First, as an introduction I would like to begin with this video that does not even begin to scratch the surface of what services Disney offers for the Deaf and Hard of hearing.
Disney does so many things to make each vacation magical and they are constantly improving offerings for the Deaf community. Some cast members may have a pin on their name tag indicating that they are fluent in Sign Language. Their name tag would look like the picture with the finger spelled Sign Language designation underneath.
Walt Disney World has other offerings for guests who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. These include room accommodations, assistive listening devices, handheld, reflective and video captioning, interpretation and written aids. Guest room accommodations include things such as TTY telephone services and bed shaker notifications. These accommodations come in the form of a kit requested by calling 1-(407)-824-4321 or for TTY 1-(407)-827-5141.
Disney utilizes handheld captioning devices shown in the photo. These devices are handy for rides and other moving locations and are available from Guest Relations at each theme park on a first come, first serve basis. To use these devices Disney asks for a fully-refundable $25 deposit.
Sign Language Interpretation is also available for live shows at Walt Disney World. The interpreters rotate between the parks, so confirming that they will be at the park you wish to enjoy is recommended. The schedule is as follows: Magic Kingdom on Mondays and Thursdays, Disney’s Animal Kingdom on Tuesdays and Saturdays, Disney’s Hollywood Studios on Sundays and Wednesdays and Epcot on Fridays. Requests can be made for interpretive services for special events and shows and must be scheduled at least 14 days in advance, by calling the number mentioned previously.
I have a special place in my heart for Disney’s services provided for the Deaf and Hard of hearing community. I have taken 4 years of American Sign Language and while at Walt Disney World over Christmas, a few years ago, I was able to enjoy the Candlelight Processional at Epcot. This particular event was interpreted. I was mesmerized by the interpreter and could not take my eyes off of him. I love the language and would love to help you plan your next vacation. I have access to skype and would be happy to communicate in ASL.