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 San Luis Obispo, 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 San Luis Obispo

  • The City of San Luis Obispo was found by a group of lost Spanish Padres. Back in the Alta-California exploration era, a group of Spanish missionaries were headed to Santa Cruz and ended up lost on the Central Coast. They decided to settle when they found the ideal location alongside present-day San Luis Creek—which still remains one of the main cultural centers of the town.
  • San Luis Obispo was originally called “Tiger Town” due to its lawless nature. SLO boasts safe streets and a low crime rate, but that has not always been the case! Back in the days of stagecoach bandits and cowboys, San Luis Obispo had a bad reputation for complete lawlessness. In the 1800s, it was referred to as “Barrio del Tigre,” or “Tiger Town” in English. In fact, the Cuesta Grade was a hotspot for unexplained murders and stagecoach bandits.
  • The “Motel” was actually invented in San Luis Obispo. The concept of the “Motor Hotel” or “Motel” began to evolve as auto-travel started to ramp up in the early 1900s. San Luis Obispo’s convenient location, situated halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, boded well for a spot where road trippers could spend the night along with their vehicles. The Spanish-style Mo-Tel Inn was in service from 1925 until closing doors in 1991. In its time, it was the stopping point of many infamous road trips—in fact, Marilyn Monroe stopped at the Mo-Tel Inn during her honeymoon with Joe DiMaggio.
  • SLO was the first town to ban smoking in the entire country. Back in 1990, the City of San Luis Obispo passed an ordinance banning smoking in public areas, making it the first town in the United States to do so.
  • The first movie theater to be completely solar-powered was in San Luis Obispo. The Palm Theater in San Luis Obispo became the first solar-powered theater in the United States back in 2004 when they installed 98 solar panels. The Palm Theater is located in SLO’s Historic Chinatown District and is still a popular spot to catch a film.
  • SLO has a haunted orphanage. Although currently abandoned and condemned, Sunny Acres opened up in 1931 as an orphanage for local children. However, with so many of the children being deeply troubled, it soon evolved into a juvenile detention facility. Their reputation became worse and worse as it began to be known for unjust treatment, metal detaining chairs, and an unkept facility. As Sunny Acres’ public image declined, it turned into a jail-like holding cell for only the worst of youth. Stories of echoing footsteps, screams, flickering candles and slamming doors give way to a haunted reputation like no other place in town.
  • Hollywood Heartthrob Zac Efron was born in San Luis Obispo. Long before starring in Disney Channel’s breakout hit, High School Musical, Zac Efron was born at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center on October 18, 1987. With much of his family still in the area, locals are said to see him around from time to time.
  • Weird Al Yankovic started writing his infamous songs while attending Cal Poly. Known for his comedic musical parodies, Weird Al Yankovic, started his fruitful career in showbusiness at KCPR radio station while pursuing a degree in Architecture at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.
  • There is an entire Canyon in SLO filled with abandoned architectural structures. Speaking of Architecture, Poly Canyon—a canyon located just behind the Cal Poly campus— has an Architecture Graveyard, where students and visitors can explore the remains of architectural projects from the college.
  • Speaking of Cal Poly, Jamba Juice started out as a Cal Poly senior project. Before adopting the world-famous Jamba Juice name, Juice Club started out as a Cal Poly senior project by Kirk Perron at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Perron was an avid cyclist and health advocate.
  • San Luis Obispo had the “Biggest Marti Gras” parade west of the Mississippi. Back in 1979, a couple from New Orleans started what would become one of the largest Marti Gras parades of its time. Before it was canceled due to local complaints, the parade would draw between 18,000 and 35,000 to Downtown San Luis Obispo.
  • Oprah declared San Luis Obispo the “Happiest Town in USA.” In 2008, San Luis Obispo garnered national attention when the city was featured on Oprah for being the “Happiest Town in the USA.”
  • Nobody really knows the backstory behind the giant gum wall in the middle of Downtown. Local historians have never really been able to pinpoint the exact beginning of the local landmark, Bubblegum Alley. Some think the 15-foot high by 70-foot long gum lined alley originated as a rivalry between local high school and college students. Others just believe that it started as a San Luis Obispo high school tradition just after WW2.
  • The SLO Farmers’ Market was born out of youth “Cruising.” Decades ago, youngsters used to drive down Higuera Street as a hobby. Business owners decided it was a resolution to block off the streets with a rib cook-off. Well, it worked! Now they have anywhere between 2,000 and 7,000 Farmers’ Market visitors every Thursday evening from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The City did a similar thing with Monterey Street in the 1970s by establishing Mission Plaza to stop the influx of traffic, which has become a central meeting spot and event location for the town.

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

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 San Luis Obispo

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


Quick Quote