Contact us by email at or via phone at 1-800-951-5020 for a free estimate on our ASL and CART services.

ASL Interpreting or CART in Austin

American Language Services has been helping businesses and other entities reach the deaf and hard of hearing community for more than 35 years. While in-person interpreting, at one time, was the only option, recent technological advances opened the door to other options. Since we offer full-service Video Remote Interpreting (VRI), this article will be comparing Virtual American Sign Language (ASL) interpreting with Communication Access Real-Time Translation (AKA- Closed Captioning & Real Time Subtitling) known as CART.

 Please note that according to the American Disability Act (ADA) that deaf and hard of hearing community have the legal right to receive full access through the use of ASL and or CART services. The ADA prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities and providing ASL interpreters for deaf individuals complies with federal law and promotes equal accessibility.

Some interesting Facts About the City of Austin

  • Austin is home to about 750,000 bats in spring and summer and up to 1.5 million at the peak of bat-watching season. It’s the largest urban bat colony in North America. 
  • Austin, in landmass, is almost as large as New York City, occupying about 280 square miles.  
  • There are hundreds of wild Monk Parakeets flying freely around Austin, mingling with the mockingbirds and bumping wings with the whippoorwills. 
  • Austin is one of the safest major cities in the U.S.
  • In 1999, Austinite Matthew McConaughey was arrested in ATX for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. When the police arrived, they found him dancing around, playing bongo drums. Naked. 
  • Austin doesn’t have a professional sports team. However, the University of Texas at Austin’s Longhorns are the city’s pride and joy. Hook ’em!
  • Austin is one of the sunniest cities in America, getting on average about 300 clear days a year.
  • Austin was recently rated one of the “drunkest” cities in America by “Men’s Health,” mostly for its impressive/alarming ranking as 23rd in the nation for DUI crashes, eighth for DUI arrests, and second for binge drinking.
  • Austin is the only city in the world known to still operate a system of Moonlight towers, lighting structures from the 19th century.
  • Austin has celebrated the birthday of the fictional character from Winnie the Pooh since 1963. Eeyore’s Birthday Party usually happens on the last Saturday of April. Attendees arrive in colorful costumes and are entertained by live music and very large drum circles.
  • National chain Whole Foods started out in Austin in 1978 when 25-year-old college dropout John Mackey and Rene Lawson Hardy borrowed $45,000 to open a small natural foods store. Not only did Mackey and Lawson work there, they lived there, too—and since it was zoned commercially and didn’t have a shower, they made the best of it by bathing in the Hobart dishwasher.
  • Austin is well known for its food truck scene, which started in the early ’90s with a few family-owned taco carts on South Lamar Street. Now, there are close to 2,000 food trucks throughout the city.
  • In 1884, three years before Jack the Ripper began terrorizing the streets of London, Austin, was the home of the first known serial killer in the world, the Servant Girl Annihilator.
  • Austin actually grew during the Great Depression. During this time, the city’s population increased 66 percent and University of Texas’ enrollment nearly doubled.
  • South Austin is home to one of the most unique cathedrals around: The Cathedral of Junk, made entirely out of various clocks, beer signs, knickknacks, doodads, gadgets, and whatnots.
  • Austin has the only nude beach in all of Texas. Texas has no laws that stop women from going topless in public. However, no other city in the state has a place designated for nudity. Hippie Hollow is a clothing-optional beach located on Lake Travis. Texas is a conservative state all-in-all, but Austin is pretty liberal.
  • Austin is growing—and fast. It was recently named America’s fastest growing city by “Forbes” magazine, with a population growth rate of 2.8 percent. 26. Throughout its history, Austin has doubled in population every 20 years. 
  • Austin wasn’t even originally called Austin. It was called “Waterloo”, and the name was changed in order to honor Stephen F. Austin, the “Father of Texas” and the republic’s first secretary of state.
  • An average of 20 million people visit Austin every year, This is more than the annual visitors to Rome (4.2 million), Hawaii (8.3 million), and even London (17.4 million).
  • Austin was recently ranked one of the fittest cities in America by “Shape” magazine. Which might have something to do with its 220 parks, running and biking trails, lakes like Austin and Travis, more than 250 gyms, yoga studios, healthy restaurants, and health food stores.
  • Up until the late Cretaceous Period, Austin was completely underwater. That’s why many of the cliffs in Austin are made up of that crumbly whitish rock, or “Austin Chalk.”
  •  The greater Austin area contains 10 extinct volcanoes. They used to be violent underwater volcanoes called “explosion craters” by geologists.
  • In more recent years, Austin has been ranked the No. 1 city in the U.S. for dogs and dog owners by the Pets at Home website. It’s home to 12 off-leash parks, swimming holes, and tons of dog-friendly restaurants and hotels.
  • Austin has no state or local corporate or personal income taxes.
  • Austin really is the Live Music Capital of the World. The slogan became official in 1991 when it was discovered that ATX had more live music venues per capita than anywhere else. There are more than 1,900 bands and performing artists in the city, and nearly 200 live music venues around town.
  • The highest point in Austin is Mount Bonnell at 785 feet.

Austin ASL & CART Language Interpreters

American Language Services is known for our high-quality, In-person and Virtual interpreters, as well as the outstanding client services we provide. We work in 200+ languages including Legal and Medical Certified and Qualified.  ASL and CART are the fastest growing languages in Austin today a language interpreter can be a very underestimated professional in the world today. There are over 100 languages spoken in the Austin Metro area alone. Many of us know one language, and we specialize in one field of study. Our Austin Interpreters are fluent in English and at least one other language, and they are knowledgeable in a wide range of specialized fields including legal, medical, technical, manufacturing, and engineering.

A brief history of ASL Interpreting in Austin

Most people know that ASL stands for American Sign Language. But not everyone knows that it is a distinct language—not simply an offshoot of American English. Though its beginnings are murky, many believe that ASL originated from a merger of French Sign Language (SLF) and local U.S. sign languages. While ASL and SLF are distinct languages, there are still some similarities between their signs.

What actually is ASL?   ASL a complete, natural language that has the same linguistic properties as spoken languages with grammar however that differs from English. ASL is expressed by movements of the hands and face.  ASL is a language completely separate and distinct from English. It contains all the fundamental features of language, with its own rules for pronunciation, word formation, and word order.  Because of the physical nature of ASL, a two-person team of ASL interpreters is required for assignments longer than 1 hour in duration.

The National Center for Health Statistics claims that 28 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss, though only between two and eight percent of them are natural ASL speakers.  Helping these select individuals translate the audible into the understandable is the job of an ASL interpreter.  If you have ever been to a play, a concert or watched a government briefing, you have probably seen an ASL interpreter signing just out of view.  An interesting side note is that Statista estimates that there are currently around 60,000 active ASL interpreters in the USA.

The Benefits of ASL Interpreting in Austin

When it comes to communicating with hard-of-hearing or deaf audiences, there are a few reasons you might want to opt for a Austin ASL interpreter over CART services. These include:

  • A More Personal Connection: A real person has several advantages over a computer screen. First, human interpreters have an easier time conveying emotion. Second, they are better equipped to point out speakers and assist with pronunciation issues. Finally, an interpreter gives a deaf or hard of hearing person a chance to bond with another person.
  • Enhanced Speed: Skilled interpreters can hold pace with even the fastest speakers. Lack of delay makes it easier for deaf and hard of hearing individuals to keep up with the conversation.
  • Cost Effective:  While costs range by the type of ASL you need (Legal, medical, business, etc.) and when the assignment is scheduled, the cost off ASL, across the board, is less money than CART.

What Is CART?

While the majority of people know what American Sign Language is, the same cannot be said for Communication Access Real-Time Translation. Often referred to as CART, this communication method for the deaf and hard of hearing is best described as subtitling for live discussions. Unlike ASL, which relies on a professional interpreter, CART services are provided by a well-trained stenographer or transcriptionist. They transcribe anything said and then broadcast the resulting text to a phone, computer, or TV screen.

CART is often seen as a cost-effective and efficient way to ensure everybody can follow along. While often used to help deaf students in the classroom, CART captioning benefits anyone that can read.  Much like ASL interpreting, it can be done both onsite with a physical transcriptionist or remotely with an offsite one.

Why You Should Consider CART for the Austin Market

Communication Access Real-Time Translation is growing in popularity due to the following characteristics:

  • It Serves a Wider Array of Deaf People: If you do a little math, you will realize that 65 percent of hard-of-hearing people in the USA do not speak ASL fluently. CART makes it so these people can join in on the conversation as well.
  • CART Makes It Scalable: While people in the front rows can easily make out what an interpreter is signing, it gets harder as the distance increases. Since captions can be beamed to multiple screens simultaneously, they do not have to factor speaker distance into the equation.
  • The Text Provides a Written Record: Having a transcript of everything your professor said would be a godsend come finals. Having a record of a meeting can also provide clarity to all those involved as well. The physical nature of CART recording makes that possible. This ability is one reason so many college students opt for CART over traditional ASL interpreting. 

About American Language Services

Founded in 1985, American Language Services was there to help pioneer the rise in remote ASL interpreting options. Our dedication to quality and client satisfaction in interpreting allowed us to shift from a one-woman agency into one of the most successful language agencies in the world. Our language experts provide ASL & CART interpreting services to people all around the world. Because of our 24/7 availability, you’ll never have to worry about us not being available, on off times, for an assignment.

AML-Global has some of the most impressive linguistic talents in the world. These highly skilled language professionals are recruited, screened, and tested to ensure high-quality work.

Contact us by email at or via phone at 1-800-951-5020 for a free estimate on our ASL and CART services.


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