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 Pittsburgh, PA

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 Pittsburgh

  • Pittsburgh ( pits-burg) is a city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the United States, and is the county seat of Allegheny County. The city proper has a total population of 304,391, being the 63rd largest city in the United States. The metropolitan population of 2,353,045 is the largest in both the Ohio Valley and Appalachia, the second-largest in Pennsylvania (behind Philadelphia), and the 26th-largest in the U.S
  • Located at the confluence of the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio rivers, Pittsburgh is known as both “the Steel City” for its more than 300 steel-related businesses, and as the “City of Bridges” for its 446 bridges. The city features 30 skyscrapers, two inclines, a pre-revolutionary fortification and the Point State Park at the confluence of the rivers. The city developed as a vital link of the Atlantic coast and Midwest, as the mineral-rich Allegheny Mountains made the area coveted by the French and British empires, Virginians, Whiskey Rebels, and Civil War raiders
  • Aside from steel, Pittsburgh has led in manufacturing of aluminum, glass, shipbuilding, petroleum, foods, sports, transportation, computing, autos, and electronics. For part of the 20th century, Pittsburgh was behind only New York and Chicago in corporate headquarters employment; it had the most U.S. stockholders per capita. America’s 1980s deindustrialization laid off area blue-collar workers and thousands of downtown white-collar workers when the longtime Pittsburgh-based world headquarters moved out. This heritage left the area with renowned museums, medical centers, parks, research centers, libraries, a diverse cultural district and the most bars per capita in the U.S.
  • Today, Google, Apple, Bosch, Facebook, Uber, Nokia, Autodesk, and IBM are among 1,600 technology firms generating $20.7 billion in annual Pittsburgh payrolls. The area has served also as the long-time federal agency headquarters for cyber defense, software engineering, robotics, energy research and the nuclear navy. The area is home to 68 colleges and universities, including research and development leaders Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. The nation’s fifth-largest bank, eight Fortune 500 companies, and six of the top 300 US law firms make their global headquarters in the Pittsburgh area, while RAND, BNY Mellon, Nova, FedEx, Bayer and NIOSH have regional bases that helped Pittsburgh become the sixth-best area for U.S. job growth.
  • In 2015, Pittsburgh was listed among the “eleven most livable cities in the world”; The Economist’s Global Liveability Ranking placed Pittsburgh as the first- or second-most livable city in the United States in 2005, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2014. The region is a hub for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, sustainable energy, and energy extraction.
  • Pittsburgh is the most populous (and the northernmost) city in the interstate region known as Appalachia. Though the term mostly brings to mind the overall-wearing farmers of the American South, three-quarters of Pennsylvania lies within the boundaries set by the federal Appalachian Regional Commission.
  • Pittsburgh is called the “City of Bridges” for good reason. With 446, it has more bridges than any other city in the world—three more than previous record-holder Venice, Italy.
  • When Pittsburghers aren’t crossing bridges, they’re climbing stairs. The city boasts 712 sets of public steps, more than other hilly cities like San Francisco (350) and Cincinnati (400).
  • In order to help maintain all those stairs, one neighborhood association hosts an annual StepTrek. If you’re interested in participating, this year’s event takes place October 3. But you better start training now, because you’ll be climbing the equivalent of nearby Mount Washington, that famously hilly ‘hood overlooking downtown.
  • Pittsburghers can always use a good stair climb to burn off the calories of the city’s official-unofficial sandwich. The specialty at famed Primanti Bros. features coleslaw and fries … on the sandwich.
  • Would you rather chow down on two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, and onions on a sesame seed bun? That fast food staple known as the Big Mac was invented in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area by McDonald’s franchise owner Jim Delligatti in 1967. There’s even a museum devoted to the sandwich, located in the ‘burgh’s burbs.
  • You’ll probably want fries with that Big Mac and, naturally, some ketchup. That condiment was most likely made and bottled by the world’s most famous condiment producer, the Pittsburgh-based Heinz. You can thank founder Henry Heinz for the “ketchup” tag, by the way—he figured it would help his brand stand out from its catsup-hawking competitors.
  • After all that fast food, hit the Great Allegheny Passage, a 334.5-mile car-free trail for hikers, runners, and cyclists. It’ll take you all the way from Pittsburgh to just outside Washington, D.C.
  • Though proudly rough around the edges, Pittsburgh residents are exceedingly friendly; that may be the legacy of one of its most famous sons, Mister Fred Rogers. The host of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood was a longtime Pittsburgh resident.
  • Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood was filmed and produced in Pittsburgh at PBS member television station WQED, the first community-sponsored television station in the U.S. and the fifth public TV station.
  • Despite what the sweet Mister Rogers told you, it isn’t always a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Pittsburgh is wetter than Seattle. It rains or snows an average of 151 days per year—that’s two more than in the Emerald City.
  • Southerners say “y’all.” Philly residents say “yous guys.” Pittsburghers say “yinz.” As in, “Yinz want to get a pizza and watch a movie later?” Or: “Where yinz going with all those balloon animals?”
  • The City of Bridges is more commonly called the “Steel City”—and for good reason. In the late 19th century, the combination of the Bessemer steel production process and lots of cheap coal turned the city’s iron industry into a highly profitable steel industry.
  • The golden age of the U.S. steel industry ran from the late 1800s to the early 1900s, and Pittsburgh was its epicenter. By 1911, the city produced half the nation’s steel. Pittsburgh steel was used to build the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, and other major infrastructure projects throughout the United States.
  • Pittsburgh was a key player in WWII. In total, the city delivered 95 million tons of steel to the war effort [PDF].
  • The city’s population peaked in 1950, at 676,806, but the collapse of the U.S. steel industry in the 1970s and ’80s precipitated a mass exodus of workers and corporate headquarters from Pittsburgh. By 1990, its population was just 369,879.
  • Those star-like shapes on the Steelers’ logo aren’t stars at all, but an homage to—you guessed it—the steel industry. The Steelers’ adopted the three hypocycloids used by the American Steel and Iron Institute in 1962.
  • Pittsburgh is a sports town, first and foremost. The city ranks second on the all-time championships list—and that’s without a pro basketball team.
  • The metropolis is home to plenty of learning and high-mindedness—really high mindedness. The University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning is the tallest academic building in the U.S. at 535 feet.
  • Dr. Jonas Salk created the world’s first polio vaccine while working at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in the 1950s.
  • Pittsburgh isn’t just a combination of manufacturing, laboratories, and libraries. It’s also hip. Pop art icon Andy Warhol was born, raised and schooled in the city’s Oakland neighborhood.
  • Pittsburgh never hosted Warhol’s “Factory.” But plenty of celebrities hail from the area, including Batman himself, Michael Keaton, as well as Charles Bronson, Jeff Goldblum, Demi Moore and Christina Aguilera, to name a few.
  • Speaking of pop art, the first digital emoticons—smiley and sad faces composed using a parenthesis, dash and colon—were created by Carnegie Mellon computer science student Scott Fahlman in the early ’80s.
  • Before there was the smiley face, there was the stern face of “Rosie the Riveter.” The famous wartime poster—part propaganda, part female empowerment—was painted by J. Howard Miller, an art student at Carnegie Tech.
  • The first drive-in gas station was built on Baum Boulevard in 1913. Just something to think about on your next road trip—hopefully up to Pittsburgh.

Reference Sources: Mental Floss, Kiddle Encyclopedia

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

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 Pittsburgh

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