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 Norfolk, 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 Norfolk

  • Norfolk Virginia is a city of some 247,000 residents and encompasses 66 square miles. It has seven miles of Chesapeake Bay beachfront and a total of 144 miles of shoreline along our lakes, rivers, and the Bay. Much of this land is located in residential neighborhoods.
  • The city is one of the largest incorporated cities in the nation today.
  • Norfolk is home to the world’s largest naval base and the North American Headquarters for NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization).
  • USA Today called Norfolk one of the Top 10 booming downtowns, recognizing a decades-long housing, retail and financial boom in Norfolk.
  • Norfolk International Terminal has completed a 300-acre expansion, making it the largest inter-model center in the U.S.
  • Norfolk is home of the USS Wisconsin battleship and a vibrant harbor. Ocean-going cruise vessels of up to 3,000 passengers regularly stop at the Half Moone Cruise and Celebration Center downtown.
  • Norfolk is home to the Virginia Opera, the Virginia Stage Company, the Virginia Symphony, the Virginia Arts Festival, Chrysler Hall, Chrysler Museum of Art, the General Douglas MacArthur Memorial, and Nauticus, the National Maritime Center.
  • The area is known for the many different antique stores that offer unique finds thanks to the rich history and age of the city.
  • Norfolk has been recognized as a Tree City and its neighborhoods have extensive trees and flowers. It is home to the Norfolk Botanical Garden.
  • Old Dominion University, Norfolk State University and a new downtown campus of Tidewater Community College are located in Norfolk and Wesleyan College is located on the border between Norfolk and Virginia Beach.
  • The schools in the city were among the first to become desegregated as they did so in 1959.
  • There are many famous landmarks in Norfolk including the Attucks Theatre and the Wells Theatre.
  • The city has a growing number of eclectic neighborhoods like the Norfolk Arts District and Ghent that are starting to fill with easels and paintbrushes. The latter section of town houses some noteworthy exhibition halls (Mayer Fine Art) and world-renowned Chrysler Museum of Art, a newly renovated, 220,000-square-foot attraction filled with European paintings, contemporary American art and a world-class glass art collections. Should you feel inspired by the museum’s impressive Tiffany holdings, head across the street to The Chrysler Museum Glass Studio for a free demonstration every Tuesday through Sunday or sign up for a more in-depth glassblowing or kiln working session. Incorporating techniques that have been passed down for centuries, instructors like Robin Rogers make sure an afternoon at the studio is as much a fun outing as it is a history lesson.
  • Almost everywhere you look around the city, you’ll find some reference to a mermaid. From the city’s logo to Virginia’s first urban winery (Norfolk’s Mermaid Winery), the mythical siren of the sea is everywhere. As legend has it, mermaids would serenade soldiers back to safe shores after battles on the harsh waters. As a nod to being the home of the world’s largest naval station, Naval Station Norfolk, the city adopted the creatures as a sort of unofficial mascot in 1999. Today, folks proudly pose for pictures in front of the 100 or so mermaid statues positioned around the city and even test their own artistic skills by painting mini replicas at the Mermaid Factory. The statues are a cute way for the city to honor its maritime roots without drowning visitors in anything too serious. Plus, when you’re lost downtown and need directions, they can come quite in handy as landmarks.
  • Many famous people come from the Norfolk area including famous comedian Bob Saget who is best known for his role on Full House.
  • If there’s one thing we’ve learned about the state of Virginia over the past few years, it’s that the place loves to eat. Things are no different along the coast, where Norfolk serves up everything from high-end snacks (The Grilled Cheese Bistro) and low-carb rice bowls (Field Guide) to mouth-watering seafood (The Barrel Room). Though the paint at just-opened Sweet Teas Southern Cuisine was still drying when we visited, we could easily tell (and taste) it knew what it was doing with perfectly fried whiting and macaroni and cheese so good you’d swear that someone snatched your grandmother’s recipe. Visit 456 Fish and you’ll be equally pleased with your decision. The unfussy Norfolk staple keeps locals and visitors coming back with an amazing potato-chip-encrusted jumbo lump crab cake, chargrilled filet mignon and one of the best pan-seared groupers we’ve had in some time. But if you want your dinner with a side of sexiness, head over to Todd Jurich’s Bistro, a restaurant where natives come for happy hour and tourists should go for a quiet booth that’s perfect for sharing a rack of grass-fed lamb and a bottle of 2010 Fiore Sangiovese.
  • Eastern Virginia Medical School and it’s four internationally recognized research institutes are located in Norfolk, as is Sentara Health System, DePaul Medical Center-Bon Secours and Virginia’s only free-standing, full-service pediatric hospital, Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters.

Reference Sources:,, Forbestravelguide

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

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 Norfolk

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