Yosemite National Park, one of America’s most popular parks, has introduced several new American Sign Language (ASL) services, including a video series on the park’s YouTube Channel, continued ranger programs, and an e-newsletter.

The National Parks Service has provided some level of deaf services for 33 years. Now it has added several new Yosemite ASL.Services opt information videos in ASL that are posted to Yosemite’s YouTube Channel. The videos provide information on driving in Yosemite, obtaining an access pass, requesting an interpreter, and other useful topics.

Yosemite provides a full-time sign language interpreter in the park throughout the summer. Currently, the park’s certified sign language interpreter is Jessica Cole, who is serving her third season in the park. Cole will be stationed in Yosemite until August 24 and will be available every Wednesday afternoon at the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center. Additionally, she is available for advanced appointments.

Interpreting services are available for all official park programs, including tours, ranger programs, and theater presentations. During the summer, advance notice is highly recommended, but not required. For more information on these services, Cole can be reached on videophone at 209-222-3944, or by voice and text at 209-379-5250. During the off-season, interpreting services must be requested two weeks in advance to allow time to contract with certified interpreters in the area.

A public videophone is available at the Yosemite Lodge at the Falls for visitors to use while in the park. Additionally, hotel kits, which now include light flasher systems for the door, smoke alarm, and telephone, are available at all Yosemite lodging units.

ALDs are also available at most visitor centers and tour desks throughout the park, and there is an UbiDuo system at the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center for face-to-face, typed conversations.

Additionally, the Parks Service has added a new Yosemite Deaf Services program e-newsletter, along with the Yosemite Deaf Services blog.

SOURCE: Yosemite National Park