2. When booking your trip, you may want to consider a room location closer to your resorts main building or lobby for easy access of the main resort area, general store, dining hall, food court and main area of resort activity.
3. It is always great to take a couple of favorite Braille books when travelling with young children. Braille books make wonderful resources during plane and car travel, bedtime story time or just plain old down time. Various companies offer reasonably priced Braille books. There are also companies that offer free Braille books and articles that you can obtain with a little pre-planning and preparation. Check out the following Braille book companies and allow plenty of time to complete their free Braille book and/or article application process early.
Seedlings Braille Books for Children: Phone: (800) 777-8552
Seedlings Braille books offers very reasonably priced Braille books in various formats of un-contracted Braille, Contracted Braille and twin vision (print and Braille) books.
Seedlings also offers: The 2012 Anna's Book Angel Program that provides an opportunity to receive (2) free Children's Braille books and The Rose Project World Book Encyclopedia for Kids and Students grades 1-12 where you can request and order free article resources. Why not request an article on the history of Disney or Walt Disney himself?
Braille Institute: Phone: 1 (800) Braille See Braille Books for Children: Braille Special Collection designed to increase Braille literacy with Braille books and storybook kits free of charge.
4. Upon arrival at your Disney resort setting, see if there is an opportunity to do a walk through with a Disney Representative, particularly the main building, swimming pool areas, resort amenities and route to your resort room. Investing a little time with your Disney representative will provide you with additional opportunity to inquire about specialized accommodations, Braille materials, specialized amenities and just helpful tips on part exploration and suggestions for your visit to the various parks. Speak with others prior to visiting Disney for helpful suggestions and for recommendations for easy park navigation.
5. Children's activities such as arts and crafts and organized educational activities are in abundance in Disney. A little advanced planning will allow you to quickly adapt these projects with simple modifications. I would highly recommend bringing along a few simple tools of the trade that will allow you to easily accommodate visual art or educational projects into tactile-kinesthetic opportunities for your blind or visually impaired child. Tactile markers are great for modification of art projects.
Bring along a small bag of adhesive bump dots or foam stickers that are available from such companies as Maxi Aids or Michael's Arts and Crafts stores for a reasonable price. A tracing wheel or fabric wheel (commercially available at websites with Braille products or fabric stores) allows you to trace the back of an image resulting in a tactile raised line drawing on the front side.
Low vision pens or markers provide a bold black line that is easy to see and read and great for note taking or outlining simple art/educational activities for better viewing. Bring along a box of crayons marked with Braille to allow your blind or visually impaired child individual color choices when participating in tactual arts and crafts. Blind children enjoy coloring activities with tactile accommodations as noted above.
6. Consider taking a pocket digital recorder or even a simple slate and stylus so that you can take quick notes such as: room numbers, locations, recommended attractions or general park notes. Disney representatives and fellow visitors are a wealth of park information that sometimes requires notation for planning. Be sure to take your signature guide if you currently use this type of accommodation.
7. Take appropriate/prescribed low vision devices such as your specialized prescriptive glasses, magnifiers, or even your traveler closed circuit T.V. as needed to optimize your low vision skills. Many low vision devices are now compact and easy to store.
8. Portable video magnifiers or closed circuit T.V.'s are becoming much more refined, compact tools for low vision readers for viewing phone books, medicine bottles, menus. Many magnifiers and closed circuit T.V.'s are evaluated and prescribed by a low vision specialist. Be sure to check with your low vision doctor to identify if magnifiers or a traveler closed circuit T.V. may be right for you.
9. Sun protection is essential and it may be cost effective to address sun protection needs before you leave on your trip.
Sun lotion/sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 25 or more (4 stars UVA protection) is recommended for sun sensitive individuals. Refer to the National Organization for Albinism and/or your low vision doctor for more information on your specific eye condition and sun protection needs. Sun protection is extremely important if you have Albinism or if you are particularly sensitive to the sun and glare.
A good, comfortable hat or visor will provide additional sun protection.
Individualized prescriptive sunglasses, non prescriptive sunglasses or clip-on should offer 100 percent U.V. protection. Consult your low vision specialist to address your specific individualized sunglass needs.
10. Research Disney low vision and blindness accommodations ahead of time so that you are familiar with what is already in place and available to you. Connect with a Disney Representative once you arrive at your resort or theme park to check out guests with disabilities accommodations. Resources may include Braille menus, audio description services, Braille adapted amenities, seating accommodations, park or line considerations or park transportation considerations.
11. Introduce your blind or low vision family member to your Disney resort representative. Encourage the Disney representative to communicate directly with the blind individual opposed to through you and encourage your blind family member/traveler to advocate for their blindness or visual impairment needs.
12. Request and use Braille menus during mealtime. Using Braille menus gives the blind individual the ability to independently review and order from the menu. Braille menus also provides children with the ability to practice Braille skills in a functional, alternate educational setting and demonstrates active use and need for such Braille accommodations within Disney world.
13. Take advantage of opportunities to use Braille signage (throughout Disney) such as: Braille menus, Braille vending machines, or Braille ATM machines. Use these Braille accommodations as teachable moments for your blind child. Teachable moments or incidental learning opportunities are most effective in natural occurring settings.
14. Must see activities that offer a fun time, good food and interactive musical entertainment include: Hoop Dee Doo Review and Mickey's Backyard BBQ just to name a few. Plan ahead and splurge for main floor/front row seats for a really good interactive time.
15. Rainforest Cafe (rainforest themed) and T-Rex (dinosaur themed) are both located in Downtown Disney and offer family style food and fun. Great food, great rainforest and dinosaur sounds and animatronics. Inquire if tactile exploration of items is permitted. T-Rex even has a Discovery dig at Discovery Creek. These restaurants can be loud for children with auditory sensitivity. You may have better success booking your restaurant visit directly through the restaurant opposed to through your resort.
16. Disney offers a variety of special events such as: Disney's Keys to the Kingdom that reviews the history of Walt Disney World, Behind the Seeds at Epcot that offer a walking tour of the greenhouses or the Backstage Safari that takes a look at the ways that the park takes care of its animals. Call ahead of such scheduled events to see if Braille educational materials are available and the level of tactile exploration permitted for such programs. This information may help you to choose the most interesting and appropriate special events for the money.
17. It might be fun to keep a simple personal Disney journal. At the end of each day briefly record or notate your favorite Disney adventures, such as: Favorite Park, Water Park, ride, restaurant, or show. Having a journal will help you share your memories with others and remind you of your favorite adventures for future planning.