Yosemite National Park has help for hearing impaired

July 27, 2013 

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SUN-STAR PHOTO BY MARCI STENBERG The Merced River starts in Yosemite National Park and flows to the San Joaquin River.

MARCI STENBERG — Merced Sun-Star Buy Photo

— Yosemite National Park staff announced services this week meant to give hearing-impaired visitors access to all park offerings, according to a news release.

The services include an American Sign Language video series on the park's YouTube channel, and a full-time interpreter in the park through the summer.

The YouTube videos, found at http://goo.gl/ 6vXIR, give instructions on driving in the park, how to get an access pass, how to get an interpreter and several other topics.

Yosemite's certified sign language interpreter, Jessica Cole, is available in the park through Aug. 24. She is in the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center every Wednesday, and is available by appointment.

Interpreting is available for tours, ranger programs, theater presentations and any other official park programs.

During the summer, advanced notice is not required to use the interpreter program, but is highly recommended, the release stated. During the off season, an interpreter must be requested two weeks in advance.

Hotel kits — which use flashing lights for the door, smoke alarm and telephone — for the hearing impaired are available at all lodging units in the park.

Assisted-listening devices are on hand at most visitor centers and tour desks throughout the park. Equipment for typed conversations is also available in the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center.

Anyone can sign up for the Yosemite Deaf Services electronic newsletter at http://goo.gl/8urRNg.

A Yosemite Deaf Services blog offers additional information at www.nps.gov/yose/blogs/Deafservices.htm.

For more information on these services, Cole can be reached by videophone at (209) 222-3944, or by voice and text at (209) 379-5250.

A public videophone is available at the Yosemite Lodge at the Falls, 9006 Yosemite Lodge Drive in Yosemite National Park, for visitors to use while in the park.

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