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Introducing CART to Ireland

Shane Finnerty



In 2005 we realised there was a scarcity of accessibility solutions for Deaf/deaf, hard-of-hearing and those for whom English is not their first language, in Ireland. At this time we were providing live subtitles to the national TV broadcaster and realtime text to the legal and government sectors and we already had in place the skillset and experienced staff that could be put towards providing CART in Ireland. In order to gauge the need for CART services in Ireland we undertook a 12-month programme of travelling to most of the 3rd level colleges and universities, charities, businesses and government agencies and engaged with their disability officers, providing a practical demonstration to illustrate how the CART service would be of benefit to students, colleagues and the public. It became very evident that a large proportion of the organisations that we contacted were in need of such a service, but they either didn’t know it existed and weren’t aware of its benefits or that it was possible. What has become apparent is that CART as a service, alongside other solutions (loop systems, etc), has wide ranging implications for the deaf and hard-of-hearing in order to allow them to participate in the world around them.

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