Suggestions for Effective Use of Interpreters and CART

  • The interpreter’s/CART reporter’s primary responsibility is to facilitate communication and provide access for students who are deaf.
  • Deaf students who do not use American Sign Language (ASL) may use CART services.
  • CART or Communication Access Real Time is the instantaneous verbatim translation of the spoken word into English text. The CART reporter sits in the classroom and transcribes everything that is said by you and the students during class. The information is displayed on a laptop computer, monitor or screen for the deaf student to read.
  • You should speak directly to the student. The interpreter will be helpful in explaining the process, but do not ask the interpreter questions for or about the student.
  • Speak at your natural pace, but be aware that the interpreter must hear and understand a complete thought before signing it.
  • The interpreter will let you know if you should repeat or slow down. Taking turns in the conversation may be different from what you are used to. This is due to the lag time required for the interpretation process.
  • Look and speak directly at the deaf student. The student will be watching the interpreter and glancing back and forth at you.
  • Adjust window blinds to minimize glare. Neither instructors nor interpreters should stand before open windows.
  • Semicircles or circular seating arrangements are best for discussion formats. Encourage students to take turns during dialogue.
  • In normal movements around the classroom, you should take care not to come between the interpreter and the student. When moving to another part of the room to lecture, allow time for the interpreter to follow so that the student’s attention is not split.
  • If you ask the class to look at a passage in their textbooks, you should allow the student time to read the material before continuing the lecture.
  • Deaf students can’t read and watch the interpreter at the same time. Valuable information can be missed if this happens. The same applies to test instructions.