Disneyland just announced two new services to accommodate disabled guests. First, the park will now offer sign language interpreters at many of its top shows and attractions on a regular basis. Previously, interpreters were available to assist hearing impaired guests, but you had to arrange for the service in advance. Now, the interpreters will be available Monday and Saturday at Disneyland and Sunday and Friday at Disney’s California Adventure Park.
Although you no longer have to arrange for these services in advance, Disney still recommends that you call and request schedule confirmation a week before you plan to arrive.
In a post on the StitchKingdom blog, Disney park employee Everett Rowlett, an electro-mechanical technician, explained why the new interpretation service is so important:
“I am deaf, and experiencing the sign language service on Storybook Land made the attraction much more engaging for me. This is the first time in the 28 years I have worked at the Resort that I have been able to fully understand the stories being told.”
Disneyland also announced that it will now offer a new audio description device to the visually impaired. The device, which is lightweight and easy to carry around, describes outdoor scenery and visual elements of rides and attractions. Users can use an audio menu to tell the device what kind of information they are looking for and receive an appropriate description in return. The devices are available for guests free of charge, and the company that makes them plans to make them available to assist visually impaired people outside the park as well.
In an article posted on LaughingPlace.com, Greg Hale, chief safety officer and vice president of Worldwide Safety and Accessibility for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, said:
“Disney Parks have long been at the forefront of providing accessibility for guests with disabilities. 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.”