Captioning and CART

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Captioning and CART

Captioning is the text of the audio portion of a video or film displayed directly on the video or film, often on the bottom of the screen. This may include not only the words, but the sounds that are important to understand and the source of the sound. Open captions cannot be turned off; closed captions are not visible unless they are decoded and turned on for display.

CART: (Communication Access Realtime Translation) is verbatim text of spoken presentations provided for live events. Only the text is provided on a computer screen or projected for display on a larger screen. CART may be provided in the classroom, at meetings, workshops and other presentations including live theater – anywhere that someone with a hearing loss needs to hear in a group setting.

The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) considers closed captioning for television or the Internet an assistive technology that allows persons with hearing disabilities to access television programming under the Communications Act. For a television receiver to display closed captions, it must use a set-top box decoder or contain integrated decoder circuitry.

The US Department of Justice considers captioning an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Movie captioning may be provided closed captioned movies, so that it is only viewable by patrons who have receivers; or open captioned movies that are viewable on the screen for the entire audience, much like subtitles.

Closed captioning is often critical to people who are hard of hearing or deaf. Television is the sole source of local information in an emergency for many. Both television and movie captioning is clearly a source of information, education and entertainment. But, you don’t have to have a hearing loss to find closed captioning useful: people for whom English is a second language use captions to get a better grasp of English, children’s reading is enhanced with the use of captions, and hearing people in bars, gyms, airports, and other noisy places appreciate the value of captioning.

In these pages you will find information and updates on access to captioning on television, the Internet and movies and CART in museums, theaters and other places where live events are held.

For more information about the FCC’s requirements:

For recent advanced rulemaking procedures from the US Department of Justice on movie captioning visit: