Yosemite cuts sign language interpreters


Yosemite-National-Park

In an article from Mashable called “Left Speechless”, Claire Trageser describes significant cuts to interpreter services at Yosemite National Park. In short, while the park used to have rangers who were–themselves–certified interpreters and/or fluent in sign language, the park now relies upon contract interpreters to serve the declining number of Deaf visitors.

This is too bad. Mainly because, in my view, the best way to fully serve members of the Deaf community is to create circumstances where professionals know sign language and can communicate directly, rather than relying in interpreters to fill in the language gap. In this sense, the institutional changes as Yosemite are the opposite of progress.

Do you know of any situation where a public or private entity has signing staff instead of hiring out interpreters? I’m sure it’s rare, but it must be out there.

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One thought on “Yosemite cuts sign language interpreters”

  1. I’ve heard there are a few psychological counselors who are fluent in sign language, but I don’t know the specifics…

    I agree with you – it would be much easier if the professionals themselves knew how to sign! Then there wouldn’t be as many cases where Deaf people are denied interpreters / full language access just because it’s too expensive or inconvenient.

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