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NCRA Government Relations recap from HLAA 2023

Featured in the photo (from left to right): Lisa Johnston, RMR, CRR, CRC; NCRA Director of Government Relations Jocelynn Moore, Esq.; Alan Peacock, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC; Heidi Thomas, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC; and incoming NCRA Director Kelly Linkowski, RPR, CRR, CRC, CPE. Courtesy: Jocelynn A. Moore, Esq./NCRA Government Relations

Last month NCRA Captioning Committee Chair and Professional Captioner Kelly Linkowski, RPR, CRR, CRC, CPE, and NCRA Director of Government Relations Jocelynn A. Moore, Esq., exhibited at the 2023 Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) Convention on behalf of NCRA in New Orleans, La.

The HLAA Convention is the largest hearing-friendly event in the United States, offering accessibility workshops, education resources, social events, and a trade show featuring the latest in technology and services for those with hearing loss. Captioners aid the HLAA community by implementing the use of realtime in broadcast and CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) captioning. CART is a word-for-word speech-to-text service that displays complete translation of all spoken words and environmental sounds to faithfully communicate the integrity of the message.

CART captioners can choose to work on-site with consumers who are deaf or hard of hearing. They can travel to provide CART for conferences and meetings. CART captioners also work from their homes or offices to deliver the service to remote locations using audio connections through the telephone and internet connections with their consumers.

Moore, who also serves as NCRA’s lobbyist, shared, “Throughout the entirety of the Convention, it was amazing how many attendees expressed their overwhelming gratitude for NCRA captioners and CART providers.” She went on to state that attendees also made sure to express their appreciation to the NCRA captioners who captioned the 2023 HLAA Convention, which included: Alan Peacock, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC, from Mobile, Ala.; Heidi Thomas, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC, from Kennesaw, Ga.; Lisa Johnston, RMR, CRR, CRC, from Melbourne, Fla.; Sebrina Crosby, CRC, from Ashville, Ala.; and Kimberly Shea, CRC, from Flower Mound, Texas. “While exhibiting, we also had the wonderful opportunity to hear from attendees who expressed their concern and need to improve CART captioning within courtrooms across the country,” Moore added.

“Exhibiting is hard!” Linkowski declared. “Not only do we not have to explain and prove the value of captioning events, but every single person we spoke to thanks NCRA for the work they do and the quality of Certified Captioners in both the broadcasting and CART captioning settings.”

Attendees expressed concern about access to the court process, everything from not being provided equal accessibility as a plaintiff to being cut out of their right to participate in the judicial process. People couldn’t hear any of the activities in the courtroom or pre-proceedings or other people testifying. They were provided with written questions and answered from those only. 

“We are looking forward to exhibiting at the HLAA Convention next year and expanding our continuing partnership with HLAA,” Moore concluded.

When asked what one of the common stories told by the Convention attendees was, Linkowski stated, “Many told stories of where communication accessibility through speech-to-text by human captioners impacted their lives.”

What are some common questions from CART consumers? Learn more here on NCRA’s Professional Resources center, or view the CART Captioner’s ManualCART Captioner Bill of Rights, and the CART Consumer Bill of Rights.