CART Captioning in Community: Clubs, Religious Organizations & Other Social Groups

Why CART in Clubs/Religious (Community)

PLEASE scroll down the entire page . There are additional resources, and also a useful listing (map) of communities we know about that have included, or are now offering captioning during services and meetings.

One of the common concerns is “cost” or small size of the group, yet we assure you, in most areas, it can be achieved, step by step. CCAC members are standing by online to advise and offer suggestions when you join the CCAC – use the link on this website to become a member, and participate in the membership forum online with your questions and suggestions.

CCAC Letter for distribution with CCAC permission – email us, and if you copy and use this, please credit this website and the CCAC. Below the letter is more information about why captioning is needed in this “category of life.” 

Note that “CART” is an acronym. More often now (2017) people say “Live Captioning” or “Realtime Captioning” or still, “CART Captioning.”

From 2011 with newer revisions:

From the CCAC (Collaborative for Communication Access via Captioning)

Dear Community Leader,

We are writing to you from a national group of volunteers from many different backgrounds who are all concerned about people and inclusion of all. Our focus is to educate and advocate for “captioning” in so many places where it is not included. Some reasons for this much needed service are outlined here. We hope you become very interested in this, and begin discussions with us.

The number of people with hearing loss and deafness rose from 36 million to 48 million (1 in 5 in the USA). in recent years. Many are not able to understand verbal communication fully at countless community, social, political, and religious events. 

Even with hearing aids or cochlear implants, many with hearing loss do not always hear nor understand much of what is being  said by others. English, rather than sign language, is the primary mode of communication for the majority of these millions of our neighbors and family members.

The chances of your organization or house of worship coming into contact with someone with a hearing loss is very high. Depending on the age group, hearing loss affects the lives of between 20 and 80 percent at every gathering. What is the solution for  “inclusion” and ensuring that your group is “accessible” for all?  We encourage you to learn more about CART (real time captioning) and begin planning to include captioning at your meetings, gathering and services, and for any audio materials used on your website.

What is CART and captioning? Captioning is the process of converting the audio content of a television broadcast, webcast, film, CD-ROM, video, CD event, or other productions into text  and  displaying the text or other visual display system”. 1

CART, which stands for Communication Access Real time Translation, like captioning, is typically used on-site and remotely for community gatherings, meetings, and religious services. A court reporter with added specialized training provides CART for one person, a group, or for an entire audience. 

Due to the importance of this assistive technology, the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) recognizes CART as an auxiliary aid that is considered an effective communication access for those who depend on it. Not only is it an effective assistive technology for those with hearing loss, but also, captioning is useful for people who are learning “English as a second language, children learning how to read and visual learners”.2

According to a study done in 1997 (Metcalf) at the University of Texas, “…people remember 20 percent of what they hear, 30 percent of what they see, 50 percent of what they see and hear…” 3 Wouldn’t it be in the best interest of your organization or house of worship to help your members or congregants (current and prospective) to remember 50 percent of what is being conveyed with the use of CART and captioning?

We are very interested in talking with you soon about this topic and look forward to your reply via email. For some background reading on this rapidly-growing service, please visit the website of the Collaborative for Communication Access via Captioning at,  or the website of the National Court Reporter Association for information about CART at http://www.cartinfo. org/CARTBrochure.pdf

Best Regards, 

Angela, Bill and Lauren for the CCAC

CCAC volunteers advocate and educate about captioning and CART regularly.

CCAC itself does not provide nor sell any services.





===end of letter=====

CCAC member Patti White, see below, offers this essay to illustrate why CART is valuable in this category which she names “Church and Community.”

“We’ve been providing remote CART services to the annual conference for a large protestant congregation for many years. It’s a way for their leadership to experience the type of education and inclusion that is available to members of their own congregations who have a hearing loss, are deaf, and others who appreciate text. However, since we’re not on site, we’re not able to market to the participants so they can extend this option to their home churches where it would also be useful and appreciated.” This essay aims to explain why.

Our experience has shown that many people think CART is provided by a computer automatically (Voice To Print) and it’s just a matter of displaying it. However, once they find there’s a person involved, it then becomes “too technical” for them to implement on a regular basis. The person is a true professional, concerned about accuracy, and committed to assisting them, and while there is a “learning curve,” it is really not complicated once it’s introduced, and so many can benefit from CART.

For example, I’ve supported a member of our congregation in weekly meetings and she has become so empowered from this. (Another tells me, with CART, she “becomes truly herself again!”). My friend in our congregation has asked the lead pastor to add CART to the Sunday service also, yet this has been declined for now. There are five services in our church every weekend. Making the decision to add CART could potentially make many more congregation members, and at the same time, continue to expand the ministry of any congregation in good ways.

A small digression: today, some say there is an interesting “cultural shift” to consider:  a shift away from a “convergent culture,” where people and things come together more, to a “divergent culture” which values “individuality” and speedy gratification. A convergent culture is described as having a group identity and pride in being part of a group, for examples, “clubs” such as the Kiwanis and Rotary, and many other groups of long-standing tradition, or newer ones. An important “identity” is found in the “cause” of any group, or from the healthy social interactions alone. Groups provide sharing and thoughtful planning, and in religion, there is the added value of having a “sanctuary” and more.

For both cultures (convergent, divergent, and also a mixture perhaps), using CART technology is so important – for at least one in six persons in any group! – to serve each individual according to his or her needs, and also for a growing population of “deafened and people with hearing loss” who deserve to participate in all community and religious groups of their own choice. In fact, we also support stronger “group identity” among all people with hearing “differences” to have healthy and productive lives, all the many millions. (CCAC is one form of a new group that is building an identity also, to strengthen group actions for CART where needed.)

With CART included during any service or meeting, people who cannot hear clearly can read and understand instantly (real time) and become empowered. Many in any audience will use CART if it’s projected onto a screen, rather than provided for only one person (on a laptop). Adding a visual display of all spoken words, even in a “sanctuary” setting, which is a very special place, can benefit many long-time members, and also attract newer people who will bring new ideas and energies to any congregation or club setting.

Above prepared for the CCAC by: Patricia White, Good Sport Captioning

Map below thanks to – We are ready to add to it if you send us new information.

Houses of Worship with CART/Captioning Inclusion

View Houses of Worship with CART/Captioning Inclusion in a larger map

UPDATES: ONLINE captioned church services or related. If a link is not working, please let us know.



3. October 2014: also has live captioning

4. First Presbyterian Church of Gardner, Kansas now has live captioning.