that price paid by the CART consumer. Rest assured, if you misrepresent, I will call you out.
Thanks Mary Ann. from her blog,


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§ One Response to Court Reporters are Captioning Friends

  • I just think that these court reporting agency guys should be making friends. Really, they are the silent voice of truth in the court room. I just like all of them. I hope I can meet some of them and ask some couple of questions.

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