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 Kalamazoo, MI

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 Kalamazoo

  • Working at his wood shop in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Orville Gibson produces the earliest documented Gibson instrument. The gifted craftsman goes on to produce a vibrant new family of acoustic guitars and mandolins, based on the arch-top design of the violin.
  • Checker Motors Corporation was located in Kalamazoo. The vehicle manufacturer and tier-one subcontractor manufactured taxicabs used by Checker Taxi.
  • William Shakespeare, Jr. was an American inventor who invented the level-winding fishing reel. Shakespeare also founded and was one of the key people of Shakespeare Fishing Tackle, which he founded in 1897 in Kalamazoo, as a fisherman aiming to improve the fishing-reel mechanism.
  • Well-known professional athletes, Greg Jennings of the Minnesota Vikings and Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees, are both graduates of Kalamazoo Central High School. Jennings is also a proud WMU graduate.
  • Kalamazoo County was the Celery Capital of the World in the early decades of the last century. Celery touted as “fresh as dew from Kalamazoo” was shipped throughout the U.S.
  • “Suite 201 of the Columbia Plaza building in downtown Kalamazoo was Elvis Presley’s office when he visited Kalamazoo… The story goes that Elvis used to visit Kalamazoo back in the 1960s and 70s so that he could stop by the Gibson Guitar factory.”
  • The family-owned and managed donut shop in Kalamazoo has gained national recognition as one of the “Best Donuts in America,” by MSN City Guide and AOL.
  • The nation’s first higher education programs in sustainable craft brewing were launched at Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Western Michigan University in 2015.
  • The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is an American cinema chain founded in 1997 in Austin, Texas that is famous for its strict policy of requiring its audiences to maintain proper cinema-going etiquette. The food and drink service offered inside the theater, including cold beers, also adds to the unique experience. The theater in Kalamazoo is the chain’s first and only Midwest location.
  • In 2010, President Obama spoke in WMU’s University Arena at the commencement ceremony for Kalamazoo Central after he selected the school from more than 1,000 entries as the winner in the first Race to the Top Commencement Challenge.
  • Kalamazoo has been called the Paper City for its many paper and cardboard mills made possible by the rivers.
  • Apparently, Ozzy Osbourne proposed to his wife Sharon while in Kalamazoo in 1981.
  • Abraham Lincoln’s only visit to Michigan was at a rally in Bronson Park in 1856.
  • Kalamazoo is rated one of the best places to live in the U.S. for people who are blind or visually impaired by the American Foundation for the Blind.
  • Glenn Miller made famous the song “I’ve Got a Gal in Kalamazoo.” The students at Kalamazoo College decided that we needed a real Gal in Kalamazoo and voted Sara Wooley that Gal. Sara traveled around the country representing Kalamazoo at War Bond Drives and USO Dances during World War II.
  • Held annually on the first weekend in June, the Kalamazoo Art Fair is the second oldest community art fair in America and attracts 60,000 visitors over two days.
  • The Kalamazoo Promise is a pledge by a group of anonymous donors to pay up to 100 percent of tuition at any of Michigan‘s state colleges or universities for graduates of Kalamazoo public high schools. Overall, more than 90 percent of Kalamazoo’s graduates today go on to higher education.
  • The Ladies Library Association building, built in 1879, was the first to house a women’s club in the nation. This was even prior to the time women could be property owners or vote.
  • WMU’s paper engineering program, which dates back to 1948, is one of 10 such programs in the country and one of a few programs that began not in forestry but in chemistry.
  • On Cass Street east of U.S. 131 in Schoolcraft. Built in 1835 by the county’s first doctor, Nathan Thomas, this house once was a link in the network of safe houses that hid former slaves as part of the Underground Railroad. It’s open for tours by appointment only. Call the Schoolcraft Historical Society at (269) 679-4689 for more information.
  • The Air Zoo is the tenth largest non-government aviation museum in the nation. It is nationally recognized for their restoration efforts and is Smithsonian affiliated. Also Voted the “Best Place to Take Out-of-Towners” and “Best Place to Spend a Day with Your Family” three years in a row.
  • In 2004, the painted mural inside of the Air Zoo broke the record for world’s largest indoor painted mural. The hand-painted mural measures 25,000 square feet (excludes areas covered by attractions), which is equivalent to the length of three football fields. The mural was commissioned to pay tribute to the history of flight in the Air Zoo’s multi-sensory aviation attraction.
  • The United Kennel Club, the nation’s second oldest and second largest all-breed dog registry, was founded in Kalamazoo in 1898.
  • The combine was invented in village of Climax, located in Kalamazoo County.
  • Founded in 1997 as the Decepticons in Kalamazoo by Daniel Kastner, Simon King, and Brennan Sang, and as of November 2011 the organization has grown to include twenty-two official branches across the US.
  • In 2009, the Vine neighborhood was described by the national magazine This Old House as one of the best places for families to buy an old house. The magazine cited the Vine’s proximity to downtown, schools, parks, hiking trails and playgrounds.
  • The Barn Theatre in Augusta is Michigan’s oldest summer stock theatre at 60+ years old. Actors such as Tom Wopat, Melissa Gilbert, Jennifer Garner, Kim Zimmer and Dana Delaney have performed at The Barn.
  • Frank Lloyd Wright (1869-1959) was one of America’s most influential twentieth century architects. His concept of the Usonian House– “a home of the common people”–can be seen in eight homes that he designed in Kalamazoo County.
  • The Kalamazoo Corset Company began life in Three Oaks, Michigan, as the Featherbone Corset Company. In 1891, company president James H. Hatfield moved the company to Kalamazoo and soon renamed his business.
  • Not only the largest microbrewery in Michigan, Bell’s Brewery is also the first and oldest craft-brewer east of Boulder, Colorado.
  • The first outdoor pedestrian shopping mall in the United States was begun with the closing of Burdick Street to auto traffic in 1959. The four block long mall, stretching from Lovell Street on the South to Eleanor Street on the north, has been restyled to match the attributes of the Arcadia Commons development, where the new Kalamazoo Public Museum anchors the north end of the mall. In 1999, however, two blocks of the mall were modified to accommodate auto traffic after a period of political debates on the issue.
  • In 2000, the Kalamazoo Valley Museum was voted the top small museum in Michigan by readers of Michigan Living Magazine.
  • Kalamazoo Civic Auditorium was built in 1929, Michigan’s oldest Civic Auditorium. Also, it is ranked number one among its peers from the American Association of Community theatre for community theatres in the country.
  • In the late 1800’s, Dr. W.E. Upjohn moved to Kalamazoo and created The Upjohn Company, which is now part of Pfizer Corporation, the world’s largest pharmaceutical firm.
  • Kalamazoo Nature Center was voted the number one nature center in the nation by other nature centers.
  • There are two professional women’s sports teams in Kalamazoo County. Women’s Tackle Football (West Michigan Mayhem) and Soccer (Kalamazoo Outrage).
  • Western Michigan University’s Medieval Institute ranks among the top ten of the 90 institutes, center and programs for Medieval studies in North America.
  • On the first Friday of each month, the Arts Council organizes the ‘Art Hop’. Art Hop is a free event, during which downtown businesses and galleries display works by local artists, and patrons ‘hop’ from venue to venue, enjoying art, live music, and the chance to interact with local artists.
  • Mophie is a popular smartphone accessory company that was kick-started in a Kalamazoo barn in 2006.

Reference Sources: DiscoverKalamazoo

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

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 Kalamazoo

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