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Contracting for ASL or CART

The Department of Administration, Materials Management Division, provides master contracts you can use to secure sign language interpreting and related services including communication access real-time translation (CART) services. There are four options for services depending on the situation and type of request by the individual:

  • American Sign Language (ASL) interpreting on site: ASL interpreter(s) physically in the same room with the customer.
  • Video Remote Interpreting (VRI): two-way video connection that enables a remote ASL interpreter to provide services to a customer communicating with one or more persons at the customers site.*
  • Communication access real-time translation (CART): live transcriber on site with the customer. The customer may either view the transcribers laptop screen or a monitor connected via cord or Bluetooth.
  • Remote CART: live transcriber transmits text through internet to the customers display.

*VRI is distinct from using video relay services (VRS). VRS is permissible only when the customer and other party are in separate locations connected via the phone network or internet.

Each contracted vendor has its own pricing structure attached to its contract, including minimum hours and other information as it pertains to the services available.

Have your agency's buyer search for release number S-884(5).

Q. How do I order services? Find my agency's buyer?
A. Contact your agency procurement contact. if you don't know who that is, contact the Materials Management Division (MMD) Help Line: 651.296.2600,

Q. How do I decide which service I need?
A. The requesting customer usually knows what is needed and can help you identify the appropriate service. If you're still not sure, contact the Department of Human Services (DHS) Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Division (DHHS) at or 651.431.3253.

Q. How do I decide whether I need captioning services from the Access-IT contract or CART?
A. You need captioning services whenever you are working with a video or web conferencing system. If the connection is audio only, as in a conference call, then CART is best. Some web conference situations can be supported via an external CART link. The service provider can help you determine which type of contract is best. For more detail on the differences between captioning and CART services, visit MN.ITs Accessible Multimedia page.

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