I loved that this place had ASL interpreters at most of their exhibits which made learning about the animals really neat! I also enjoyed chatting with a Deaf worker there which made getting questions answered so easy. Not only was it easy to communicate with him, but his answers were rich and educational. The only downside was, none of the video's that I encountered had closed caption on them. It might be worth investing in adding captions not only for deaf and hard of hearing people, but also for tourists from other countries or people who learned English as a second language. In addition, the attitude of the front-desk clerk wasn't that friendly when she realized I didn't speak and had to write things down. I wish she had been a little friendlier.
Seattle Aquarium hosted a Deaf Community Day last week. I leapt at the chance to take my three sons, all Deaf. We had gone before to the Aquarium before. This time was an unique experience for us, though. When we walked in the main lobby, it was heartwarming to see flying hands here and there. Our friends were there. Interpreters were easily spotted. It was with a good feeling that I knew that our communication access needs were being met. I had tickets being held at the front for us and when I signed to the concierge, he acknowledged me and took out a list with my name on it with the number of tickets.
We also ran into a Deaf worker, James. Another great way to be deaffriendly, by hiring a Deaf employee! James was knowledgeable and it was really cool to have direct communication with a zoo worker in our natural language, ASL.
My boys and I wanted to see the seals get their feeding at 2 PM. Because of the interpreters relaying what the zoo workers were saying as they fed and played with the seals, making them perform tricks for us, we learned that seals are not picky eaters at all while the otters are very picky and particular about what food goes in their mouth! For some reason, that didn't surprise us! The seals and the otters nearby were a lot of fun. James added fun details when it came to Barney, Q, and Hogan's personalities which my sons enjoyed. They were particular to Hogan, probably because, like them, Hogan is young and silly :-)
If it wasn't for James and the great staff and the interpreters that day, we would have walked out of the building at the end of the day with less of an experience we ended up having. True story.