How’d That Happen? And Real-Time Captioners, Part II of III

How’d That Happen? And Real-Time Captioners, Part II of III
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.
April 2013

Part I began: As we listen, as we scan and troll, now and then a moment may stop us in our tracks. Each track depends on where we are at that moment. Each track when viewed over one’s shoulder, as hindsight, may appear to be very different.

And this is why I am still tilting my head asking “How’d that happen?”

Recently a mail list shared by court reporters, captioners, CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) providers, instructors, and students, someone posted a link “Appendix A, Hourly Pay for Real-Time Captioners.” Levels were identified with hourly rates. Each level states, “a minimum captioning speed of … and recommendation by the Director.” Appendix A ends …

Part II: Yet I know in 1993 when I began to CART in San Antonio, the sign interpreters negotiated (they used that word) for me “since you arrive with all your equipment and work solo.”

Back then there was no word for CART. Describing what I was going to do, why I needed a space in that spot (bringing my own table), or why I needed to be near electricity required many words. Even discussing captioning then required time.

My sentences often began “Have you ever seen captioning in airports, gyms, or sports bars …?” Oh, the words; oh, the long sentences.

We have seen so much progress with technology, education, advocacy, and with sharing our skills.

Back then interpreters watched me with their arms folded.

Deaf and hard-of-hearing consumers helped me carry my equipment as I lugged everything (think much bigger back then, too) across pavements to unique places.

“Remote” back then was a term I might have used for realtiming outdoors with a brisk wind and asking volunteers to hunker behind my large screen (which I carried in) to prevent it from blowing away (multiple times).

Many times interpreters watched my screen(s), then interpreted. One interpreter might sit next to me signing up to the “terp” signing out to the audience.

Part I of III is posted April 7, 2013, on Monette’s Musings at and

Part II of III is posted April 11, 2013, on Monette’s Musings at and

Part II of III is posted April 27, 2013, on Monette’s Musings at and

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Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, Paralegal

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As a 25+ year court reporter, CART provider, author of NCRA test prep material and an instructor, public speaker, Monette Benoit has taught multiple theories, academics, all speed classes and the 225 homeroom within NCRA-approved schools and a community college. She understands the challenges many adults now face in our industry and schooling.

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