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Making Entertainment Accessible - Even on Ice

February 3, 2013

We were recently invited to attend a very special event: a touch tour of the Disney On Ice: Treasure Trove show, then playing at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. This touch tour was put on specially for fifteen blind and partially sighted preschoolers from the Helen Keller Children’s Learning Center, who had the chance to examine disney characters, props and even the ice itself. The children were already familiar with their favorite characters’ appearances and actions through playing with plush toys and listening to audio described Disney movies. It was fascinating, then, to witness their reactions when each live costumed creature was presented to them. Though many hesitated in the beginning, most children lost their inhibitions when Mickey, Minnie and Sebastian took the stage.

We encourage other companies to follow Disney’s example by making family entertainment accessible through events like this one. It was truly encouraging to hear from the Disney On Ice marketing team that they actively reach out to organizations like Helen Keller and enjoy bringing access to all. When those blind and visually impaired children and their families attend the Treasure Trove show, with the complimentary tickets that they were given, they will appreciate its characters and props far more than they would have otherwise.

—Eliza Cooper

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