Take a tour of the White House with its first deaf receptionist

Wednesday, August 03, 2016 03:00AM
Leah Katz-Hernandez interned at the White House in 2010, and is now called "ROTUS" for "Receptionist of the United States" by the president and his staff.


If you've ever wanted to get a behind-the-scenes look at the White House, hop aboard this tour of the West Wing with Leah Katz-Hernandez, the White House's first deaf receptionist.

Katz-Hernandez, who first worked at the White House in 2010 as an intern, communicates using American Sign Language as she gives a detailed history of the West Wing. The receptionist is well-versed in interesting historical anecdotes behind the Press room, Roosevelt room, Cabinet room and West Colonnade before ending the tour at the famous Oval Office.


The video tour was released in celebration of the 26th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a law which "prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, service, transportation and more against people who have disabilities," according to ABC News.

The receptionist has proven herself to be an integral part of White House operation, even earning the nickname "ROTUS" from President Barack Obama and his staff. "I'm POTUS, this is VPOTUS and that's ROTUS," President Obama said. "And ROTUS is the first deaf American to hold that job. She is poised, she is talented -- and, as she puts it, a lot of her accomplishments may not have been possible without the ADA."
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