[Nfbmo] Fw: This is great!

Gary Wunder 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 
guest's hand.

"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 
their visit.
 *   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

Tim Lehmann

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

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