CART FAQ: Falling On Deaf Ears, Part V of VII

CART FAQ: Falling On Deaf Ears, Part V of VII

By Monette Benoit
All Rights Reserved.

Every day, like you, I receive e-mails. People contact me each day as a court reporter, CART provider, instructor, tutor, and author of NCRA, written knowledge test, “WKT” test prep material. Like you, I’m working to ensure we have an accurate record and to give back. My goal is to serve others.

Sometimes I receive an e-mail stinger. I may “see” frustration; I may address that.

But there are many e-mails where I giggle. I understand we’re working hard, probably too hard.

Today’s goal: If this article gifts you with new information, a smile, a giggle, ending with my “memory-moment,” I’ll have done my job — today — for tomorrow.

You can embrace this technology, become embraced by a new world; one that expands each day, as we share our skills, listening to those who teach us – our consumers.

Please refer to my NCRA JCR online articles within the CART Special Interest Area (members only, per NCRA) for previous questions and answers.

To further assist you, part I, II, III, IV and V and many articles that I’ve written about my experiences with CART and deaf/Deaf and HOH (hard of hearing) topics are online at and Monette’s Musings,

30. “What is oral deaf? Does that mean they talk clearly, but can’t hear?”

The person is deaf and does not sign. A person chooses not to use sign language. If you’re new to CART, it’s not “aural” deaf. While the audience giggles, reporters blush if they were not aware of the phrase beforehand.

31. “Why would they choose not to sign?”

A person with hearing loss may choose to read lips. The age at which hearing loss begins is an important factor in the choice. Some oral deaf may become deaf early in life. A parent helps with the decision, perhaps with a teacher, doctor or audiologist. Most oral deaf that I know made the decision with their mother.

I know a very successful (high profile) businessman who refuses to learn sign or read lips, asking others “to write it down.” (He hands me his paper and pencil each time.)

I asked why he didn’t read lips or sign. He answered, “I don’t want to.”

I threw my head back and laughed.

Others were horrified that I had even asked this question. But I had an opportunity to engage in a wonderful, honest conversation; I learned a lot from the gentleman. And the moment that was missed by almost everyone who was standing there when I initially asked my question was he thanked me for asking. After he shared, he leaned over, shook my hand and thanked me. I tapped his shoulder and gently nodded. I get it.

Many oral deaf make the decision early in their deafness to try to get along without sign.

The Deaf worlds are very different from oral deaf: this culture of individuality and its social and professional settings often help to define the decision. Yet the majority of my oral-deaf friends do not know any sign. Since I can tease them, as they tease me, I may sign, as we chat, “turning voice-box off.” (Voice-box is an important term to know and to have in your vocabulary.)

Again, one’s knowledge and acceptance within deaf culture will enhance and/or halt this truth in communication.

32. “I’m interested in CART. How can I learn?”

Seminars are held at state and national conventions. CARTWheel was organized by Gayl Hardeman to act as a guidepost for families and people with hearing challenges. The site ( has grown with a group of leaders, pioneers and professionals who share information among professional members, apprentice members, and within legal, educational, religious and business arenas. NCRA has a CART Special Interest Area at

Read articles, prep, read, and get to know thee consumer.

You will be thanked and will learn buckets of information at the feet of the masters. This community has been wonderful embracing me – the Deaf, deaf, oral deaf, hard of hearing. Truly. Since 1993, from the trenches, I am thanked over and over for simply bearing witness and for serving to their needs, to their requests. I do not work to define what ‘they’ need without consulting with ‘they’ — as it should be.

33. “I have a job just waiting for me to CART. If I can learn how much to charge, the job’s there, so I need you to tell me how much to charge, so I can provide this service.” Another question: “I’m looking to CART/ caption on the side. I need national rates. Break it down by one-on-one or group rates – that’d be good to know, too.”

Each reporter needs to know the community. One CART provider often writes longer periods of time than team sign interpreters, and we may share an ASCII disk, verbatim translation of the job request.

Amounts vary for our services, but I can pick up the phone, learning rates in any region. So should you, after learning the culture(s) in your area.

34. “Help! You need to phone me at (long distance) tomorrow around 9 or 10. I need advice to handle clients and lots of other stuff. I’ve attended many of your sessions on CART when you spoke at the national convention. My e-mail doesn’t work, please call!”

Hmmm. I replied, via e-mail that “doesn’t work,” but was sent via e-mail: I don’t know your time zone, state, full name, qualifications or enough specifics to be helpful.

35. “I’m interested in starting a CART business. Do you own one? I need to pick someone’s brain!” Please see previous 34 questions and answers.

36. “Can you provide me with all your fees, including all marketing plans?”

Gee, I don’t think so.

I end here, in serious times, sharing a Deaf joke. “It’s funny when you get a prank call through TTY (telephone for the Deaf) and try to figure out who the caller is by speed of typing, choice of words and English language.”

Those that understand Deaf culture just smiled. If I need to explain this, it’s not funny.

Come, join us; you’ll smile, promise. My “filled with wonder” memory was gifted from a Big-D friend.

I cherish the honesty, so pure: “Monette, you see why friendship means so much? You know how people say earthly treasures don’t matter cause you can’t have them in heaven? Well, I will get to also have them in heaven.”

“I want to talk with Jesus. I think that will be one cool conversation. Hey, I will get to talk to Him verbally, and He can talk to me normal there, ’cause I will get to hear there. Yup, that will definitely be such a cool thing.”

Thanks for permitting me to share moments that pause my world to sparkle with wonder at what tomorrow may bring.

And I humbly ask each of you: Do you have wonder and excitement in your work?

CART opens new doors and opportunities each day. Truly.

And yes, you have my permission to share my articles. One set of ears, one set of hands at a time. And I still swear learning theory was the hardest thing I ever did. Placing the steno machine on the tiny tripod comes in a close second.

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