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 Petersburg, 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 Petersburg

  • Petersburg is located on the Appomattox River at the fall line, which marks the area where the Piedmont region (continental bedrock) and the Atlantic coastal plain (unconsolidated sediments) meet. The fall line is typically prominent where a river crosses its rocky boundary, as there are rapids or waterfalls. River boats could not travel any farther inland, making the location the head of navigation. The need of a port and abundant supply of water power causes settlements to develop where a river crosses the fall line.
  • In 1860, Petersburg was the second largest city in Virginia and the seventh largest in the Confederacy. Nestled at the head of navigation on the south bank of the Appomattox River, Petersburg had been a tobacco, cotton, and iron manufacturing center before the Civil War as well as an important domestic port.  By 1864, however, its significance resided in the five railroads that connected Petersburg with Richmond and points south and west.
  • Petersburg’s transportation nexus made it an attractive target for General Ulysses S. Grant in June 1864. The Union general-in-chief had run out of maneuver room north of the James River in his twin quest to cripple General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia and capture Richmond.  A swift and secret move across the “mighty James” against Petersburg promised to isolate the Confederate capital and place Lee at a severe disadvantage.
  • The Petersburg Campaign encompassed 292 days of combat, maneuver, and trench warfare between June 15, 1864, and April 2, 1865. From June 15-17, 1864, the outnumbered Confederate General Beauregard and his troops saved Petersburg from Union capture. He created a third defensive line along high ground closer to the city and occupied it on the morning of June 18, welcoming reinforcements from Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. The appearance of Lee’s men ended Federals’ hopes to take Petersburg by storm and ensured a lengthy siege and seemingly endless fighting.  For the next nine months, Grant focused on severing Petersburg’s many wagon and rail connections to the south and west.  Four offensives between June and October made incremental gains.  By the end of the 1864 campaign season, Lee could rely on only a makeshift supply line via the Boydton Plank Road and the South Side Railroad to maintain communications with the south.
  • On July 30, 1864, Pennsylvanians exploded four tons of explosives under the Confederate line and created the most famous American military crater. The 48th Pennsylvania Infantry excavated a 510-foot tunnel beneath a Confederate fort southeast of Petersburg.  They packed the galleries with 8,000 pounds of powder and ignited the fuse.  The blast created a huge gap in the Confederate line, sending more than 300 South Carolinians to their graves.  The attacks that followed failed to match the engineering success.  Poor planning, communications, and leadership robbed the Battle of the Crater of its potentially decisive results.  Bold Confederate counterattacks repaired the breach, focusing particular bitterness upon the black troops who participated in the assaults.  Grant pronounced it “the saddest affair I have witnessed in this war.”
  • April 2, 1865, proved to be the day of decision at Petersburg. The Union Sixth Corps broke through the Confederate defenses southwest of the city, and Lee notified President Jefferson Davis that it would be necessary to evacuate Richmond and Petersburg that night.  Vicious fighting the rest of the day allowed the beleaguered Confederates to maintain their inner defenses until nightfall shielded their successful withdrawal.  Lee hoped to reach General Joseph Johnston’s army in North Carolina to continue the war.
  • Petersburg remains the longest siege in American history but was not a siege, at least in the traditional sense. Most accounts of the Petersburg operations refer to the actions as a siege but a siege, accurately defined, entails the surrounding and blocking reinforcement or escape of an enemy force.  Robert E. Lee was never trapped at Petersburg—he could leave at will.  Nor did the Federal forces conduct formal siege warfare by advancing trenches toward the Confederate lines.  Comparing Ulysses S. Grant’s situation at Vicksburg, Mississippi, in 1863 with his Petersburg operations reveals the stark distinction between a true siege and the events at Petersburg.  
  • Since the departure of the tobacco company Brown & Williamson, Petersburg has invested heavily in historic preservation of its rich range of architecture. The city’s numerous 18th-, 19th- and 20th-century structures in its historic neighborhoods provide unique character of place. Groups such as Historic Petersburg Foundation and Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities have worked to restore many of the city’s buildings and recognized important districts.
  • Petersburg is home to the Petersburg Generals of the Coastal Plain League, a collegiate summer baseball league. The Generals play at the Petersburg Sports Complex. The Generals began play in 2000 and won a league championship in their inaugural season.

Reference Sources:, Kiddle Encyclopedia

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

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 Petersburg

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