By: Jayne Carriker, RPR
When my family and I first moved to the Twin Cities six years ago and I was invited to join Team Paradigm, I remember thinking how cool it was to be working with a firm that provides both CART and captioning services, in addition to court reporting. In all my years of reporting, I had never personally known anyone who did captioning or CART work but always admired them. It seemed like “mental gymnastics” to me; to have that level of skill and accuracy to provide realtime transcription for a live audience – sometimes for broadcast television, other times to a smaller audience like a deaf or hard-of-hearing student receiving CART (Communication Access Realtime Transcription) for a class.
After six months at Paradigm, I started to think about trying CART. I ignored the voice in my head that was telling me that it was well outside of my comfort zone, and I approached Paradigm President Jan Ballman and Director of CART/Captioning Lisa Richardson about my interest. From there, they devised a plan for me…
After many hours of practice with Realtime Coach, a program designed to build speed and accuracy, and dozens, then hundreds, and probably one thousand plus new word entries into my dictionary, in addition to revamping my number writing style, prefixes, suffixes, etc., Lisa told me she thought I was ready. I was a bit nervous, but trusted her judgment. That was three years ago.
I am so glad I took the leap and learned the CART side of the business. I have really enjoyed adding CART assignments to my weekly/monthly schedule. One of the benefits of taking a CART job versus a deposition is that there are no final transcripts, only “rough” drafts provided to the client afterwards. But now that I have developed both a “deposition brain” and a “CART brain,” I need to make sure I have my switch set to the right one depending on the day and assignment I am on.
Of course, there have been some stressful moments. But for the most part, the rewarding moments have far-outweighed the negative experiences. One of those moments happened recently at an advisory committee meeting. I met a young man who has visual issues as well as hearing issues and works at a local Goodwill store. He came to me afterwards to thank me for being there and providing the captioning and commented that I must be a very fast typist. I told him that actually it was more like playing the piano than typing, as I had been told years ago in court reporting school. Do you know what he said? “I play the piano, classical music.” I am continually humbled by the people in the world of hearing loss, and feel blessed to have the opportunity to work within their community.