During the months of June and July, Cabrillo National Monument will be offering guided tours in American Sign Language (ASL).
Members of the deaf and/or hard of hearing community can take an ASL tour at 10 a.m. and noon. The tours will be led by a Deaf Science Communications intern, Lily Molina.
“I’m really passionate about this and I’m really passionate about kids. And their families of course,” Molina said.
Molina communicated with NBC 7 through an interpreter. The excitement in her eyes though is enough to let you know how much she loves working at the national monument. Molina is really good at observing what people like.
“It’s really good for the deaf and for ASL because you can see the body language. I can see when they’re comfortable or enjoying learning something new and then when they leave, they can really care about the park,” Molina said.
The ASL walking tours are 45 minutes long and limited to 10 people. RSVPs are required at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ASL tours only started recently, but rangers say it’s helping to expose more people to the park.
"Everyone who’s come out has been so excited. Called me on the phone asking for the tours. Sent an email. And everyone is always so excited to know this is something that we offer,” said Julieanne Fontana, a park ranger at Cabrillo National Monument.
Molina leads tours to educate people about nature, but she also wants to motivate deaf children to live a full life.
“They can get my experience as a deaf person and they can see they can do it too,” Molina said.
In California, there are approximately 17 thousand students under the age of 22 who are deaf or hard of hearing.