When the pandemic first drove people out of offices and into their homes, the idea of virtual meetings was kind of exciting. However, after nine months of working from home, virtual meetings have become the norm. More people than ever are logging on to platforms like Zoom and Google Meet every day. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, communication real-time translation (CART) services for virtual meetings are critical to effective communication.

What are CART Services?

CART services are also sometimes referred to as real-time translation. When CART services are used for virtual meetings, they can provide instant voice-to-text translation, making it easier for people who are Deaf or hard of hearing to participate in and understand the content of meetings.

Additionally, once the meeting is over, you will have access to a full transcription of the meeting, making it easier to recall information and preventing the need for copious note-taking.

How Do CART Services for Virtual Meetings Work?

There are two primary ways that CART services work. In some cases, a captioner tunes in to the meeting along with the participants. Using a stenograph and a program that syncs with the video call platform, a captioner will translate what the speakers are saying into the written word.

Some of the platforms also offer the ability to chat with the captioner or ask questions as the meeting is happening to prevent any confusion.

As artificial intelligence (AI) continues to improve, CART services will sometimes be strictly through the use of technology. While this can help keep costs down, it is more prone to errors and is not always as effective as working with a live captioner.

Does my Business Need Special Technology for CART Services?

The answer to this question is both yes and no. You may need to download software or work with your virtual meeting service provider to adapt your current technology, but you will not need costly hardware to add CART services to your virtual meetings.

Your in-house IT team or a tech-savvy employee should be able to implement fairly easily. Additionally, most virtual meeting platforms give instructions on their website for how to add CART services to virtual meetings. Below is a list of some of the most common platforms’ instructions:

When CART Services May Not be Appropriate

CART services are generally ideal for virtual meetings. However, we should also note that there are times when it makes more sense to bring in an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter instead – or to have both. The most important thing you can do is ask meeting attendees what their preference is.

Having an open line of communication with people who have diversabilities can make their experience more pleasant and improve your company’s diversity and inclusion initiative.

Work with Applied Development for Virtual Meeting CART Services

Applied Development can provide your company or agency with both CART services and ASL interpreters to improve the virtual meeting experience for people who are Deaf or hard of hearing. Give us a call today at 410.571.4016 or contact us on the website for more information.