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National Park Service hosts first-ever deaf-friendly fishing program at Tidal Basin

Like the lead in the movie 'CODA,' Brittany Grouge is hearing and grew up with parents who are deaf. She's noticed a lack of STEM programming for the Deaf community.

WASHINGTON — Some members of the Deaf community say they often feel forgotten when organizations host family-friendly events because their needs aren't usually taken into consideration. That's about to change thanks to Brittany Grouge, a Biological Science Technician at the National Park Service (NPS), and with the help of the National Park Trust (NPT). 

Grouge is on a mission to make activities and events more accessible for all in partnership with the DC Department of Energy and Environment, NPT, Recreational Boating, and Fishing Foundation, and National Park Foundation.

Like the main character in Oscar-winning movie CODA, Grouge is hearing and grew up with parents who are deaf in Manassas, Virginia. She noticed a lack of STEM programming that focused on the Deaf community during her time working for the National Park Service.

NPS and NPT recently came together to host the first-ever deaf-friendly fishing event along the Tidal Basin.

Deaf families had the opportunity to learn how to cast and reel, and find a new way to engage with the outdoors. The two-day event took place on June 4 and June 5. All participants had the chance to learn how to fish and took home free fishing gear provided by NPT. 

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