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33 Years of Deaf Services

August 23, 2012 Posted by: Jessica Cole

Have you ever wondered how Yosemite Deaf Services got started? We've been around for 33 years! Back in 1977, a Deaf visitor and his partner met Ranger Len McKenzie, whose grandmother had gone deaf when he was a boy, and Donna Prichett, the Accessibility Coordinator for Yosemite at the time.  The following summer those two visitors, Dale Dahl and Maureen Fitzgerald, volunteered to work on accessibility for Deaf visitors to Yosemite in exchange for a campsite for one month.  Maureen became an employee the summer of 1980. Dale Dahl and Mary Ellen Lentz provided consultation to get the program going and make it as effective as possible. We've had at least one interpreter in the park every summer since then, and sometimes during the off-season too. You can read the whole story at http://www.berkeleycitycollege.edu/wp/asl/files/2010/09/summer10c.pdf [1.2 MB PDF].


2 Comments Comments Icon

  1. daniel - framingham, massachsettet
    April 14, 2014 at 12:03

    im deaf im very happy for you

  2. Hana - Los Angeles, CA
    February 26, 2014 at 08:15

    This is so great to hear! I wonder if a lot of parks have a program like this! I think deaf services is so important to have available at national parks!

 

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Did You Know?

Sierra Sweet Bay

In Wawona and downstream, the South Fork Merced River provides habitat for a rare plant, the Sierra sweet bay (Myrica hartwegii). This special status shrub is found in only five Sierra Nevada counties. In Yosemite, it occurs exclusively on sand bars and river banks along the South Fork Merced River downstream from Wawona and on Big Creek.