2015 Pittsburgh Sign-A-Thon


VITAC Realtime Captioner Linda Frost’s Point of View providing CART Services at the 2015 HDS Pittsburgh Sign-A-Thon

The 2015 Pittsburgh Sign-A-Thon was held this past Saturday, October 3rd, at the Mall at Robinson. The Sign-A-Thon is hosted by HDS, the Center for Hearing and Deaf Services, Inc. in Pittsburgh. The event brings together deaf, hard-of-hearing, deafblind, and hearing people to communicate in various ways, showcasing American Sign Language.Every year, all funds go to help defray the cost of sign language interpreters for small non-profit organizations.

This year’s event featured performances by B.E.L.I.E.V.E., Heavenly Hands from Bethany Baptist Church, David and Sally Barnett, Rodney & Friends, and Sarah Clark.

The Animal Rescue League was also there with pets that could be adopted.

VITAC‘s very own Realtime Captioner Linda Frost volunteered her time to provide CART services for the event. The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) defines CART services as, “the instant translation of the spoken word into English text using a stenotype machine, notebook computer, and realtime software.”

The text produced by the CART service can be displayed on a computer screen, projected onto a larger screen for presentations, combined with a video presentation to appear as captions, or other methods of transmission. At the Sign-A-Thon, the performances and dialog were broadcast on a projector screen.

“I have been reporting/captioning now for a combined 35 years, and Saturday was probably one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. The final song in the performance was Alabama’s ‘Angels Among Us,’ which brought tears to my eyes,” said Linda of her experience.

The Center for Hearing & Deaf Services, Inc. provides a wide range of services for people who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, or have other communication needs. Visit their website for more information.

By Brittany Bender