Do You Ask? For Captioning or CART of course!

March 11, 2013 § 22 Comments


If not, why not?

What are your concerns and questions?  We really want to hear from you.  Comments here, or via email to

Much of the world does not even know what we millions of deaf, deafened, people with hearing loss and many others too mean by “Captioning” or “CART.”

Do you?

Captioning is live, real time, speech converted into text we can read, in any setting.

Conversion, translation, interpreting, or transcription – there are so many ways to say this.  And it’s done by professional captioners, using machines, yet human beings!

Where can you ask? Try a new CCAC service called CaptionMatch – and we’ll be talking soon.


CCAC is an all volunteer Captioning Advocacy organization – a large community of volunteers and all interested in access and inclusion. Equal communication access with inclusion of quality captioning is our right.


§ 22 Responses to Do You Ask? For Captioning or CART of course!

  • Terri says:

    I am afraid to ask when it costs $90/hr and I am the only one who truly needs it at a non-profit organization meetings. Consider my membership only costs $25/yr. To ask them to pay $90/hr burns up a bunch of membership fees every month. The speakers are people I really want to hear, but just try to arrive as early as possible to get a good seat.

    • ls says:

      Hi Terri and all reading – thanks for your comment, sincerely, because if we can address this together in good ways, with others’ input welcome here, we might be able to make a big step of progress for millions who really need and want “equality” – equal communication access with inclusion of captioning.

      Here are some thoughts for discussion:
      One out of 5 in every group has a hearing loss or deafness though most will not want to talk about it, or even be aware of it. Therefore in any meeting, there are many – rarely only one person, who will be included with CART.

      All organizations, for profit and non-profit, create annual budgets and find resources and funds for their meetings – from microphones, to rent, to food, to lighting and chairs and much more. Equality means that our needs for CART is real, valid, required, and necessary and deserves a budget process also.

      How to budget? Consider the values of the company or non-profit. If it’s a membership group, are not all members valued?

      There are many ways to raise funds, and if someone wants to help, e.g. the person needing CART, why not invite a small team to raise the money needed?

      If one member pays 25 dollars a year, how many members does the group have? Many pay. The total from dues is X amount a year. CART costs perhaps, and these are “hypothetical” costs only let’s say – 90 dollars a meeting. Are there 12 meetings a year? then that’s a total of 1080 dollars for the whole year, for the group as a whole to have access for everyone at every meeting, for the transcript of the meeting (if the captioner agrees), and for all in the audience who will be pleased to have it there if the speaker is not speaking clearly, if English is not the first language, for folks with other visual, auditory, or learning differences; not only for any identified “deaf” or “hoh” person.

      There are also many providers who are willing to negotiate lower costs for some non-profit organizations. It pays to ask.

      And it pays to have equal access. The bottom line is we cannot accept that we are not “worth it.” We continue to search for new ways to convince others who do not struggle to hear, and are able to enjoy so many conversations, voices, and sounds that we no longer can decipher. Our minds and contributions to any group will more than compensate the others, if not with money, then with our own creativity, and/or generosity in other ways, our human and valuable attributes (i.e. only our ears do not “work” as they “work” for some others).

      Other good reasons to budget for CART = Real Time Captioning invited!


  • Terri says:

    After showing my husband your response, he said he thought it would be very hard because they do not make money from other sources. I understand the expense of the captioning devices and the reasoning behind the price. The price tag is going to make it hard to ask to accommodate me. I think others will also hold back asking for captioning for same reason in other situations. If there was some grant or scholarship to pay for some of it that would make it easier to approach non-profits with the request for CART.

    • ls says:

      thanks for the discussion – and at the same time, we don’t see anything new in your reply that “it is hard” and, with respect, we don’t see any replies to the many suggestions we offered.

      in sum, we disagree that it is “too hard” (or too expensive) and we believe all organizations, including non-profits of any size, need to follow the law, need to respect equal rights, and need to find ways to budget for equal communication access with captioning – where there’s an understanding of this, there’ll be a way.

      if we don’t advocate for ourselves, then who will advocate for us? if we don’t think a “non profit” can afford CART, then find ways to help them raise the money, yet others will also come along who may challenge them if they don’t provider equal communication when asked to.

      nothing ventured, nothing gained, for ourselves, and for many others.


  • Captioning provides universal access for everyone.
    You would be surprised to find out how many people take advantage of it even though they do not identify themselves
    as having a hearing loss.


    • ls says:

      Hi Ruth – yes! So many of us know this, and how do we shout louder about it? All of us who have used CART know this. Perhaps the issue is that how much of the population has used CART or seen it anyplace? a good research study?

      My guess is that perhaps 1% (or less) of the USA population has seen it (CART – Real time captioning) in action. (Many more of course have seen subtitles/captioning on television, a different good thing). Others’ guesses?

      Large corporate meetings may have CART for main speakers also. Yet no one talks about the hearing loss that 1/5 in any large audience has, or knows s/he has.

      • ls says:

        So many people “take advantage of CART even though they do not identify themselves s having a hearing loss or being deaf” = we need CART providers to do some research – evidence please – start keeping track of all those people who approach you after a meeting or conference and ask you “how does your machine do that?” – smile!

        As we say below – “One out of 5 in every group has a hearing loss or deafness though most will not want to talk about it, or even be aware of it.” My guess is that 2/5 use the CART for at least some words during any presentation or meeting.


  • Terri says:

    If times allows, I will bring this up at hlaakc mtg this evening.

    • ls says:

      Sending good luck vibes your way Terri. Pretend Ruth and I and CCAC is standing in a circle around you. It’s a step by step process – a lot of folks/groups say no first and then we ask again, and we aim for good discussions with all.

      In another local hearing loss group I was a member of for five years, a while back, we raised money for CART for ourselves, and also for a “gift” of CART to a few other local associations. They then found it so useful, they raised money themselves for future meetings and events. Yet it takes time, and a good mentor or a few allies with you. Let us know what transpires if there is time tonight, and if no time, see if anyone can be contacted for the future.


  • Terri says:

    Would you share how you raised money?

    • ls says:

      Yes, of course. I may have to jog the old memory and do some digging in my emails too – yet as I recall, we published a newsletter and took adverts from a few reliable sponsors – that was probably the most revenue we earned and of course a budget of one CART session (for about 150 dollars) did not break the bank (for the other groups). For our own group, the CART professional gave us a very good adjusted cost since she wanted to do all she could to support our meetings and the people there. We also had one auction where folks donated used items and new items for us, and we made some dollars that way.

      Fundraising for the CCAC to continue and grow is our current challenge! A huge one. Now that we are an official non-profit organization, we aim to find time to apply for some grants yet it takes a lot of time. We also invite donations and some are beginning to send us small and larger amounts for our efforts. Your group may be able to come up with a cookie sale, an appeal to the town, all sorts of ways to raise money. If it’s HLAA, they do a great “walk” every year.

      Hope this gives you ideas.

  • iseewhatyousay says:

    For me, the answer to “Why not?” is more because I’m not in the habit of it. My daughter graduated from nursing school last year and I intended to ask for CART, but time passed and I didn’t think of it again until I arrived at the graduation and realized I wasn’t going to be able to hear. It was a real “duh” moment and I scrambled to get a seat close enough to the podium to read lips. I need to work on putting my need to hear and understand first and make it a habit. It’s the same with using the CapTel or CaptionCall phone, I’ve not been able to use the phone for decades, so I’m out of the habit and I forget that I can use the phone again, though these phones are not always great. It’s the same with going to the movies… The last movie I went to and understood without captions was probably 20 years ago. I just don’t think of going to movies anymore. Sigh…

    I think many of us with hearing loss start out being diffident and self-effacing. We think of everyone else above ourselves and focus our attention on how our hearing loss might inconvenience others. I’m guilty of this myself, but I’m happy to say I got over it many years ago. When I realized I was being a bit arrogant by pretending to know what would inconvenience others, I decided to live a life with more honesty. It is possible to be TOO nice.

    Think of it this way… when you don’t have CART or captioning, you can’t participate. Therefore, you can’t contribute, and often that means you can’t compete with others who have no barriers. Should we stop participating out of consideration for others? I don’t think so, because I know I have a lot to offer, and I don’t want my deafness to exclude me from things that I enjoy and am interested in. Besides, there is no harm in asking.

    When we ask for accommodation, hopefully we aren’t coming across as if we think we are owed something, but there is nothing wrong with asking, and there also is nothing wrong with asking for a reason if the response to our request is “No”. Many times in my advocacy I’m told that ‘cost’ is an overriding factor, and that bothers me. I realize accommodation isn’t free, but there’s always a way to fund accessibility, and I consider it short-sighted for someone to say “We can’t provide that because it costs too much and we don’t have the funds.” Look beyond the cost, because if you assess what you’re getting for your money then captioning is a true bargain.

    We need to focus on the humanity of the issue. I can guarantee you that any hearing person of today who wakes up tomorrow to find themselves deaf would want more than anything to be able to continue their independence and vitality in life. In my opinion, the focus on ‘cost’ is all wrong, so I’ve decided that when I advocate for what I need, I should be focusing on the benefits of investing in CART or captions as way to counter those arguing against accessibility due to a silly little thing such as money.

    In a recent advocacy effort I stated: “Quality captioning enables millions to remain independent and vital in a world that too easily justifies excluding them by placing more value on the monetary aspect of what a thing costs, rather than on what providing it accomplishes.”

    What is your ability to contribute, compete, and participate worth? ~~Michele

    • ls says:

      I especially like the idea above that says something like “we are out of the habit” of so much with acquired hearing loss. I really resonate with that reminder — for the phone, and for cinema, and for a lot of other things. Asking for CART is the big one perhaps – since it seems there is a growing population globally in fact asking for captioning for videos (though never enough, a long way to go for that and for all media on the Internet, vital as well for mega-millions of us). CART is a huge issue, not only for consumers (users), yet also for provides of many different varieties now.

      When I created the CCAC somewhat over 3 years ago, it was suggested we focus on CART alone. It did not seem quite right then – nor now, since CART is only part of Captioning in my perspective. Yet CART, and the story Michele shares here, is a big knot to untangle. We certainly have always highlighted it, and plan to continue to do so.

      So many people don’t know what it is. So many use it when they see it. So many are told it costs too much. We also search for more ways for CART providers to participate more with the CCAC, and to share ideas with us here, in the CCAC members’ forum online, and more, about all aspects of developing awareness, educating, and advocating.

      We are thinking about a workshop on this topic – perhaps a webinar online – to address the “cost” issues and develop strategies and more suggestions. Email me if you care to help. Email to anytime.


  • […] question on the Collaborative for Communication Access via Captioning (CCAC) blog is, “Do You Ask?  For Captioning or CART of course?”, and “If not, why […]

  • Terri says:

    I have thought of an idea. I will explain my need for CART to board member who friended me on the organization’s FB page. I am going to invite him and ask he forward invite to board members of the non-profit to our HLAAKC Captioning Panel in April. I will ask if they know other members might be interested to have them also attend. I have put in a request for CaptionMatch so I can get some feedback from more than one CART service. Then I can confidently recommend services to the board members.

    • ls says:

      Thanks Terri! Please email me when you see this reply (, and/or since we do not see a “request” from you in the system yet. An email from you would now be a good idea to help us on this side also. Planning there sounds great.


  • Terri says:

    I emailed the person at the non-profit organization. I used a lot of the comments raised in this blog thread in my email. I shared the FB HLAAKC Captioning Panel Event ( ,
    plus an electronic promotional flyer. I invited the person to share my email with other board members and any members particularly those who have hearing loss. I got a one line response:

    Hi Terri

    Please let me know when your going to attend and I will always reserve seats for you.

    You can imagine how frustrated I am. I guess I didn’t reach him and he is indicating I can just continue lipreading the best I can. It shows no desire to check out what I wrote the email about. Can someone please give me a polite persuasive reply?

    Out of respect to the non-profit organization I am willing to get advice off Internet in private email.

    • ls says:

      Please clarify if you asked the non-profit for CART directly? For a specific day/event?

      If so, then his reply ignores your request it seems. Important to email back to him and ask if he understood your request for CART you require for equal communication access. If he understands what CART is? And any other questions he has for you, with a sentence that you want to attend, yet you cannot attend without CART….

      If you care to share the name of this non-profit here, feel free (or not, up to you).

      We are also confused about the “non-profit” and HLAAKC – does the “non-profit” you want to attend know what HLAAKC is? ?

      When is the event, for if we use the blog, time moves along quickly and CART requires timely advance planning.

      Perhaps this is not very helpful for you so far…and without knowing more about the non-profit, or what you wrote, or the HLAA panel, etc. – it’s hard to make progress here. Another option is to put your request for CART into CaptionMatch – with a day in the future when you want CART included for the non-profit (does it meet weekly? monthly? or ?).

      That’s the best we can offer for the moment here, hope it continues to offer ideas there.
      See also.

      • Terri says:

        If you refer to my original comment on March 11 5:01pm above….I was referring to a non-profit organization I belong to that has monthly meetings with speakers which I try to get a seat up front to lipread the best I can. I wrote a board member email explaining my needs for CART and used information which bloggers on this thread mentioned.

        I explained and invited the board member to HLAAKC’s Captioning Panel event on April 29th so they could see CART real time captioning in action at that event.

        The one-line response is what I got from the board member. I am willing to send someone on this blog the email I sent to the board member. That way you can understand what I have done at this point and better advise me. I will be glad to explain in private email who the non-profit organization is that I am trying to get them to our HLAAKC Captioning Panel event. I do need help with a polite and persuasive reply. How about some one-liner that sells them that CART isn’t just for me? I did explain 1 out of 5 have hearing loss and 36 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss.

        • ls says:

          Thanks Terri and seeing this after I replied earlier to the email you sent to me off the blog (thanks for that too).
          Everyone reading – please offer more suggestions for Terri’s continuing advocacy for herself with a non-profit, and also for others!

          As a general reminder, this is something we often discuss in the CCAC membership forum — suggestions about how to phrase our needs, to educate others, and to advocate in the best ways we can create.

          A few thoughts now:
          a. there are almost 50 million Americans now with hearing loss or deafness.
          b. CART offers the meeting a convenient transcript of the whole event (to be discussed with the CART provider in advance).
          c. CART serves not only 1/5 about with a hearing need, but also others in the audience whose first language may not be English.
          d. CART serves all when speakers do not speak clearly, when there are noisy events nearby, and when one misses some information due to other distractions during any meeting.

          Equal communication access with CART is the same as if someone born deaf needs sign language – CART is protected by the ADA laws in the USA that aim to “level the playing field” for all with different abilities and experiences. A person requesting CART is not shy about wanting to participate, offer his or her points of view, and offer to “give back” to any group where she or he is not excluded.

          If a meeting is open to the public, it’s a good idea to learn more about accessibility for people who want to participate. It enriches the entire organization.

          How’s that? 😉 More from others please ASAP. The meeting Terri is aiming for is not far away for planning – April 29, if this organization has not ever used CART before.
          Once again, CCAC now encourages all to use CAPTIONMATCH, part of the CCAC and needed to keep the CCAC going. It’s not a captioning company – it’s a clearinghouse to make it easier to ASK for captioning or CART anytime – the user/consumer places a request, and providers who are interested in offering their services send replies with proposals for the event. Go to to register on that site if you care to try it.
          (P.S. a simpler name for CART is “real time captioning”)

  • Terri says:

    I am just trying to get the non-profit organization board members, members with a hearing loss or interested members to come to our Hearing Loss Assn of America Kansas City Chapter’s Captioning Panel April 29th event so the can see CART real time captioning in action. Then they will understand what it is when I request for it at the monthly meetings I attend at their organization. The point is to just get them to go see what CART is. They know I lipread, but I do not think they understand and just offered to reserve me a seat up near the speaker each month. I am going to have to reword my email as they just are not understanding.

    • ls says:

      It’s a good idea to invite someone from the non-profit to the panel at your local HLAA group that would demonstrate real-time captioning (CART) for the non-profit to whom you are requesting CART for their monthly meetings.

      If they are unable to attend that day, due to other busy lives and obligations, another option to consider is to select a captioner soon to advocate with you. Many professional CART providers will offer a short demo and “test” to the organization who decides to use these services to open their meetings with access for people with hearing loss.

      For general information, Terri’s request for CART for monthly meetings of the non-profit has been placed today in the system. It’s good self-advocacy, and will educate others. It may also lead to access for others in the future.


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