August 23, 2012
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].