For Immediate Release
Mitch Pomerantz, President
American Council of the Blind Conventioneers Give High Marks to
Disney's New Audio Description Device
ORLANDO, July 20, 2009 - Building on an existing relationship, Walt Disney World Resort recently invited the American Council of the Blind (ACB) to test its new audio-description device at Epcot while the organization was in Orlando for its national convention.
The Disney-patented* technology delivers audio description of the visual images inside attractions for guests who are blind or have low vision. The device, slightly smaller than a TV remote and a bit wider, can be attached to a lanyard and worn around the neck.
Once at the park, approximately 36 ACB members divided into three work groups. Each group was accompanied by a Disney employee as they visited several attractions with descriptions in order to try the new device in a variety of settings.
Greg Hale, vice president of Worldwide Safety and Accessibility, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, said, "We have a long-standing commitment to providing outstanding services for guests with disabilities. We appreciate members of the American Council of the Blind taking the time to try our new device and look forward to working with the organization in the future."
Rick Morin, a blind managing director for HP, stated: "I used the 'Attraction Description Device' during April break. I've been going to Walt Disney World since 1977. With attraction description, I was able to see, from the audio descriptions, details that I never knew were there. I've ridden the Haunted Mansion dozens of times and I saw certain details that my wife never noticed. It was a very liberating feeling."
Robyn Walker, who visited the pavilions in Epcot during the conference, added, "I travel extensively and I spend a lot of time looking for things like restaurants and restrooms. This device helped me find things quickly."
Following the tour, the groups gathered in a conference room to talk about the device.
"Disney employees asked very specific questions and gave us ample opportunity to provide constructive feedback. They seemed genuinely interested in what we had to say," said John Weidlich of St. Louis, Mo., who was one of the participants.
The American Council of the Blind is a national membership organization. Its members are blind, visually impaired, and fully sighted individuals who are concerned about the dignity and well-being of blind people throughout the nation.
Formed in 1961, the ACB is one of the largest organizations of blind people in the world, with more than 70 state and special-interest affiliates and a nationwide network of chapters.
For more information about the American Council of the Blind, contact Melanie Brunson, Executive Director, American Council of the Blind, 2200 Wilson Blvd., Suite 650, Arlington, VA 22201;phone (202) 467-5081 or (800) 424-8666; or visit the web site www.acb.org.
*U.S. Patents 6,785,539 and 7,224,967 may apply.
Talking Books are a free public library service for the visually, physically, and reading disabled. The Northeast Georgia Talking Book Center is part of the Athens-Clarke County Library and the Georgia Library for Accessible Services. For more information about our service, please visit our website.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
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