Now that we've all given thanks and are recuperating from the belt-busting meals we've eaten, I thought about what I am thankful for, and what I've learned from my students about what they are thankful for using CART, or communication access real-time translation and real-time transcription.

What do they say are the benefits of CART as opposed to using a sign language interpreter or a note taker? One of the biggest benefits is being right there, connected to and involved in the classroom, event, or meeting at the same time as everyone else. No waiting around to read the notes of a note taker later; no worries that the interpreter will not be able to translate what is being said due to sign language limitations. It's not only a benefit in terms of learning, but also in terms of feeling a part of the group, not singled out as someone different somehow. And that's a huge plus for those who have hearing impairments or auditory learning disorders, whether you are in a classroom, a business meeting, or a conference.

benefit of CART? How about having a transcript of the class or event to use for later reference or study? One law student said that he has fast become best friends with a lot of people because they know he has a transcript of every class! Being entrepreneurial at heart, he was going to try and sell the transcripts, but ethics won out. Always a good thing in a budding lawyer!

Compliance with the ADA laws is paramount to what we do, but there are many ways to meet the spirit of the ADA laws besides using CART. It's just a question of what is the BEST way to provide services to your target population. Some research has shown that students fare better on tests and exams when they have had CART services instead of sign language interpreters or note takers. This was especially noted in science classes, where terminology can be tough when using sign language.

Captioning is also an area that many people forget about when using media in the classroom, at a conference, or a business meeting. The ADA requires it, and all materials available should have captions. It's not me saying it; it's the law. But it's what we do at Premier Visual Voice, so don't push the panic button if you read this. Just give me a call and we can help: 216-246-9477.

CART, captioning, transcription and all services for the deaf, and those with hearing impairments and auditory learning disorders, are what we are dedicated to providing. My goal is to offer you the services you need so you can reap the benefits for your students.