CART captioners are everywhere! Whether you’re in a stadium where thousands of fans cause decibel-breaking records, observing the greatest deliberative body in the world, or watching your favorite television show or movie, NCRA-certified CART captioners are hard at work.

Captioners provide instant translation of the spoken word to text, as well as concise, objective descriptions of scenes, settings, body language, and more for those both requiring further accommodations or those who simply wish to have a more detailed understanding of what is happening in addition to providing a written record of the event. Read more>>


A Voice of OC investigation working with Chapman University students exposes a systemic shutting out of deaf and hard of hearing people from live-streamed public meetings.

Orange County cities systematically shut out hard-of-hearing residents from broadcasts of public meetings by failing to provide closed captioning in real-time.

Only one of the 31 Orange County cities who responded to Voice of OC questions – Tustin – currently offers real time closed captioning –  typed by a person in real time during the online live stream of their public meetings.  Read more>>


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With every new sports venue, remodel, or video-scoreboard renovation comes a decision
each sports organization must make: how to comply with federal and local regulations on
providing in-venue live closed-captioning content for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Read more

Oklahoma City, OK – Johnny Reininger, Jr., a deaf Oklahoma man filed suit today against the State of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Senate and House of Representatives for the failure of the Oklahoma legislature to caption hearings and other proceedings streamed online.

The complaint contends that the Oklahoma Senate and House of Representatives maintain websites that show live feed of legislative hearings and other proceedings. This live video feed is not captioned. Archives of the videos are not captioned either. Captions are necessary for deaf and hard of hearing citizens to access the audio content of these videos.

Reininger is an active and involved citizen with a particular interest in following state proceedings. “I need to know what is happening in my state in order to be fully informed at the polls and to fulfill my civic responsibilities,” said Reininger. His repeated requests that the proceedings be captioned were refused by the legislature. Reininger said, “When our state government refuses to caption their proceedings, they are choosing to exclude deaf people like me from civic life.”

“Participation in government is an essential American right,” stated Howard Rosenblum, CEO of the National Association of the Deaf. “And participation is not possible if government proceedings are not open and accessible to everyone including deaf and hard of hearing people.”

“The Americans with Disabilities Act requires state legislatures to ensure full and equal access for individuals, including individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing,” said Michael Steven Stein, an attorney with Stein & Vargas, LLP, one of the firms representing the plaintiffs. “When a state government chooses to exclude a class of citizens from access to their proceedings, they are standing on dangerous ground.”

Reininger, Jr. is represented by the National Association of the Deaf, Stein & Vargas, LLP, and the Oklahoma Disability Law Center.

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Pittsburgh, PA – Kenneth DeHaan, a deaf movie fan from Pittsburgh, filed suit today against Cleveland Cinemas, LLC and Soffer Organization for refusing to provide captioning for deaf individuals at the SouthSide Works cinema in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. DeHaan made multiple requests that the Southside Works theater, the theater closest to his home, come into compliance with federal law and provide full and equal access for movie buffs who are deaf.

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Denise Hinxman was selected to caption the Southern States Presidential Inaugural Ball. She flew from Reno, Nevada to Washington, D.C. on a moment’s notice. With her encoder in hand, Denise arrived and captioned the speeches of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.



One Reno resident’s valuable expertise was her ticket to Washington, D.C., during last week’s inauguration festivities.

Denise Hinxman was invited to attend the Southern States Inaugural Ball on Tuesday at the National Guard Armory so that she could provide real-time captioning — which allows deaf and hard of hearing people to follow along with speeches, lectures or even songs they cannot hear.

Captioners capture in machine shorthand every word that is being said on a stenographer’s machine, which is then translated by computer software back into English.

“Captioning is performed by a highly skilled court reporter,” Hinxman said. “I have been tested up to 260 wpm, but many times sportscasters go upwards of 320 wpm. President Obama and Biden speak very slowly, so they are a captioner’s dream.”

A court reporter since 1985, Hinxman founded Captions Unlimited in Reno in 1996.

“I provide these services on-site, like at the inauguration balls, or remotely over the Internet,” she said. “I’ve captioned live President George W. Bush, when he was here in Reno speaking before the American Legion folks, and then 11 years prior, in 1996, I captioned his mother, Barbara Bush. She was at a forum, speaking along with General Colin Powell, former (Israeli) Prime Minister Shimon Peres. I captioned Rich Little at this same event.”

Other notable people she’s transcribed are golf pro Tiger Woods and radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh in a phone conversation with former President George W. Bush.

For the Southern States Inaugural Ball, Hinxman was notified by Lorraine Carter with Caption Reporters, a captioning company in Maryland. That company had received a last-minute call to provide eight on-site captioners.

There were 10 official inaugural balls, and each had its own captioner, she said.

Reprinted with permission from the Reno Gazette-Journal

Every day working as a CART provider and captioner is an adventure. Not only do we have to prepare for the unexpected in terms of the material that we will be hearing, but we also have to deal with the technology component, everything from modems and encoders, to streaming text over the Internet.

We are oftentimes asked to CART or caption what seems to be the impossible: the foreign speaker whose words are unintelligible, the professor speaking at 300 words per minute, or an outdoor event where the acoustics are poor. We strive to do our best under all of these circumstances. And despite the obstacles, these CART events generally turn into very rewarding experiences. We meet some wonderful people, and even become their friends and “part of the family” in many cases.

Working in the medical arena can be both challenging and rewarding. I have been working in the hospital setting for over a year now. I have only spoken to the administration, nurses and doctors over the phone and through email, never meeting them in person. I have never met the patients that I work with. Yet, I feel that they all trust me. The administration trusts that I will be there at the scheduled time and that I will CART to the best of my ability. The patient trusts that I will write what is being said accurately and that I will consider everything confidential. The majority of these patients have never used CART, certainly never in the doctor/patient setting, instead relying on the doctor or nurse to write important information on a notepad. “Most of us rely on a combination of the physician’s note writing proficiency and willingness, our ability to read lips, perhaps a sign language interpreter, a friend or spouse to accompany us to the appointment and remember enough of what the doctor said to share it with us later. It’s all scary stuff,” (Michie O’Day, NF2 patient).

Recently I had occasion to remotely CART a doctor’s appointment for a man I will refer to as “John” (not his real name). John has a severe hearing loss caused by neurofibromatosis. I received the assignment to work with John on a Thursday. I was contacted by the doctor at the scheduled time and remotely CART’d the appointment. At one point, when the doctor left the room, I chitchatted with John. He was curious how I got started CARTing in the medical field. I explained to him that for the past three years I had been “going to” medical school with a student who had a hearing loss. CART was a foreign technology to John, but he found it was very useful, especially in the medical setting. Every human being should receive quality healthcare. A component of quality healthcare is effective communication.

“Next to providing a germ-free environment, I can think of nothing more important for any patient than good communication with the medical team while in the hospital or doctor’s office.” (Michie O’Day, NF2 patient).

I didn’t know if I would hear from John again. A few days after the appointment, though, I received an email from John’s girlfriend, Annie. They found my email address on our website. She asked if I could CART a funeral. She didn’t say whose funeral it was. I told her it could be done as long as there was an Internet connection and a way for me to hear what was being said. I then received an email from John. John said that his mother passed away the day after his doctor’s appointment. I remember him lovingly talking about his mother during the appointment. Because, you see, his mother also had neurofibromatosis. My heart was broken for this man I did not know. I also wanted to help him participate in his mother’s funeral. John told me that there was one obstacle, though: The funeral was going to be outside. We brainstormed through email and decided to just try to see if it would work.

The following day, John and his girlfriend arrived at the gravesite. John, using his Treo, hooked up the data connection cable to his laptop. He connected to the Internet! They then used her Sidekick and tested the audio component. It was perfect. We tested it out several different times by connecting and reconnecting to the Internet. We were all excited that this was going to work. John was going to arrive at the site an hour early to get set up. But because of family obligations, John wasn’t able to arrive an hour early. He had 20 minutes. One thing we didn’t take into account was the sun shining down on the computer. John connected to the Internet, and we were ready to go. Then I lost John. I had audio, though, and spoke to Annie. She said he was having a computer problem. I told her to keep the line open and when he was ready he could just reconnect. I never saw John again on the computer. I tried to figure out what was happening, at the same time writing the funeral. After the funeral was over, John emailed me and said that it was “operator error.” Because the sun was so bright, John was mistyping on the keyboard; he just couldn’t see. I was so disappointed that I wasn’t able to help him participate in this most precious event.

In the end, though, John was given a copy of the pastor’s sermon immediately after the funeral, and I was able to transcribe and email the remainder of the funeral proceedings to him.

I learned a tough lesson that day: As a CART provider, we have to be prepared for everything. And in the future I won’t forget the sun component when working outside. This event also proved to me that we can CART anywhere, as long as we have a good Internet connection, good audio signal…and a little shade.