Hearing impaired services at Yosemite National Park, California

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According to a news release from the National Park Service, Yosemite National Park, California (USA) has set up a number of new services intended to give hearing-impaired visitors access to everything that the park has to offer.

One of the new services is a series of videos in American Sign Language on the park's YouTube channel including instructions on driving in the park, information on the free-entry Access Pass, and requesting a sign language interpreter. The park’s certified sign language interpreter is available by appointment and can provide interpreting for tours, ranger programs, theater presentations and other official park programs. Another series of videos is being filmed this summer.

These new forms of assistance are part of the park’s long history of services for people with hearing loss. Yosemite Deaf Services started some 33 years ago when a deaf visitor met with the park’s accessibility coordinator at that time, and volunteered to work on accessibility for deaf visitors in exchange for a campsite for one month! Since then, the park has had at least one full-time interpreter every summer. In addition, deaf kits are available in the park’s lodging units and provide light-flasher smoke alarms and doorbells, a shake-awake alarm clock, and a phone amplifier. In 2012, the park installed a public videophone at Yosemite Lodge.

Source: Merced Sun-Star, US National Park Service

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