Jeanette Grimaldi : 'It's about quality of life,' Aquarium offers ASL interpreter for Deaf Awareness Month

Posted: September 27th, 2023

Posted at 10:05 AM, Sep 24, 2023

 See Full Video : Here!!!

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WKBW) — Jeanette Grimaldi is deaf — but that didn't stop her from learning about the animals at the Aquarium of Niagara, with the help of an interpreter.

During the sea lion and seal performances, an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter signed to Jeanette what the aquarium employees were saying during the show.


"If we have any questions about the animals or the fish, we can learn more, have a great experience and have equal access as the hearing people," Grimaldi signed.

September is Deaf Awareness Month, and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown proclaiming September 16th - 24th "Deaf Awareness Week" in Western New York this year. Events were held throughout the area to shine a spotlight on the deaf community — one of these events being the ASL interpreter at the aquarium.

"It gives people the opportunity to learn more about deaf culture," Grimaldi signed.

The Aquarium of Niagara is planning to extend accessibility beyond this week and offer recorded opportunities for their prime exhibits.

"It's about quality of life," Katherine Jones, Director of Education and Conservation at the Aquarium of Niagara, said. "We want to make sure they have the same amenities ... it still is definitely a part of somebody's life and being able to enjoy it to the fullest."

Grimaldi is hoping more people explore deaf culture.

"Learn ASL, and have more knowledge about how to have equal access for the deaf people," Grimaldi recommended.

For more information about the deaf community, click here.

Tags: Community News 2023

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