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

Trusted CART & ASL Services in Decatur, IL

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 Decatur

  • Decatur was founded in 1829. By 1836, the population has reached about 300 people.
  • Today’s city motto is “Decatur, We Like it Here,” but the previous motto was “The Pride of the Prairie.”
  • For most of the 1900s, Decatur was referred to as “The Soybean Capital of the World” thanks to Staley’s, a major grain processor.
  • In the first half of the 1900s, over 33% of all soybeans grown in the world were processed in Decatur. That’s why in 1955, Soy Capital Bank was born.
  • In 1960, Decatur was awarded the All-America City Award, which is given to 10 communities in the United States.
  • This award is given to communities whose citizens work together to identify and tackle community-wide challenges and achieve uncommon results.
  • Have you ever been to the town square located in downtown Decatur? In the middle, you’ll find the Transfer House, which was built in 1896. This is where the city’s mass transit lines met. It was designed by William W. Boyington, the man who also designed the Chicago Water Tower. However, the structure was actually located in the middle of US 51, and drivers were forced to travel around it.
  • Decatur has 2 sister cities, which is an agreement between cities to promote cultural and commercial ties. The sister cities of Decatur, IL are Tokorozawa, Saitama, Japan and Seevetal, Lower Saxony, Germany.
  • The Decatur Sister Cities Committee coordinates with high school students every year who serve as ambassadors between the three cities.
  • Many residents of Decatur know of the Muni band, short for the Decatur Municipal Band.
  • The Muni band was formed in 1857, deeming it one of the oldest non-military bands that still serves its community in both the US and Canada.
  • However, it’s gone through a series of name changes, including the Decatur Brass Band, Decatur Cornet Band, Decatur Silver Band, and the Goodman Band.
  • The Decatur Public Library was built in 1902, and opened to the public in 1903. It has moved twice since its inception, and it now resides in an abandoned Sears building.
  • Decatur was the original home of the Chicago Bears, but only for 1 year (1919-1920).
  • Decatur has been ranked 3rd in the nation as an Emerging Logistics and Distribution Center, and also a Top 25 Trade City.
  • The top 5 employers in the Decatur area are:
    • Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) (4,199)
    • Decatur Memorial Hospital (DMH) (2,200)
    • Decatur Public Schools (1,812)
    • Caterpillar Inc. (1,650)
    • St. Mary’s Hospital (987)
  • Millikin University, the 75-acre campus founded by James Millikin in 1901, was originally affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. The University opened on September 15, 1903.
  • Announcement of the contractor for the Millikin University. It was very common to publicly list the cost of buildings and projects in the paper, including how much the contractor’s bids were.
  • Ever wondered about the Decatur airport? It has only 3 daily commercial flights that fly to and from Lambert-St. Louis International Airport and Chicago-O’Hare International Airport. The airline is Air Choice One, also known as Multi-Aero, Inc.
  • In Decatur, we all get stopped by trains, it seems, but trains have been a huge part of Decatur culture for more than 100 years. Decatur is a major railroad junction that once served 7 railroads. After mergers, that number has gone down to 3.
  • Decatur is named after Stephen Decatur, a naval hero from the War of 1812.
  • This fact is not so fun at all. The Potawatomi Trail of Death, the forced removal of the Potawatomi nation from Indiana to Kansas, passed through Decatur in 1833.
  • The Edward P. Irving House, located at #2 Millikin Place, was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and was built in 1911. You can see photos of the house here.
  • Decatur was the first home of Abraham Lincoln, who settled just west of Decatur in 1830. When Lincoln was 21, he gave his first political speech in Decatur about the importance of the Sangamon River.
  • In 1992, ADM had a major scandal that ended up costing them more than $500 million. It involved federal charges from the FBI as well as a high fructose corn syrup class action case. ADM’s executive Mark Whitacre confessed to fixing the price of lysine, a food additive. Many executives also served federal prison time. This scandal led to the book and film The Informant.
  • Decatur has popped up in many movies. Popular scenes involve Tom Hanks in Bachelor Party, who croons that he’s from Decatur, Illinois and Cameron in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, who mentions his mother is in Decatur to buy antiques. Perhaps one of the funniest scenes of all is George Clooney in the 2008 film Leatherheads, who talks to a woman at a football game. The woman asks, “How will owning a football team help sell corn starch?” The camera pans to the scoreboard and reveals that one of the teams is Decatur.
  • MTV’s show “True Life: I’m Addicted to Caffeine” was filmed in Decatur.

Reference Sources: Samshockaday,

Decatur 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 Decatur today a language interpreter can be a very underestimated professional in the world today. There are over 100 languages spoken in the Decatur Metro area alone. Many of us know one language, and we specialize in one field of study. Our Decatur 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 Decatur

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 Decatur

When it comes to communicating with hard-of-hearing or deaf audiences, there are a few reasons you might want to opt for a Decatur 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 Decatur 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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