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Old 02-12-2013, 11:15 PM   #1
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visual disabilites

I am trying very hard to word everything correctly, so as to not offend anyone.

my husband has early onset macular degeneration. on our last trip at the guest relations (the little booth between UK and france). they wouldn't give us the stamp i Know we needed.

not only does hubby need to be inthe front for shows. he needs.. how shall I say this whith out naming the stamp?

a way to walk from the queue entrance to the ride loading, without THIS SCENARIO:::

me, "ok, honey walk for a few feet, now left, for a bit, ok, now a soft right. oops,. look out. pole there,,, soft right. now a u turn to the left, etc etc etc.

with a WHOLE bunch of rude irritated or rude families or teens behind us, teed off becuase we aren't walking fast enough for them.

hubby ends up a disney trip with tons of bumps , bruises. and not to mention nervous stomachs.

often the people we let go ahead of us, end up stopped at the point where the line stops anyway, only 20 people ahead of us.

we are NOT.. repeat,, NOT asking to go AHEAD of ANYONE... we only want to get to the point in line.. where we would be, without my hubby banging into poles, left and right, tripping on things , peopelestepping on our heels,
etc etc
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:40 AM   #2
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Wow, ok. That was... interesting.

But on a different note, I've been to Disney World with low-vision before (as a result of bilateral uveitis), with very little dark vision and extremely poor accommodation, and had no problem getting a GAC that allowed me to sit in the front at shows.

I'm really wondering though which aids your husband is using if he needs verbal assistance to go through a line. Is he using an identification cane? Or arm-to-arm? A service animal?

I was really silly the first time I went to Disney World, because I knew the area around my house so well that I didn't bring any additional visual aids to WDW when I went. Big mistake! I couldn't compensate for the light changes moving from a very sunny outdoors to darker indoor lines, I couldn't navigate different depths (like tilted floors) alone, I definitely couldn't manage anything once it got dark. I ended up getting lost coming out of Big Thunder Mountain and needed a CM to escort me back to my husband!

I ended up, near the end, just asking the CM at the entrance for an escort through if I was alone, because it was just really difficult to manage alone. And they were always really helpful.

Then I knew for next time to bring, at the very least, an identification cane so that people would know I had visual issues, and so I could feel the ground so at least I had an idea where I was going.

I wonder if next time that might be just as helpful for you, to look into more ways for your husband to navigate independently, and to use an identification cane so that CMs know that he will have issues managing the lines. CNIB (the Canadian National Institute for the Blind) will help a card-carrying member receive a cane if needed. Being identified as having low-vision should help.

Good luck!
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:04 AM   #3
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I hope you get the stamp this time around!

As for other people who can't wait.........don't worry about it...ignore them and any commnets. If they are so stupid they can't wait a minute or 2, or cannot see the issue, they deserve to wait!

Have a great trip.

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Old 02-13-2013, 08:52 AM   #4
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I know exactly what you mean. I know people with VI in DL who have how the stamp you describe.

Does he ever ride or tour alone? Can he?

I think the best way to navigate the parks next time would be to tell the CMs that very story. If it is dangerous to navigate the parks then the CMs should be able to offer safer alternatives

To the PP, I do know people who navigate just fine in daily life but find the crazy crowds and dark confusing lines overwhelming.

Hope this helps!

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Old 02-13-2013, 09:15 AM   #5
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My experience tells me that even if you get the stamp you need, it's a 50/50 crapshoot whether it will actually help at the attraction. It depends on the CM at the entrance. *shakes fist at Haunted Mansion and Nemo* There are A LOT of people out there who don't seem to understand that there is a lot of gray area in between "normal vision" and "can't see anything at all, ever."* I've ended up doing the same as Cassandy, and asking someone to help me when I'm alone. It took me actually walking into a wall at the Haunted Mansion before the CM's go it through their skulls that it wasn't safe for me to enter the normal way during the daytime.

*(Just like a lot of people don't understand that there's a lot of room between "completely able-bodied" and "can't walk at all, ever," and are sure they've spotted a "faker" whenever they see someone standing up from a wheelchair.)
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:22 AM   #6
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I met someone that was visual impaired in the dark she put both hands on her husbands shoulders in the lines. She usually holds his arm but because of the sharp narrow turns she stays behind him
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Old 02-14-2013, 02:14 AM   #7
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I am not sure there is a stamp for what you are asking for. I have had a few different stamps, I guess it depends on what I say over the years, both at DL and wdw. I am visually impaired, with several other problems, like a kidney transplant, and two knee replacements. Anyway, when I have a cane or a service dog, I am not suppose to need a GAC card, and for the most part I don't, I am always able to go up the exit like w/CS do. When I specifically ask for a card that will allow me to sit up front I get it, but it is like others have said a crap shoot if you get the service.

What you seem to be needing may be the exit enterence, which if he carried a cane he could get, usually less turns. If he had a dog he would get this also.

Please don't take this wrong, if you ask Disney for what you asked us for, they can not and will not give it. Reason is, you seem to be asking for a personal guide from point a to point b. Disney will ask why you are not guiding him. I have and do use family guides when I need to like in haunted mansion, or my worst ride of all times is Indiana jones in DL, with the turn, turn, turn, turn, turn, up ramp, turn turn down ramp, turn turn, up stairs, turn, split line, turn down stairs, turn turn, walk off platform, I dread that ride. If he took your elbow and you guided him, he may need to practice that outside of Disney. ADA does not require Disney to do personal guides.

I have some sight, but not useful site, and I have done Disney alone with a guide dog, trekker and a lot of knowledge of the park.

But I ask for what I know ADA and Disney can help me on. Please don't take offense, but think what you need in terms of accommodations, just like Disney is not responsible for lifting and putting a w/c guest on a ride, they are not responsible for walking your husband from point a to point b. but there are things Disney can do, if you ask correctly.

If you think going up the exit will help asking, tell them your husband has trouble with turns and stairs and they will mark an appropriate stamp on your card. If he needs front row seating, they will mark that stamp on a card. If you need to wait for lights to come on before exit, they can let that be known, I know DL and wdw haunted mansions are different but I am allowed to exit like a w/c person and go back up the elevator with my dog. I know both parks also have a device you can rent, it ends up being free if when you return it that will describe all that is going on at some attractions and shows, I find this helps so I don't keep say what to my partner or dd during the show, I can actually hear it, you can get it at guest relations.

Don't be offended, but it sounds like your husband may need orientation training before you go to wdw. Anyone who has lost there site slowly puts it off way to lone. Even those like me, put it off, things have changed since I lost my sight 45 years ago at the age of 4. Also my sight has changed as I grew older. I said for years and years, I don't need a dog, I can see just fine as I walked into things, and I always had my cane, but it was always holding up the wall and not in my hand. When I got my dog, I remember what it was like to actually walk with a bounce in my step, I was free to move because I did not need a cane, or a person to get me to point a and b. I have friends that say oh my wife can't lead me around, when asked why, it is because they are doing it wrong, a blind person takes the elbow of the lead, not the hand, this way I am not pulled along, but guided one step behind and I feel more control since I am not pulled and can let go at any time.

Please look into getting orientation training, a cane and or a guide dog. He sounds like he could benefit from one. You do not have to be totally blind with no sight to get a guide dog and there are many schools that the wait time is not that long, I went for my second dog and it was a new school and it only took 3months from application to training.

Well I hope I helped.

Last edited by SueM in MN; 02-14-2013 at 06:49 AM.
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Old 02-14-2013, 12:58 PM   #8
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I'm wondering if it was because you asked for the GAC at Epcot. I'm trying to think and most of the queue lines are flat, and the only one which we found dark was NEmo. Maybe they didn't think it was a needed accommodation at Epcot ??

we've taken to letting my son use the flashlight on the cell phones in the lines that are darker but that's not going to be sufficient the next time we go. He gets disoriented trying to hold a railing, watch his step and not see where he is, even if we're leading him. It has to be scary. Plus, when people behind are in a hurry, it makes it worse. Probably no less scary for an adult. What we sometimes do is have one parent in the back just to block the traffic and we let people go around.
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:09 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Cassandy View Post
Wow, ok. That was... interesting.
hhm, not sure what you mean.

anyway, while I am directing hubby along the queue, of course we are holding hands (most of these lines aren't wide enough for arm to arm.

no he doesn't have a service dog or a cane, as he is not totally blind. a cane would be confusing, anyway, in those cattle pen queues. there are tons of posts it would detect, but it wouldn't tell him which way the upcoming turn is.

I knew the stamp we needed, and didn't mention it. we aren't supposed to say the name of the stamps. (and I see it was edited out when someone did mention one) .

it sure will help.. I know we should have gone to GS in the front of the park (as oppsed to that little kiosk at the international gateway). it wasn't till near the end of the trip we finally decided maybe we needed one after all, (after tons of bumps and bruised, and esp. people stepping on his heels).

as a few posters have stated (thanks guys!) there are various degrees of vision loss. during the day, around the parks, he is fine. except in some of the queques. (we don't bother doing rides like POTC or HM during the day anyway as he doesn't see anything in there until nighttime)

I have gotten advice that will be very helpful! thanks so much!
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:11 PM   #10
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that was me above, not hubby nebo. posted under wrong name.
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:20 PM   #11
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I don't know anything about stamps but I just wanted to say that I hope you get what you need for your hubby. I also wanted to say how sad I felt reading the trouble you had and that people were rude towards you, I just can't figure out how people can act that way towards others, especially someone who has a disability and is clearly having to go to extra efforts just to get to where they want to go.
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Old 02-14-2013, 10:26 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by nebo View Post
no he doesn't have a service dog or a cane, as he is not totally blind. a cane would be confusing, anyway, in those cattle pen queues. there are tons of posts it would detect, but it wouldn't tell him which way the upcoming turn is.
I've considered getting a folding cane with glow-in-the-dark stuff on it to take to WDW - not because it would be of practical help to me, but because it would alert others to my condition. I haven;t done it yet, but it'sd something to consider.
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:43 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by ttintagel View Post
I've considered getting a folding cane with glow-in-the-dark stuff on it to take to WDW - not because it would be of practical help to me, but because it would alert others to my condition. I haven;t done it yet, but it'sd something to consider.
This is why I told her to take him to orientation training. I also stated that my cane held up the wall, for many years. You get a cane during training and those post would not be confusing to hi. Because he would be able to learn how to get around. If he practiced at home he would be able to get around. Most states if not all have a state office for the blind, they do orientation free I believe, at least here it is, and they give you your cane for free. They also teach you how to listen to things, I can with my cane tell when I hit the polls what way the opening is and where the wall is, because I have been trained to listen for it. They teach you what traffic patterns to listen for also, and teach you what way is north without sight. I learned a lot by going through orientation training. They also teach you to use your cane for the most part because if nothing else it does alert others to your sight impairment so it is not as embarrassing when you step on them. She didn't seem interested and pointed out the obvious he can see, most blind people can see, only about 5% can see nothing, the rest can see something, even if not useful. I don't mean to be rude, because I know what blindness is, I have lived it for 46 years, and I have many blind friends all at different levels, but I have to ask after her comment he doesn't need a cane and he doesn't need a dog he can see, why then does he need an accomodation and should it really be something covered under ADA, f he only needs it at Disney and no where else in his life. I am not questioning anyone else, I know there are people who have trouble in the dark and not in the light, but my friends who say that were open to the idea of a cane and once using one realized that they did not see as well in the light as they thought they did. Also they where happy that they became cane users before there sight got even worse. Well it is what it is, I hope you do go and get orientation and a folding cane it does help a lot for many people.
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:29 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by ttintagel View Post
I've considered getting a folding cane with glow-in-the-dark stuff on it to take to WDW - not because it would be of practical help to me, but because it would alert others to my condition. I haven;t done it yet, but it'sd something to consider.
thanks! you have been a help more than once. a cane is something we could consider, esp. for the reason you state.

even the name of his disablility, macular DEGENRATION, states that it is a gradual loss. and one we are becoming accustomed to. slowly. I have and will talk to many people, do research, in helping him adjust in this world. his retinal specialist suggested lighthouse. and there are some people on this board, specifically you and amickeyfan, whom I'm sure would have great advice and support.
I know hubby is visually disabled, as does his retinal specialist, opthalmologist, as well as his social security adjucator. as far as the disabilities section of the disboards, I was just looking for answers as far as Disney is concerned.
we aren't looking for a tour guide. I was trying to describe the need without mentioning the stamp. I admit I didn't know about holding the elbow insted of holding hands. most of the lines we have trouble with aren't really wide enough for that, though.
we asked for a GAC for the first time ever, towards the end of this last trip. hubby hasn't wanted to admit needing any special help or accomodations up until then. not only is he a far cry from trying to abuse the system, he is trying to be as "normal" as possible for as long as possible. Iknow him and now is not the time to suggest a cane, (but I will be looking for the right time). I finally got him to agree to a GAC. (you notice it is me on this board, not him)

I will heed the advice given, esp from a very sweet PM.

Last edited by smidgy; 02-15-2013 at 12:45 AM.
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:36 AM   #15
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This is very very frustrating, I am not being rude.i can not go back and forth like a visual person and quote, so when saying this if the words don't match up perfectly please forgive those who are blind.

OP ask for help, saying she needs a stamp so she husband gets from point a to point b, without the senerio of verbally directing him.

I tell her she can not ask the way she wrote it because Disney does not have an accommodation for that. I say, I understand lots of visual disabliities and I am visually disabled. I asked her to think of accommodations without what the disability is and ask for them. I make suggestions like cane, guide dog and holding elbows.

She write back he is not blind he does not need a cane, he does not need a guide dog, and we can OT walk side by side because the queues are not big enough, so walking arm to arm won't work.

I say I don't get it, if he is not blind, does not need a cane, does not need a guide dog, does not need a human guide and can see just fine her words, then what is the problem.

She write back that I am not being helpful. Praising others who, please don't take this wrong you others, who are in some of the same boat as her, they admit they don't use a cane, or aids.

So first let me say, I am not questioning your husbands disability, I get it, I know it is gradual and I know what it is like, I don't have the same visual problem, but I do have a problem that is very fluctuating and changing over the years.

I was questioning your need for accommodation, and what you wanted, because if he needs no help than why are you asking? I don't mean that rudely at all, I just needed to know. It is like the hundreds of post over the year that say, we need a stamp to cut in line, but when a w/c is suggested they say oh no, we don't need that. I did not accuse you that was the case, but I did ask what is it you would like, and maybe did not get it out right.

I suggested orientation for several reasons, because you stated you were leading him by hand, any person who has been visually impaired knows that is not the way. I tried not to accuse you but to tell you to lead by elbow. You shoot back that you can't walk arm and arm, if you can't walk hand in hand. I don't think you understand, because you would not be walking arm in arm. There is a technique used that would be very beneficial, I won't write it, please go to orientation training and you will learn better ways to help him.

I suggested a cane, you shoot back he is not blind, a cane can only be giving to a certain type of person, again maybe why I questioned and maybe should not have, your needs. You see, anyone can walk into a good will and buy a w/c, anyone can walk into Disney and rent a w/c. Have you ever wondered why they don't rent out white canes, have you ever seen one in a good will. It is not because they wouldn't sell, it is because it is illegal for them to sell at good will or rent from even a pharmacy. There are laws that actually protect white cane users, and in ever state there is a law for those who use one and do not need it, it is a crime to use a white cane and not need one, unlike a w/c.

That being said, even in the early stages of macular deg. Your husband would most likely be well within the law to have one, and especially if ssa has a claim they excepted. A doctor can not even order you a cane, I don't think. Only services for the blind or blind federation places like lighthouse can get them for you. At least that is my experience, 46 years blind and my doctor has never ordered me a cane.

Suggest a cane which is giving during orientation, because I know many blind persons, those who start using a cane before they absolutely need it do far better most of the time than those who put it off for years. Why because we still have some usable site and can coordinate what we have to train our bodies to listen to and work with, and with some sight it is easier to learn than once you have very little site.

I am sorry if your husband is in the place that he would not even listen to good advice, or and I am not being rude, you are in a place that good advice can not be heard. You shoot back that a cane would not help with poles, sorry I am an expert, 46 years of using a cane, it would help, you and he have not had the training to understand how it would help, and how it can be very beneficial. I will try to not take it as an I cult that I am being told that a cane can not help when that is how I got around most of my life, and as I say, I have don't Disney by myself with just a cane and never even had a GAC card. Because orientation training taught me how to.

Honestly, I am trying to be helpful. I feel for you both. If he is unwilling to get a cane or dog now, please ask services for the blind or lighthouse if there is anything they can help train you with. Maybe someone will help you learn to use the elbow technique even if your husband does not want to go and learn it yet. It will benefit and it will help you guide him thru the lines.

I'm sorry if you took me wrong, I honestly am not trying to be rude, and honestly I do understand. And I was just trying to tell you, why Disney did not give you accommodations, it is like the person who demands a GAC card and is told to rent a w/c. I was trying to give you hints that even if he does not need the cane every minute of the trip, like those who do not need a w/c every minute of there trip. That does not mean a person in a w/c can not get up and walk, it also does not mean your husband can not fold the cane when outside, it does not mean that he can not have you guide him when in haunted mansion. It just means he has the cane to let others know he has a problem, it gives him the right to have the accommodation. Those who refuse a w/c at Disney, are not giving a GAC card, they are told use a w/c if you have stamina problems, if you refuse you get nothing. That does not mean you don't have a problem, that does not mean you don't need an accommodation, it means you have refused the accommodation Disney is willing and by law has to give. That is okay. I was trying maybe without spelling it out, Disney had a man, who in there opinion walked up to them, with no obvious disability, who could walk without a cane, walk outside just fine, and in there opinion was asking for an accommodation that did not need accommodations. If he was a stamina person those on this board would understand that the disability was unseen and the accommodation was get a w/c. I fully understand and would hope you would appreciate that to many GAC cards are handed out. So when a person who can walk, has no visible disability and appears to see just fine, walks up to a CM and asks for a GAC to get from point a to point b, the response is probably going to be no. I am not saying this is what you are doing. But please appreciate that in disneys mind they can not read what your husbands problem is. If you had a cane, one that can not be bought even in a pharmacy and is illegal to carry if you do not need one, then there would be no question in disneys mind what you where asking for, but you would not need to ask, if you had the cane, just like those with w/c do not need to ask they are automatically accommodated.

I hope that clarifies and I am trying to be helpful.orientation is what would help. If not for him, then you try.
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