Technology for Disabled Guests Earns Award at WDW

The Walt Disney World and the Disneyland resorts have won once again an award. But this is not the unusual award as "The Best Places on Earth" or "The Nicest Environments". No, this award is very important, as it involves guests with certain disabilities. Disney has recently created a handheld device for people that have problems hearing. Here is the official word from Disney, explaining why these devices are so special:

Disney's Technology for Visually Impaired Guests 
Earns National Award

A first-of-its-kind technology developed for visitors with disabilities at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts has received another national accolade. The Assistive Handheld Technology Device for visually and hearing impaired guests earned the American Foundation for the Blind’s (ABF) prestigious Access Award.
The nonprofit organization’s Access Award honors companies that foster equality by designing their services for all people. The foundation credited Disney’s Assistive Handheld Technology Device with creating “unprecedented freedom” for guests with disabilities.

Award-winning device helps guests with disabilities.

“Too often, swift advances in technology bring the rewards of convenience and entertainment to an eager world while inadvertently leaving those who are visually impaired behind,” said Carl R. Augusto, AFB president and CEO. “Each of this year’s Access Award winners displayed a real commitment to making sure their products and services are equally accessible to everyone. And with the growing number of people with vision loss, focusing on accessibility is not only the right thing to do, it’s also a savvy business decision.”
Initially debuted by Disney engineers in 2001, the Assistive Handheld Technology Device recently added ground-breaking, Disney-patented technology that expands guests’ accessibility through audio and visual descriptions at the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts. The 7.2-ounce device displays vivid audio narratives and descriptions of popular rides, attractions, and scenery. Utilizing wireless technology, an interactive menu allows users to access diverse information including architectural elements or the location of the closest restroom, and takes pre-programmed actions to fully immerse guests in the Disney experience.
“Working with our own team of experts and industry leaders, we continuously researched and tested new ways to achieve rich visual and audio descriptions for moving rides and outdoor scenery,” said Greg Hale, chief safety officer and vice president of Worldwide Safety and Accessibility for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “The unprecedented technology we introduced last year exemplifies Disney’s long legacy of commitment to innovation and heightens accessibility for guests with disabilities.”
The Access Award is the most recent honor bestowed the Assistive Handheld Technology Device. Last year, the technology earned the National Society of Professional Engineers 2010 New Product Award.
Through patents and licensing, Disney’s technology has helped expand accessibility for a wide variety of retail, commercial and industrial applications. Locations already employing the technology include the World of Coca Cola Museum, The Hall at Patriot Place and Dallas Cowboys Stadium.  

Once again, lots of compliments to the Walt Disney Company for trying to provide excellent memories for every guest, including those that may have special needs!

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