View Full Version : What's the 411 on sign language interpreters at WDW?

02-01-2001, 10:19 PM
I was just curious to know what kind of services are provided to guests who are Deaf. I have some friends who are Deaf that don't speak very highly of WDW efforts to make the experience magical for them. Is there anyone on the boards that has had any experience with working with WDW to arrange interpreting services for the parks? If so, was it a positive experience?


SueM in MN
02-02-2001, 06:15 AM
We have some visitors to this board who have used interpretive services for the deaf. I know one of the other DIS moderators, Cathy Canada, has experiece using them for her son. I'll see if I can get her over here to respond and hopefully, you will get some more replies.¨

SueM in MN
Co-Moderator of disABILITIES (http://wdwinfo.infopop.net/OpenTopic/page?q=Y&a=frm&s=40009993&f=38009194)

02-02-2001, 09:38 AM
Our family visited WDW for the 1st time last fall. DH is hearing impaired (profoundly deaf) but does lip-read and uses little to no sign language. The reflective captioning that is offered for many of the shows is terrific. An acrylic panel is given to the guest & it reflects the captions onto the panel right in front of you (it is small-approx 8-12" long & stands on a flexible stand). All you need to do is contact a CM to help out & this is available for lots of theatre type attractions thruout the parks.

Many of the TV monitors at rides & attractions are caption-ready--they have the "CC" symbol on them and can be activated by a remote control. Guest Services handles this for a $25 (same day) refundable deposit. There are also Assistive Listening Systems available for the same $25 (same day) refundable deposit. They receive an infra-red signal from transmitters in certain locations to amplify sound--some shows & atttractions utilize this as well & this is good for those with mile to moderate hearing loss.

There are written aids available for many of the shows along with flashlights & pens/paper if necessary. CM's can help with that as well.

Sign language interpreters are also available for live Theme Park shows (if requested at least 7 days ahead). They follow a schedule for the different parks--the info I have right now is:
MGM--Sundays, Wednesdays
MK--Mondays, Thursdays
Epcot--Tuesdays, Fridays
You call (407) 827-5141 (TTY) to arrange for this & they send you a show schedule to bring with you. ALSO--you can request a special SL interpretation of any show where communication is integral to experiencing the show--free of charge & needs to be requested at least 2 weeks in advance.

The experience we had with the intrepreters was great, they were prompt, friendly and very good at their job. We only used them on 2 occasions, but they seemed great & asked if we needed them for anything other than what we requested. This was probably because we went during a slow season & there was not many requests for their services on those days. Overall the experience with them was great!

There were lots of TTY equipped telephones throughout each park. If you stay onsite, the hotels have a special package of equipment for the rooms including smoke detectors, clock, phone lights, door knockers and a TTY for the room.

Sorry to be so long--but in our experience this was one of the best vacations we took together BECAUSE of the assistance DH could receive. We live in an area with a large population of deaf & hearing impaired individuals (Rochester, NY) & found that Disney went above & beyond our expectations. Nothing is going to be perfect, but our experience was close. HTH!!!



[This message was edited by welovedis on 02-02-01 at 12:54 PM.]

02-02-2001, 07:34 PM
My experience with terps has been good as have my friends who went. I do not need a terp but it enhances my experience because I see what I miss being HOH. Hard to explain if you aren't HOH.
Although I didn't have a terp on either of my Backstage Magic Tours the first one was better because I had a guide who could sign and was aware of how to work with a HOH person. Second one was not as good because the guide although told I was HOH kept turning away while speaking so I would miss part of what was being said.
One problem is many deaf are unaware of the services and only happen upon an interpreted show. It needs to be publicized more to the Deaf Community.


02-03-2001, 12:40 AM
It sounds like WDW does a magical job. I recently moved from Little Rock, AR, where I attended the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and received my degree in Interpreting ASL/English. I lived there for nearly 6 years. During that time, I was able to meet and make friends with several members of the Deaf community. One friend in particular, who graduated from Gallaudet University, visited at length about the stories he heard while at Gallaudet concerning Deaf friend's experiences at WDW. In general, the experiences weren't positive.

In keeping things in perspective, it would have been many years ago that this would have taken place. Obviously, after reading your posts, WDW is doing a wonderful job today! WOW! Talk about high-tech. They go ALL out! Of course they do. It's DISNEY WORLD!

It is my dream to one day move to Orlando and work as an interpreter at WDW. lol No, really, I would do it in a heartbeat! lol If I am not able to achieve that particular goal, then, when I retire, I will move there and work as a CM. I'll be the old granny working at the Haunted Mansion. lol

Do we have any interpreters on the boards?


SueM in MN
02-03-2001, 06:56 AM
We haven't had anyone post that I know of who said they were an interpreter.
From what I have read about services for deaf and HOH, there have been big changes in WDW in the past 3 to 5 years. When we first started looking at guidebooks for guest with disabilities in 1987 or 88, ther was really nothing about guest with those problems. I read articles in disability magazines about people basically having to provide their own interpreter. Once they got infrared captioning, it sprang up everywhere. But I wonder how many deaf or HOH people are aware the services exist? The interpreting needs to be planned for (can't do that if you don't know it exists) and even the IC and CC, I think, are only activated on request. It is coded on the park maps at least.

SueM in MN
Co-Moderator of disABILITIES (http://wdwinfo.infopop.net/OpenTopic/page?q=Y&a=frm&s=40009993&f=38009194)

02-03-2001, 12:44 PM
You will have a big job as an interpreter because the terps at WDW are awesome especially those who do the shows. They blow me away. Totally into the shows they are interpreting.


02-03-2001, 03:08 PM
Part of the "show" at Candlelight Processional is watching the sign language interpeter. The ones we have seen have been wonderful - very animated & into their job.

07-04-2011, 01:43 AM
As someone like me I am deaf from a grenade explosion in Iraq does anyone know if Disney will accomadate

07-04-2011, 08:50 PM
As someone like me I am deaf from a grenade explosion in Iraq does anyone know if Disney will accomadate

Yes, Disney should accomodate you, just follow the above listed procedures. If you need the assistance, it's there for you, all you have to do is ask. :thumbsup2

SueM in MN
07-05-2011, 12:00 AM
This is a pretty old thread, so there are some other things that might also be helpful for you besides what is listed in the previous posts in this thread.

Follow the link in my signature to the disABILITIES FAQs thread. Post 3 of that thread has a lot of resources. The first part of post 3 contains some helpful links, then scroll down a bit to the alphabetized "conditions and concerns" where you will find some other resources.