Large events can be difficult for the diversability (diverse ability) community, especially when these events are not easily accessible. Under compliance laws, all individuals who attend your event should be able to take the same value from it. If your company is hosting a conference, trade show, or large-scale training, you need to make sure that everyone who attends has equal access to the information presented.

For people in the deaf or hard of hearing community, this usually includes communication access real time translation (CART) services or sign language interpretation

When to Provide CART Services

CART services are especially effective for company-wide or large-scale training events that take place in an auditorium or other large venues. People need to be close to the front of the room to be able to properly see a sign language interpreter. However, projecting text onto large screens makes it easier for people to access the translation regardless of where they are in the room.

Additionally, these types of events are often lecture-style. Having a transcription pop up onscreen can make it easier for everyone attending to take notes and help people who are hard of hearing or deaf avoid missing information from an interpreter. You can also save the transcript and provide it to people who were not able to attend or to anyone who may have missed important details.

When to Provide a Sign Language Interpreter 

A sign language interpreter can provide a more personal touch than a CART transcriptionist and is great for smaller events or events that require people to visit different booths or areas.

If you know that you’re going to have someone who is fluent in ASL attending your event, having an interpreter may make the person more comfortable. This is especially true if they are going to be directly interacting with others.

Having an interpreter can also shorten the delay from the speaker to the consumer, which can make one-on-one communication a more comfortable experience.

Sign Language Interpretation vs CART Services

Ultimately, when you are trying to decide which type of service to offer, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  1. How large your event is
  2. What type of technology you have access to
  3. What your attendees prefer

If you know in advance that you have hard of hearing or deaf attendees, the best thing you can do is ask them what they find convenient. In most cases, they will be happy you asked and provide you with helpful feedback.

When you are not able to poll your attendees, it can be beneficial to have both services available, especially if you’re hosting a large-scale event.

Regardless of which route you choose, Applied Development can help. We offer both sign language interpretation and CART services to help you improve your inclusivity. If you have questions about either service, give us a call at 410.571.4016 or contact us here.