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 Rockford, IL

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 Rockford

  • Rockford is a city located in northern Illinois about 85 miles northwest of Chicago. Sitting on the banks of the Rock River, Rockford serves as the county seat of Winnebago County and is one of the state’s largest cities. Located at the intersection of Interstates I-39, I-90, and U.S. Route 20, Rockford is serviced by Chicago/Rockford International Airport (formerly known as the Greater Rockford Airport). The city is home to Rockford College, as well as Judson College, Rock Valley College, and a satellite campus of Northern Illinois University. Nicknamed the Forest City, Rockford has been long known for its abundance of elm trees.
  • The first weekly newspaper was published in 1840 and the first successful daily newspaper appeared in 1877. Between 1890 and 1930 the city had three daily papers.
  • A post office was established in Rockford in 1837.
  • Rockford High School issues a yearbook, allegedly the second publication of its kind. (1882)
  • Rockford is home to several museums and performing arts venues and its surrounding area is known as an outdoor destination. The Burpee Museum of Natural History chronicles animals, rocks and minerals, fossils, and native peoples with exhibits in a facility connected to Riverfront Museum Park. The Discovery Center Museum features a planetarium and both permanent and traveling exhibits. The Erlander Home Museum is the cultural centerpiece of the city’s Swedish-ancestry community, and the Ethnic Heritage Museum relates the history of the six ethnic groups that settled in early Rockford (Irish, Italians, African-Americans, Polish, Lithuanians, and Hispanics). The Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center presents an annual concert series by local and world-renowned artists, and the New American Theater is a regional professional theater which offers an annual season of productions including a Christmas performance. The Rock River, which runs through the heart of Rockford, provides a continuous source of recreation for the Rockford community, including a bike path spanning several miles and water sports such as boating, canoeing, fishing and water skiing. “On the Waterfront” is the name of Illinois’ largest music festival. This nationally acclaimed event encompasses over 30 blocks of downtown Rockford each Labor Day weekend, bringing together food, fun, and music to satisfy everyone’s tastes.
  • The Mendelssohn Club, the oldest sustaining music club in the United States, is founded. (1884)
  • Rockford, Illinois, was first settled in 1834-1835 by Germanicus Kent, Thatcher Blake, and Lewis Lemon, who came from Galena and established themselves on the west bank of Rock River; and Daniel Shaw Haight, who founded a settlement on the east bank. (Lemon, a slave, later bought his freedom, but stayed in the area as a truck farmer.)
  • The earliest settlers were chiefly from New York state and New England, but the city early acquired a modest cosmopolitan character. Large numbers of Irish-born immigrants arrived in the 1850s, and a few Swedish immigrants in 1852. After the Civil War, the Swedes began to come in large numbers and quickly became the largest ethnic group in the city. They settled chiefly on the east side, and in areas along 7th Street or Kishwaukee Avenue the Swedish language was as common as English as late as the 1920s.
  • Sports fans have many choices in Rockford. The Rockford Riverhawks are an independent minor league baseball team competing in the Frontier League. The Riverhawks carry the banner for the city’s storied baseball history, which includes a team (the Forest Citys) established soon after the Civil War and the Rockford Peaches, a 1940s team playing in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Other former pro baseball franchises playing in Rockford include the Expos, Royals, Cubbies, and Reds. Hockey fans can root for the Rockford Icehogs, a member of the United Hockey League, who play at the city’s MetroCentre. Also playing at the MetroCentre are the Rock River Raptors, a professional indoor football team playing in the United Indoor Football (UIF) league. Ironically, Rockford was the site of the first-ever Arena Football game when the Rockford Metros played a “playtest game” in 1986. Another Rockford present-day sports team is the Rockford Thunder, an indoor soccer team, which belongs to the American Indoor Soccer League (AISL).
  • Rockford is the county seat of Winnebago County, Illinois, USA.
  • The Rock River is the traditional center of the Rockford area and is its most recognizable natural feature.
  • Faust Hotel, the tallest building in Rockford, was built in 1929 and has many art deco features.
  • The Rockford area is also known as an outdoor destination, especially in the non-winter months.
  • During the early-to-late 1940s the Rockford Peaches (of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League) were one of the first all-female baseball teams in the world.
  • In the six years following the Civil War, Rockford became nationally known in baseball circles, with the remarkable success of its Forest City Baseball Club. Led by Albert Spaulding (pitcher) and Ross Barnes (infield), the team had become the most prominent western club and joined the first professional baseball league, the National Association, for the 1871 season. Both stars had been hired away by Boston after the 1870 season, so the club’s season was not particularly successful, despite the presence of Adrian Anson, playing his first major league season. Spaulding, Barnes, and Anson went on to significant careers in the National Association and its successor, the National League. Barnes, the first batting champion of the National League, is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Rockford. The city was a member of the Northwestern League, the first minor league, in 1879, and since that time has frequently had a minor league club.
  • Due to its location in the Midwest, naturally a deciduous forest, Rockford’s climate contains four clearly defined seasons.
  • Halfway between Chicago and Galena, the community was briefly known as Midway, but quickly became known as Rockford, because of the excellent ford across the Rock River.
  • Rockford was well known for its elm trees, being the reason for its nickname, the Forest City. Of note are the parks and boulevard street layouts in certain parts of the city.


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

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 Rockford

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