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 Oakland, CA

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 Oakland

  • Oakland is big. It’s the seventh largest city in the State of California and covers 54 square miles.
  • It’s the only city in the world with a natural saltwater lake, Lake Merritt, wholly contained within its city boundaries. Speaking of Lake Merritt, did you know that this lake has its own sea monster? Yep: the “Oak-ness Monster” has been spotted in the lake since the 1940s. Apparently, the best spot to catch him is from the docks at the Lake Chalet Restaurant.
  • Lake Merritt was the nation’s first declared wildlife refuge, in 1870 by the then mayor, Dr. Samuel Merritt himself.
  • The necklace of lights around Lake Merritt was put up in 1925 and was made up of 126 lampposts over 3,400 lights. In 1941, during WWII, they were shut off for the blackout and remained out until 1985.
  • Oakland has more than 80 parks, over 50 locations in the National Register of Historic Places, more than 600 churches and temples representing all faiths, and over 300 restaurants serving a huge variety of cuisine.
  • Oakland has more artists per capita than any city in the country
  • It’s the most ethnically diverse city in the U.S. More than 125 different languages and dialects are spoken in Oakland.
  • It’s also home to the third-largest concentration of lesbian residents in the U.S.
  • Even Walt Disney was inspired by Oakland, basing many parts of his now slightly-more-famous Disneyland off of a visit to Oakland’s Children’s Fairyland.
  • More sourdough bread is produced in Oakland than any other city in the world.
  • Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream Holdings, Inc. was founded in 1928 by William Dreyer and Joseph Edy in Oakland.
  • Bruce Lee, the famous martial arts expert, got his start fighting and teaching in Oakland.
  • Tom Hanks went to high school in Oakland—and once sold concessions at the Oakland Coliseum.
  • Clint Eastwood lived in Oakland, where he graduated high school in 1949.
  • Too $hort began his career in Oakland at age 14.
  • Author Jack London, who wrote “The Call of the Wild”, once ran for mayor of Oakland on the Socialist ticket.
  • MC Hammer founded Oaktown Stables in Oakland—and owned 19 horses thoroughbred racing horses himself. In fact, MC Hammer is an official Oakland spokesperson. He partnered with Visit Oakland to create a series of videos about the city, including highlights, important landmarks, and an anthem for the Raiders.
  • The Oakland Museum is kind of a big deal. With its tiered Babylonian style roof gardens, it’s the only attraction of its kind totally devoted to natural sciences, history, and the art of California.
  • The 24,000 square-foot Oakland Asian Cultural Center is the largest and most modern facility of its kind in North America.
  • Oakland is home to about 400,000 people—which is a larger population of Iceland.
  • Oakland’s Fenton’s Creamery made a cameo in the Pixar movie “Up”. Both its director and producer are Oakland residents and Fenton’s fans.
  • The weather in Oakland is better than the weather in San Francisco.
  • In 1894, the city council cracked down on “Chinese lotteries” and made it a misdemeanor to be anywhere near lottery tickets.
  • Then, in 1897, the city council passed an ordinance stating that a “poundman” should capture any loose chickens between 7th and 27th Streets and Lake Merritt and Peralta Street. It was a huge deal.
  • Oakland was the only city in California with three professional sports teams: the Raiders, the A’s, and the Golden State Warriors before the Raiders moved to Las Vegas.
  • Oakland has a large population of gnomes
  • It is home to the oldest bonsai tree in the U.S., a daimyo oak that was cultivated in 1863, making it the longest-in-cultivation bonsai tree in the country. It was donated by Abraham Lincoln’s ambassador to China.
  • Oakland was the home of the very first Mai Tai—though originally the drink just had rum, lime juice, Cointreau, orgeat syrup, and a sprig of mint.
  • Oakland has hundreds of secret staircases.
  • It was the headquarters of the Black Panther Party. Today, those headquarters are better known as the It’s All Good Bakery, aka the best place in the world for red velvet cake.
  • Oakland is the birthplace of the word “hella.”
  • You don’t need to leave the city to see the Redwoods; you can just head to Redwood Regional Park, a few miles over the ridge from downtown.
  • You can also see a gigantic ladybug orgy here. Each year, millions of ladybugs migrate to Redwood Regional Park, group together to mate, form a big cluster of adorable ladybug love, then fly away home.
  • The Wave was invented at the Oakland Coliseum. Once famous and self-proclaimed “World’s Sexiest Cheerleader,” Krazy George Henderson, started the first full-stadium Wave in 1981 during a sold-out Oakland A’s game against the Yankees.
  • These movies were at least partially filmed in Oakland: “A Time to Kill,” “The Matrix Reloaded,” “Howard the Duck,” “Basic Instinct,” “Moneyball,” “Greed,” “So I Married an Axe Murderer,” “True Crime,” and “Fruitvale Station.”
  • Speaking of movies, here’s a “Star Wars” nerd out moment: the AT-ATs in “The Empire Strikes Back” were inspired by the huge four-legged cranes at the Port of Oakland.
  • And speaking of the Port of Oakland, it is one of the five largest container ports in North America and one of the top 20 worldwide.
  • The Port controls over 19 miles of shoreline and owns the Oakland International Airport.
  • Oakland is young. The median age here is 36, where the median age in California is 46.
  • But it’s expensive. The median home price here is $528,600, where in California it’s $448,669 and in the U.S. it’s $200,419.
  • Mountain View Cemetery is a popular hangout. It’s beautiful, has the most spectacular view of the Bay in town. It’s also the final resting place of Elizabeth Short, aka The Black Dahlia.
  • When Charles Woodson was a rookie with the Oakland Raiders in 1998, one of the team’s starting guards was eight-time All-Pro Steve Wisniewski. He later played with Wisniewski’s nephew Stefen, the team’s starting center at the time.
  • Both Pandora and Blue Bottle Coffee are headquartered in Oakland.
  • Reference Sources: Movoto

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

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 Oakland

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