[Nfbmo] Fw: This is great!
gwunder at earthlink.net
Wed Jun 23 19:22:58 UTC 2010
----- Original Message -----
From: "Lehmann, Timothy A" <TimLehmann at MissouriState.edu>
To: "Lehmann, Timothy A" <TimLehmann at MissouriState.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, June 23, 2010 1:45 PM
Subject: This is great!
Just got this information. Thought you might appreciate it. Feel free to
pass it on. Thanks and have a nice day!
Disney Unveils First-of-its-Kind Outdoor Audio Description Technology for
Guests with Disabilities
National Association of Professional Engineers Names Handheld Assistive
Technology Device "New Product of the Year"
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., June 22, 2010 - Beginning June 27, guests with
visual disabilities will be able to explore Walt Disney World theme parks in
a whole new way through an enhanced Disney-designed device that provides
detailed audio description of outdoor areas and fits in the palm of a
"Disney Parks have long been at the forefront of providing accessibility for
guests with disabilities," said Greg Hale, chief safety officer and vice
president of Worldwide Safety and Accessibility for Walt Disney Parks &
Resorts. "We are pleased to build on this legacy with new technology that
enables us to do something that has never been done before - provide rich
audio description in moving rides and outdoor environments."
Link to a demo of the outdoor environment audio description:
Via an interactive audio menu, the newly enhanced Assistive Technology
Device lets guests choose the type of information they would like to receive
about outdoor areas, from architectural elements to the location of the
nearest restroom. The 7.2-ounce device, which utilizes wireless technology
to pinpoint its location and take pre-programmed actions also offers guests
at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort:
* Detailed audio description of key visual elements, including action and
scenery, for more than 50 attractions;
* Amplified audio for most theater-type attractions for guests with mild
to moderate hearing loss;
* Handheld captioning that enables guests to read captions while enjoying
specific rides; and
* Activation of closed captioning in pre-show areas where television
displays narrate the upcoming experience.
"I know of no other public space in this country - or anywhere else for that
matter - that is as welcoming and accessible to people with disabilities as
Disney's theme parks," said Larry Goldberg, director of media access at WGBH
Boston, which is considered a pioneer in developing multimedia and new
technologies that make media accessible for the disabled. "With their
captioning systems for guests who are deaf or hard-of-hearing and now
outdoor environmental description for guests who are blind or visually
impaired, Walt Disney World is now more inclusive than ever. WGBH is proud
of our role in helping make this happen."
WGBH teamed up with Disney to deliver outdoor audio description, marking the
latest collaboration between the two organizations, which began with the
installation of WGBH's Rear Window(r) Captioning system in Disney's
theater-based attractions in1996.
Disney has patented and licensed the assistive technology, which could serve
a wide variety of retail, commercial and industrial applications. The
technology is already being used at the World of Coca Cola Museum, The Hall
at Patriot Place and the Dallas Cowboys Stadium and will receive the
National Society of Professional Engineers 2010 "New Product Award" next
"We are particularly excited to make this technology available beyond Disney
Parks and extend accessibility where it was previously impractical," added
Hale. Softeq Development Corporation is licensed to make the technology
available beyond Disney Parks.
Other examples of Disney Parks' services for guests with disabilities
* Accessible Experiences - From vehicles at Toy Story Midway Mania! that
enable guests to remain in their wheelchair during the ride to American Sign
Language interpretation at live shows, the focus is on providing accessible
* Recreation Devices - Specially designed vehicles, such as an adaptive
golf cart and sand and aquatic wheelchairs, enable guests to experience
leisure activities throughout the resort.
* Guide maps for Guests with Disabilities - Theme park-specific maps
provide an overview of services and facilities available for guests with
disabilities. Braille guidebooks are also available to assist guests during
* Resort Access - Resort hotels at Walt Disney World Resort offer special
equipment and facilities for guests with disabilities such as phone text,
visual indicator door knocks and sloped-entry pools.
The Handheld Assistive Device is offered at no cost with a refundable
deposit at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort theme parks. Audio
description of outdoor areas will be available at Disneyland Resort next
year. For further information about services for guests with disabilities,
guests should visit the Walt Disney World Web site at disneyworld.com
<http://www.disneyworld.com/> or contact Walt Disney World Information at
407-824-4321 (voice) or 407-827-5141 (TTY).
*U.S. Patents 6,785,539 and 7,224,967 may apply.
Media Contact: Zoraya Suarez, Walt Disney World Manager of Media Relations,
WGBH Media Contact: Mary Watkins, mary_watkins at wgbh.org, 617-300-3700
Disability Projects Coordinator
College Of Education
Missouri State University
Hill Hall 401
901 South National Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65897
Office 417-836-4248 Fax 417-836-4884
More information about the NFBMO