Twenty-six interpreting intern students participated in the recent Deaf Day at the Fort Worth Zoo. They provided communication access throughout the Zoo at places such as the ticket counter, shops, eateries, train depots, the carousel, and all of the zookeeper chats during the day. Both children and adults learned more about the animals because the interpreting interns were present and provided access.
“We are so excited to partner with the Fort Worth Zoo to make the Zoo even more accessible,” said Maureen Denner, interpreting program practicum coordinator. Anytime the TCC Sign Language Interpreting Program can give back to the Deaf community, we want to do so. There were so many members of the Deaf community who came out to the Zoo because they were able to have communication access to the information being presented. It was great to be a part of giving back.”
One of the interpreting interns, Trista Randall, was stationed at the giraffe area of the zoo. “I was responsible for interpreting the zookeeper chat for any Deaf people that were there at the time,” she said. She also assisted with any communication needs that arose. “There were times when a Deaf person wanted to ask the zookeeper a question. I was able to interpret those conversations. It was really cool to be able to provide communication access for people who typically do not get that access at the Zoo. The Deaf people that I saw seemed to really appreciate being able to learn about different animals. They appeared to really enjoy being able to fully participate in all the Zoo had to offer.”