Contact us by email at email@example.com or via phone at 1-800-951-5020 for a free estimate on our ASL and CART services.
Trusted CART & ASL Services in Harrisonburg, VA
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 Harrisonburg
- The earliest documented English exploration of the area prior to settlement was the “Knights of the Golden Horseshoe Expedition”, led by Lt. Gov. Alexander Spotswood, who reached Elkton, and whose rangers continued and in 1716 likely passed through what is now Harrisonburg.
- Harrisonburg, previously known as “Rocktown”, was named for Thomas Harrison, a son of English settlers. In 1737, Harrison settled in the Shenandoah Valley, eventually laying claim to over 12,000 acres (4,900 ha) situated at the intersection of the Spotswood Trail and the main Native American road through the valley.
- In 1779, Harrison deeded 2.5 acres (1.0 ha) of his land to the “public good” for the construction of a courthouse. In 1780, Harrison deeded an additional 50 acres (20 ha). This is the area now known as “Historic Downtown Harrisonburg.”
- In 1849, trustees chartered a mayor–council form of government, although Harrisonburg was not officially incorporated as an independent city until 1916. Today, a council–manager government administers Harrisonburg.
- On June 6, 1862, an American Civil War skirmish took place at Good’s Farm, Chestnut Ridge near Harrisonburg between the forces of the Union and the forces of the Confederacy at which the C.S. Army Brigadier General, Turner Ashby (1828–1862), was killed.
- When the slaves of the Shenandoah Valley were freed in 1865, they set up near modern-day Harrisonburg a town called Newtown. This settlement was eventually annexed by the independent city of Harrisonburg some years later, probably around 1892. Today, the old city of Newtown is still the home of the majority of Harrisonburg’s predominantly black churches, such as First Baptist and Bethel AME. The modern Boys and Girls Club of Harrisonburg is located in the old Lucy Simms schoolhouse used for the black students in the days of segregation.
- A large portion of this black neighborhood was dismantled in the 1960s when – in the name of urban renewal – the city government used federal redevelopment funds from the Housing Act of 1949 to force black families out of their homes and then bulldozed the neighborhood. This effort, called “Project R4”, focused on the city blocks east of Main, north of Gay, west of Broad, and south of Johnson. According to Bob Sullivan, an intern working in the city planner’s office in 1958, the city planner at the time, David Clark had to convince the city council that Harrisonburg even had slums. Newtown, a low socioeconomic status housing area, was declared a slum. Federal law mandated that the city needed to have a referendum on the issue before R4 could begin. The vote was close with 1,024 votes in favor and 978 against R4. After the vote, the Harrisonburg Redevelopment and Housing Authority was formed. All of the members were white men. The project began and, due to eminent domain, the government could force the people of Newtown to sell their homes. They were offered rock bottom prices for their homes. Many people couldn’t afford a new home and had to move into public housing projects and become dependent on the government. Likewise, many of the businesses of Newtown that were bought out could not afford to reestablish themselves. Kline’s, a white-owned business, was actually one of the few businesses in the area that was able to reopen. The city later sold the land to commercial developers.
- In 2004, downtown was designated as the Harrisonburg Downtown Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places and a designated Virginia Main Street Community, with the neighboring Old Town Historic District residential community gaining historic district status in 2007. Several vacant buildings have been renovated and repurposed for new uses, such as the Hardesty-Higgins House and City Exchange, used for the Harrisonburg Tourist Center and high-end loft apartments, respectively.
- In 2008, downtown Harrisonburg spent over $1 million in cosmetic and sidewalk infrastructure improvements (also called streetscaping and wayfinding projects). The City Council appropriated $500,000 for custom street signs to be used as “wayfinding signs” directing visitors to areas of interest around the city. Another $500,000 were used to upgrade street lighting, sidewalks, and landscaping along Main Street and Court Square.
- Harrisonburg has won several awards in recent years, including “#6 Favorite Town in America” by Travel + Leisure in 2016, the “#15 Best City to Raise an Outdoor Kid” by Backpacker in 2009, and the “#3 Happiest Mountain Town” by Blue Ridge Country Magazine in 2016.
- The creative class of Harrisonburg has grown alongside the revitalization of the downtown district. Contributing to Harrisonburg’s cultural capital are a collection of education and art centers, residencies, studios, and artist-facilitated businesses, programs, and collectives.
- Some of these programs include: Larkin Arts, a community art center that opened in 2012 and has four symbiotic components: an art supply store, a fine arts gallery, a school with three classrooms, and five private studio spaces.
- The Super Gr8 Film Festival, founded in 2009. The 2013 festival featured more than 50 locally produced films, and all of the films in the festival were shot using vintage cameras and Super 8 film.
- Arts Council of the Valley, including the Darrin-McHone Gallery and Court Square Theater, provides facilities and funding for various arts programs and projects.
- OASIS Fine Art and Craft, opened in 2000, is a cooperative gallery of over 35 local artists and artisans exhibiting and selling their work. It offers fine hand-crafted pottery, jewelry, fiber art, wood, metal, glass, wearable art, paintings, and photography.
- The Virginia Quilt Museum, established in 1995, is dedicated to preserving, celebrating, and nurturing Virginia’s quilting heritage. It features a permanent collection of nearly 300 quilts, a Civil War Gallery, antique and toy sewing machines, and rotating exhibits from across the United States.
- In addition to the Thomas Harrison House, Harrisonburg Downtown Historic District, and Old Town Historic District, the Anthony Hockman House, Rockingham County Courthouse, Lucy F. Simms School, Whitesel Brothers, and Joshua Wilton House are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
- The climate in this area is characterized by brief hot, humid summers and generally mild to severe cool winters. Harrisonburg has a humid subtropical climate, Cfa on climate maps according to the Köppen climate classification but has clear 4 seasons that vary significantly, if not having brief changes from summer to winter. The USDA hardiness zone is 6b, which means average minimum winter temperature of -5F to 0F.
- Notable events that take place in Harrisonburg include:
- The Alpine Loop Gran Fondo road-cycling event hosted by professional cyclist Jeremiah Bishop starts and finishes in downtown Harrisonburg.
- The annual Harrisonburg International Festival celebrates international foods, dance, music, and folk art.
- Valley Fourth – Downtown Harrisonburg’s 4 July celebrations that bring in over 12,000 people. The festival includes a morning run, food trucks, beer and music garden, kids’ area, art market, craft and clothing vendors, and fireworks.
- Christmas/Holiday Parade- dates vary.
- Taste of Downtown – food event, yearly in March.
- Skeleton Festival – This event blends aspects of Halloween and Dia de los Muertos in a big, community celebration. Activities kick off with trick-or-treating at downtown businesses and culminate with a fun, all-ages party at the Turner Pavilion & Park. The festival features kid, dog, and adult costume contests; face painting; fire dancing; food trucks; live music; a community ofrenda; video art; “trunk or treating”; wacky shacks, goober blobs and whisker biscuits. www.skeletonfestival.com
- Rocktown Beer & Music Festival- This event is very well attended each Spring. It features over 75 different beers and ciders. The band lineup changes each year and food is supplied by some of the local downtown restaurants.
Reference Sources: Kiddle Encyclopedia
Harrisonburg 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 Harrisonburg today a language interpreter can be a very underestimated professional in the world today. There are over 100 languages spoken in the Harrisonburg Metro area alone. Many of us know one language, and we specialize in one field of study. Our Harrisonburg 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 Harrisonburg
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 Harrisonburg
When it comes to communicating with hard-of-hearing or deaf audiences, there are a few reasons you might want to opt for a Harrisonburg 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 Harrisonburg 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 1-800-951-5020 for a free estimate on our ASL and CART services.