Walt Disney World Pioneers Wireless Captioning Device
Editor: How can an organization provide captioning for people who are
following a tour guide around an exhibit? Or how about a convenient and
unobtrusive way to provide captioning for a movie? Walt Disney World
recently debuted a device that may have both capabilities - and more!
Here are portions of their press release.
Walt Disney World Co. has developed a pioneering program to provide
synchronized captions via wireless technology to help guests with
hearing disabilities experience select theme park attractions.
The system is scheduled to debut on Dec. 5 -- the 100th anniversary
of Walt Disney's birth -- at the "Walt Disney: One Man's
Dream" attraction at the Disney-MGM Studios.
To develop the device, engineers at the Walt Disney World Resort
utilized recent advances in wireless communication. The device, which
uses a handheld receiver, enables guests to read captions while enjoying
specific theme park attractions where captioning previously was
impractical or unattainable, such as attractions that send guests
through multiple show scenes or outdoor environments.
Portable captioning will be available at more than 20 Walt Disney
World attractions by the end of 2002, and future expansion of the
program is being planned at the Walt Disney World Resort and the
"Our challenge was finding a way to deliver captions in
narrative attractions where fixed captioning systems weren't an
option," said Greg Hale, vice president of Design and Engineering
for the Walt Disney World Resort. "When we couldn't find an
'off-the-shelf' solution, we developed our own technology. We are now
exploring opportunities to make this technology available in venues
outside of theme parks, where it could provide synchronized captioning,
audio translations and other services in a wide variety of applications
such as museums, movie theaters, tours and transportation."
The handheld captioning system joins several existing services for
guests with hearing disabilities, including reflective captioning,
American Sign Language interpreters, assistive listening systems, video
captioning and printed attraction aids. The Guidebook for Guests with
Disabilities offers an overview of the services and facilities available
at each park.
Mark L. Jones, CT
Sign Language Services Manager
Services for Guests with Disabilities
Walt Disney World Resort
(407) 824-4840 (TTY)
(407) 824-5217 (Voice)
(407) 824-4941 (Fax)