Accessible Staycations

Let's plan a summer staycation! Join us to discover fun ways to enjoy attractions close to home. Learn tips and tricks for accessing museums, parks, beaches, fairs, festivals, farmer's markets, and other local attractions. You don't have to pack a bag for this one!

July 31, 2019

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Audio Transcript


Travel Talk – Accessible Staycations

Presented by Debbie Good and Ginger Irwin

July 31, 2019

Debbie Good: Welcome, everyone, to Travel Talk. I'm Debbie Good. I've been a learning expert at Hadley since 1993. So it's going on 26 years now. My specialty is teaching Spanish and French, which also relates to travel. We might get into that in future Travel Talks, some useful phrases if you're going to travel to a Spanish-speaking country.

But today we're focusing on enjoying vacation activities in your hometown, also known as a staycation. So I'm going to introduce my cohost, Ginger Irwin, who's going to tell you all about herself.

Ginger Irwin: Good afternoon. I'm an Orientation and Mobility specialist, so I work with individuals a lot on traveling independently locally as well as using public transportation, etc. I've taught in the public schools for some, oh, 22 years or more. I've been with Hadley for over 25 years. I've also had the opportunity of traveling with people who are visually impaired. As a coach for the United States Paralympic team, I took the blind swim team to Korea, Barcelona, Sweden, and Holland.

So we've had a lot of experience at various locations that I think will help with our discussions. So that's who I am. As we continue, feel free to raise your hands if you have anything to add or have a question needing more information.

Debbie Good: As I said, today we're going to focus on going to local tourist locations in your hometown. In future Travel Talks, we might take you internationally somewhere. But, right now, let's talk about enjoying ourselves right now.

So we want to talk about ways to make a visit to your local attractions and how to make it more enjoyable to you. It's often just simple things you can do to get greater accessibility to make it a great experience.

Ginger, let's talk about how you can find out about things around you. Can you give us some suggestions?

Ginger Irwin: Sure. Everybody's hometown has access to various kind of things for their community, good resources for finding out what's available in your own hometown, whether it be 13,000 or 130,000 people. If you go to the mayor's office or the Chamber of Commerce, oftentimes they will be involved in sponsoring and will have a list of different things that are available. If there are free concerts in your area, which... During the summer, there are so many different places you can go to to listen to music at no charge. Do they have a carnival coming to town on any particular day? Even a local farmers' market can be really a fun afternoon and a whole different experience than just buying fresh fruits and vegetables.

As you're getting into these things, the interest for you is probably, "How will I be able to access a lot of these things?" And I'm going to skip ahead here real quick and just share with you a little bit about the fact that the Americans With Disability Act was written back in... Let me look up my... in 1990. Basically, for public accommodation, the Americans With Disability Act requires that all businesses and facilities, etc., provide what's called reasonable accommodations for anybody who is disabled or has an impairment.

Those who are visually impaired, that might mean that they need to provide you with auditory or tactile or other kinds of assistance, which means that when you contact people and ask them, "What do you have that can help me enjoy this activity better?" you would be able to then... They’d let you know that, well, if you go to the information booth, somebody can escort you around the farmers' market. Or if you need a tactile map of where the vendors are located, some different places can get those for you. Nowadays, with computers and 3D printing and stuff, there's, oh my god, such a wealth of things to help enhance your trip.

Feel free to jump in or raise your hand. And, Deb, also please feel free to redirect me back to things that we've decided to talk about.

Debbie Good: That's all right. I have something. We have the American Disabilities Act. I know we have people here from South Africa, Canada, and the Philippines. I'm curious if there's anything in your countries that's comparable to this saying that you're entitled to equal opportunities, prohibiting discrimination against individuals with disabilities. Do any of you that are not from the US want to comment on that? Okay, Irene.

Irene: Thanks, Debbie. I wanted to tell everyone that Canada has finally caught up. They passed the Persons With Disabilities Act. I believe it was in May of 2019. So it did take us several years to get caught up in understanding what accommodations that disabled people need to be able to get out in our communities.

Debbie Good: So it was just... Did you say May 2019?

Irene: Correct. We're a little slow in Canada.

Debbie Good: At least you have it. Thank you, Irene. And we have another Canadian. Cheryl?

Cheryl: Yes. I am... Well, the thing is I don't know if these Disabilities Acts really do something for somebody who needs to have a... because when I'm at a fair or something like that... Not that I go to a lot of these things. I don't really like crowds. But going to a farmers' market or something like that, I'd have no clue where things are. So I'd have to walk with a sighted guide or something like that. Or if I was to meet somebody at a place and I didn't know the subway station or something, then I'd take a cab.

Another thing is that, apparently, Uber is cheaper than taking a regular cab. But I need a smartphone for things like Uber. And, oh, this is off topic, but I can't use a smartphone because I have trouble with touch screens. My friend tried to show me how to use one, and I can't because all these finger flicks and gestures, I just don’t get it.

Ginger Irwin: Right. And if you check into some of our other recordings that we have at Hadley, that can also help you to learn how to use that tool. I think that's the important thing for us when you're actually wanting to go someplace, too, like a farmers' market. It's understanding the tools that are available to you, and it's very appropriate to use the tool of a human guide for you to access the area.

Now, oftentimes, even if you don't have a smartphone, you can call and talk to someone live, possibly at the Chamber of Commerce. They are usually the people that sponsor the vendors for a farmers' market because their job is to bring people into the community for other reasons. So if you contact them and let them know what you might be needing, first off, you would want to ask them, "Well, what kind of vendors do you have at this farmers' market?"

If you can, you can easily go online and look it up on the webpage. For example, just before we signed on today, I went through and found the description of a local farmers' market in what's called Libertyville, Illinois. They had all of the different vendors listed. They had the arts and crafts people listed. They had the food that would be there if you wanted to have lunch. They also mentioned that they would have somebody there playing music and what kind of special activity they might have for the kids while you could... So they make it very friendly.

So if you call ahead and are aware of those things that you can look for, that'll help you know what you actually want to see. Using the tool of a sighted guide, as I say, is really a great idea because they can also give you information about what is actually at the table. "Well, the tomatoes don't look real great today, so I wouldn't get them if I were you," kind of thing.

You could possibly ask the Chamber if they had somebody that could work as an escort for you through the farmers' market. Again, that would be a reasonable accommodation. If they have somebody that's going to be out and about checking on things, there's no reason why they can't be the escort for you if you don't have another friend that you would choose to go with. So then you'd want to tell them how to be a human guide for you, and that's simply a matter of letting them know that "I will take hold of your arm," and you will hold their arm... Like if you want your left hand to hold their right arm, you would hold it right above the elbow and in a grip like you would hold a can of soda.

And then walk with them and asking them to explain things to you as you go along or answer questions, and also take in all of the senses. What are you smelling? Do you smell that somebody's cooking bratwurst, so I smell the onions? And, oh, there's a kettle corn guy at my farmers' market that just drives me crazy. So that's one of those tools that you can access the farmers' market and learning everything that's there. Any questions about any of that?

Debbie Good: Has anyone visited a farmers' market lately? Okay. Area code 970 on your end with 106.

Zubie: Hi. Am I on?

Debbie Good: Yes.

Ginger Irwin: Yes.

Zubie: Okay. Sorry. I had you muted. I have not gone to our farmers' market, but I plan on it now because I live in a very small community and I'm anxious to see their produce and attend but not knowing how to get around. And I will be calling our Chamber, our local Chamber.

Debbie Good: Very good.

Zubie: So I just wanted to say thank you for the tip because transportation is also an issue. However, we don't have Uber, cabs, public transportation, at all. We have the accessibility van. However, it only works 8:00 to 4:00 Monday through Friday.

Ginger Irwin: Yes. Oftentimes, that kind of transportation can be very limited. Locally, if you live in a town that's that small you might want to also find out if there's a local church or a local service organization such as the Lions Club that might be able to provide you with a ride share to get you where you wanted to go or an escort to help you navigate through the farmers' market or whatever the activity is.

As a woman in your town, I don't know if you might have a women's club. Here in my town, we have a women's club, and they do a lot of things together, but they're always looking to find out what they can do to help individuals in the community. This would be something right up their alley. Elyse, you had something you wanted to add?

Elyse: Yes. Hi. This is Elyse. To piggyback on the transportation note, locally, there's a couple senior citizen buildings, but they also have programs. One of their programs locally our group hosts is a volunteer ride-share program. So it might be available to you depending on what city or what area you're in. If you're connected with the senior citizen group or not, you can call over there and ask.

Once you're registered, it's just to get your name and your address and whether you're in an apartment or a house, if you have stairs or mobility concerns, and then they'll connect you with a person who's able to give you up to two rides a month, whether that's doctor appointments, to the grocery store, or maybe to an outdoor venue or a farmers' market.

The way it works here is that driver then also can be your guide if you'd like, or they'll wait in the car depending on your preference.

Debbie Good: That's great, Elyse. What was the name of that service again?

Elyse: Locally here, it's called Interfaith. It's through the senior citizen community centers throughout Milwaukee County. It may look different throughout different cities.

Ginger Irwin: If you don't have something like that available, there's no reason you can't encourage them to maybe look into starting something for you. They don't know if they don't hear from you that it's needed.

Zubie: Right. Well, I appreciate this. I had done some work with our council on aging, and all of what you're talking about hasn't been brought up. I'm in rural Colorado. So this is really very helpful.

Debbie Good: Wonderful. And what is your name?

Zubie: Zubie, Z-U-B-I-E.

Debbie Good: Thank you very much for asking the question, Zubie, because now we can all find out. Thank you.

Zubie: Thank you.

Debbie Good: I'm going to mute you, Zubie. And we have area code 773 and ends with 681. What would you like to say?

Savita: Hi. I'm Savita. I'm from Chicago. I had one or two experiences in the farmers' market. I went to the one that's downtown, and we have a wonderful group of volunteers at the Blind Service Association, which is simply we just have to walk around the block to the Daley Plaza where they hold the farmers' market. I had a good experience with my volunteer the last one or two times that I went. I mean, lots of fresh produce and a lot of relishes and jarred jams, relishes, all those.

I just wish they would have more samples because sometimes to get a jar of something you never tried before, and then you come home like, "Oh, okay." And those things can be a bit pricey. They're organic and homemade and all that. So that's one thing. Other than that, yeah.

Ginger Irwin: Okay. This is Ginger again. Savita, thank you for sharing. I have been dying to get down to that farmers' market in Chicago. I'm up in the Lake County area of north of Chicago.

Savita: Oh yeah. Not far.

Ginger Irwin: Yeah. But it's true. You don't know what's available to you if you don't ask. Oftentimes, when you're working with local volunteer groups or agencies or even your Chamber and mayor, they don't know if you don't ask them. And sometimes if they don't have an idea, it's a perfect opportunity for you to say, "Well, let's do this together, and this is what I need. What can we do to do that?" So you can be the one to teach them how to accommodate.

Savita: Yeah. Yeah. I don't know if this is off topic, if we’re still on the topic of local farmers' market, because I had a question about... I wanted to go to the Six Flags. I have girls that are ages 10 and 11. They're at an age where I still need assistance. I went last year with a group of family or whatever, but they split and then I was by myself, and it was pretty hard. I went to their information desk, and they said they didn't have any kind of assistance or anything. So how do I address that? Do I call the Chamber of Commerce for that as well, or what kinds of accommodations should places like that have?

Ginger Irwin: That's a very good question. Amusement parks nowadays are getting to be more and more accessible in that. For example, Disneyland and Disney World have already... They have an app that you can download, and it will give you verbal directions to anywhere you want to go in the park. It's amazing.

Savita: Oh. I was just... I'm just waiting for that.

Ginger Irwin: Yes. And, Elyse, correct me if I'm wrong. Aira, A-I-R-A, is a new app.

Savita: R-A...

Ginger Irwin: Yeah. They're working on doing-

Savita: Aira.

Ginger Irwin: They're working on doing similar kind of things. I know they have it for some airports, but I'm hoping in long range that that would be the situation.

Yes. Usually, most of the accommodations are for people, individuals or for standing in line and getting the wristband in order to move ahead of the line and getting preferred seating at the shows and that type of stuff. So learning to navigate the park by yourself, oh, that's a good one.

Savita: It can be a bit daunting if it’s like a huge area. I can easily maneuver in a smaller area. But in something like an amusement park, no, I can't.

Ginger Irwin: Being able to navigate that, too, also would be for how are you at asking the right questions to find something? For example, if you want to know where something is located... And none of those pathways in those parks are straight lines. So you would have to find out what is a landmark that you would be looking for to find a certain ride and using different kind of techniques. A lot of those can be taught to you with Orientation & Mobility specialist can teach you how to do that kind of a task.

But yeah. So farmers' markets can definitely give you a ton of things to do. You could spend all day there. Another tool that helps to navigate through the farmers' market... And here comes my plug for learning to use a white cane, even if it's only for identification purposes. That will allow you to let people know that, oh, you might need a little bit more assistance. So if you walk up to the booth and you're standing there and you're holding the white cane, the vendor would know they needed to let you know, "Yes, what can I help you with?" as opposed to, if they don't notice that you have a visual impairment, which... The white cane as identification does share that information. They would probably just wait for you to say something to them or be busy talking to other people.

Also, they can provide you with more of a hands-on exploration of their ware, their vegetables, that kind of stuff. And possibly... You were asking about tasting things. You might even ask, "Is it possible for me to have a taste?" I don't think that's too much to ask for anybody.

Debbie Good: Ginger, why don't we move on to local festivals? At least in the Chicago area, every weekend there's German Fest or Latin Fest or something like that. Do you have any tips you can share with people about these kind of weekend events like festivals that are in the area?

Ginger Irwin: Yes. Again, calling ahead and researching online and actually finding out what kind of things they're going to be having, like the Ribfest in Naperville, Illinois, for example. You know they're going to have a rib-tasting contest, and I would definitely want to be a part of that. So, again, calling or getting in touch with the organizers of the event and finding out from them what they already have available to you for accessibility.

Oftentimes, they will also have an information booth where you can find a volunteer to escort you if that's what you need, though personally I just like going to those things with friends and such, so someone else that I can share the experience with.

Debbie Good: Okay, we have a-

Ginger Irwin: Finding out about... Yeah. Go ahead.

Debbie Good: I was going to say we have a question or comment. I think I remember who this is. I think this is Luiz. So I'm going to unmute you, Luiz. Oh, whoops. Unmute.

Luiz: Am I... Oh, there we go. Can you hear me?

Debbie Good: Yes.

Ginger Irwin: Yes.

Luiz: Okay. My comment with this is there's a lot of information, whether it be farmers' market or festivals in your neck of the woods, also by following Facebook pages. So if there are... or a Twitter or just their social media accounts because they will have a lot of information. And if you find who all is in charge of this event, then you can probably get more information than the general public if you explain your situation. They might get it to you ahead of time. That way you know exactly what's going to be offered or not. To mapping, whether it be amusement park or this, if you can get ahead of time a map of the layout, then you can have, I know, San Francisco Lighthouse or another Lighthouse may do this, may emboss the layout of those festivals or markets and stuff.

Ginger Irwin: Excellent, excellent points. Yes.

Debbie Good: Yeah. I forgot about Facebook. Right, and Twitter. I live in Deerfield, Illinois. I bet if I put in "Deerfield farmers' market" and searched it on Facebook, I bet they have a page. And then I know every week they have some special vendors, and they even have some kind of concerts. On Saturdays, it goes from 8:00 in the morning till noon, and then at 10:00 they have some kind of musical group. So I'm sure I could find out about it by a Facebook page. Great idea.

Ginger Irwin: Well, and that also reminds me there's a gentleman that lives in my hometown... Now, the town I live in is 13,000 people. And he happens to be visually impaired. Oftentimes, on the local Facebook page, he will say, "I want to go to the Brews, Blues, and Burgers Night at such-and-such. Can anybody give me a ride?" Our town is small enough and we know each other enough that he can do that safely. So he just asks on Facebook, "What's available to help me with this?"

Debbie Good: That's a great idea. Let's hear from people: how do you find out about local events, and have you gone to any farmers' markets or festivals lately? We have people from all over the world, so it's fun to hear your experience. Anyone want to share? So area code 575, ending 1164, go ahead.

Speaker 9: Hi. I'm new, but I'm sighted. So I'm really enjoying your talks. This is my first time, so I'm not putting any input, but I am getting a lot from it. So thank you.

Debbie Good: That's great. I'm just curious, how did you find out about this? And do you have a friend or family member who's visually impaired?

Speaker 9: No. I have joined the National Federation of the Blind in my chapter in Las Cruces. And I'm just going to start having a braille class. That's how I got this information.

Debbie Good: That’s wonderful.

Ginger Irwin: That's... Yeah, that is. that's wonderful. It'll be nice, too, because you can go out and educate other individuals as to what the community can use.

Speaker 9: Correct. Right.

Ginger Irwin: Yes.

Speaker 9: All right. Thank you.

Ginger Irwin: Sure.

Debbie Good: Okay. So, Ginger, we're about halfway through.

Ginger Irwin: I was going to suggest, why don't we move on to another activity besides farmers' markets and festivals?

Debbie Good: Yeah. Go for it.

Ginger Irwin: Okay. I'm not sure how many of you are familiar with what's called audio description, but if you like to go to movies or you like to participate in the theater, Broadway-type performances, you can have better access to them by using what's called an audio descriptive device. For example, if you were going to go to the movies and see...

Anyway, when you buy your ticket, you can then ask them for a tool that's called the audio descriptive device. It's a small, about the size of an iPhone or a smartphone, and it has a set of headphones. What it does when it's turned on is it describes the action going on the screen between the dialogue that is from the actors. It's really extremely beneficial. As a sighted person, I've used it several times, and it even enhances the performance, the movie for myself. It isn't confusing at all. You would think it might be to hear them talking over everything, but it's very, very well done.

To use this tool, it doesn't cost anything. What's also really exciting is that the same tool, the audio descriptive tool, is available for Broadway shows. We've got Broadway in Chicago, for example. We went to see Hamilton, which everybody's into. What was interesting about using the audio descriptive device from Hamilton, during the intermission, they continued sharing information such as what the costumes looked like, how the setting and the stage was moving around, and how everything was going on onstage, so that you had a better understanding of things. It explained some of the characters and why they were dressed in one way where the others were dressed a different way.

It was really quite interesting. Have any of you ever used an audio descriptive device? Were you familiar with them?

Debbie Good: Okay. We have area code 575, ending 091. Can you share with us?

Maya: Hello. My name is Maya. Yes, I have used audio description movies. We recently had an event where the movie had audio description, and it helped a lot for the people who were our audience at the moment who were elderly people. They said that it was really nice that it actually said because a lot of them had a hard time, especially because, at some points, the screen had a lot of subtitles when it comes to Spanish speakers. So when the audio came in, it helped them understand what was going on much better. So it was really nice.

Debbie Good: Thank you.

Ginger Irwin: That's a very good point. Yes. When there's subtitles for the different languages, it reads them for you rather than having to depend on somebody who's sitting next to you.

Maya: Yes.

Debbie Good: Okay. Thank you. Let's hear from area code 970, ending in 106.

Zubie: Hi. This is Zubie again. I just wanted to say I watch TV that way with... It's part of the TV programming. It's audio descriptive. So I can now watch movies, and I've got my granddaughter that lives with me during the summer. And she actually says it's kind of helpful, too. She's in her early 20s. It isn't distracting. She thought it would be extremely distracting because, as the movie's going on, the audio descriptive is describing maybe the clothing, the atmosphere, whether it's in the mountains or a city scene, and it's really actually very helpful.

Ginger Irwin: Yes. It'll describe the facial expression of somebody or something in the background that somebody looked over towards them. I used it when we went to see a movie called Dunkirk, and it was great because not only was it when it was describing the dogfights of the airplanes, it gave me the name of the airplanes, that it was a, I don't know, B-52 or whatever-

Zubie: Correct.

Ginger Irwin: ... which was really... Yeah. It was great.

Zubie: There's history involved in that, too. I think people sometimes are a little resistant in a family setting if you're the only one that can't really see, and they're thinking, "Oh, this is going to be obnoxious." Once they try it, it's kind of nice for them also if you can convince them.

Ginger Irwin: Yes. Yes. And when you go to the theater and you get the device, you're using headphones so that you're the only one that can hear that. So yes.

Zubie: I think that our smart TVs, like with Bluetooth, might offer that. I'd want to have that, and I don't have access to a movie theater. We'd have to go about 60 miles to get to a movie theater. But I do want to try it when I get the opportunity.

Ginger Irwin: Which, right there, if it's that far for you to go, you definitely want to make sure you have a good experience.

Zubie: Yes. Yes.

Debbie Good: Okay. Thank you for sharing. We're going to move to area code 407.

Speaker 11: Hello?

Debbie Good: Yes.

Speaker 11: Hello?

Debbie Good: Yes. We hear you.

Speaker 11: Oh hi, sorry. I must have muted myself. Yeah. I want to say something about the audio description. Yes, in the community I live in here, the cable companies, they offer this for us. So the movie theaters here in the area they have audio description, too. I found in the community, they have it in museum, art and gardens museum. They have audio description, too. So you can go around the garden, or you can go all around the galleries.

Debbie Good: Wonderful.

Ginger Irwin: Yes.

Debbie Good: Even the gardens. So, Ginger, do you want to launch into museums?

Ginger Irwin: I was going to say that takes me straight into the next... Go ahead.

Speaker 11: Yeah. Yeah. We have a... They call it a Cummer Museum Art and Gardens in Jacksonville. And you can go, and they have audio descriptions. You can allow to use it by your phone or you can allow a... Any kind of phone you have and it’ll ask you to press these numbers, certain numbers, and you can allow to connect. Or, if available, they do go around the museum, inside and out.

Ginger Irwin: Yes. They do. And they also have that tool available at various history museums, art museums, as you mentioned, gardens and such. Oftentimes, when there might be a special showing... For example, at the art institute here, when they had the Monet’s on display here, you could as a visitor to the museum... As a sighted person, I could rent one of those descriptive recordings and get better information about the paintings and all that type of stuff.

However, as an individual with a visual impairment, you need to have that information to enhance your participation because maybe you can't read those little plaques with that itty-bitty, tiny little print and stuff. So your use of those recordings is usually no charge. Also, along with that, if you need an escort to go with you around to different places and help you read different things and such, if there's an entrance fee, oftentimes your guide will not be charged full fare or anything. It depends on how you would be... You would talk with them.

Gardens are wonderful opportunities for walking around and getting information. Again, you could call ahead and make an appointment and arrange for one of the gardeners to be your escort through the garden. And they could take you to just whatever area you wanted to go to. Sometimes they will have what's called a touch garden where you can actually feel the different leaves and textures and smells. It's a wonderful opportunity.

But, on top of that, I've noticed now there is a new app. I can't believe there's an app for everything. It just cracks me up. But there is an app that you can download for free where you can take a picture of a particular plant, and it will then tell you what the name of it is and where it could be planted and how you take care of it and that kind of thing. While it is actually designed for people who want to garden and develop their own garden, I could see how that would be very useful to you in a public garden.

Has anybody else experienced any enjoyable accommodations at museums or gardens?

Debbie Good: Well, while people are thinking about that, can you talk, Ginger, about aquariums or natural history museums?

Ginger Irwin: Sure. Sure. Another access that you could ask for when you call... Say you want to go to the aquarium. Here in Chicago, we have the Shedd Aquarium. Most of your history museums, aquariums, science museums, they have an education department. If you call and talk to the folks at the education department, they will oftentimes be able to arrange a touch tour of many of the things that are available in the museum.

For example, we took a group of students who were all visually impaired to the Shedd Aquarium, and they set up a special tank where our students could put their hands in the water and hold a starfish. They had the jaws of a shark, the bone structure, so that they could tactically explore that kind of thing. And they had all these special things set up for us.

As an individual, you can also ask for similar accommodations. So, again, asking what you can and cannot touch. And, oftentimes, they will have special materials available. Elyse, you wanted to add?

Elyse: Right. So, thinking about museums, here locally... I'm in Milwaukee. Usually, one of the first Thursdays of the month or first Saturdays, they have free admission for county residents. So if you're on a budget or just looking to walk around, not... Maybe you've been there a couple times, but just something to get out of the house. There's free admission days. Also, at the art museum, they offer... It looks like a little TV remote, but it's an audio-guided tour. And at certain displays that correspond with the number, you type into the keypad... Say you're at display number 15. What is printed on those teeny, tiny signs will be read aloud. They often add in more information than what the sign has just standing alone there.

Another point I wanted to say, if you call ahead, sometimes museums... Like the Milwaukee Public Museum has sensory bags that are pre-made and available at the front desk for people to explore. It's for children and adults, just a really neat way to get your hands on some materials. They come with low-vision large print as well as braille and different sensory items. And each bag, the one in Milwaukee tailors it to what's on feature presentation for the six weeks or so. But they do keep rotating their stock of sensory bags.

Debbie Good: That's great. I didn't even think about that. Thank you, Elyse.

Elyse: You're welcome.

Debbie Good: Ginger, let's talk about sporting events.

Ginger Irwin: I see that Irene wants to add something to this.

Debbie Good: Oh, yes. Okay. Let's hear from Irene. Go ahead, Irene.

Irene: Yeah. I was just a bit late on the update there. The best play that I have gone to in recent years is Kim Kilpatrick, and it's Raising Stanley. It is onstage, and she is talking about life with guide dogs. A cohort of hers has done... She does horses. She was a puppy raiser for the local guide dog school. And everything was in braille. The whole program was in braille, and also, there was some audio description.

So that was a very effective... And Kim talked through the entire thing about her work with guide dogs. I think she spent 20 years working with guide dogs. So Raising Stanley is an excellent opportunity for a blind person to be able to, as Elyse said, take in all the information. Go ahead, Ginger.

Ginger Irwin: Well, sometimes, too... That reminded me, Irene, that if you decide you want to go to a particular theater for a particular play, if you call ahead and ask them, sometimes their Sunday afternoon matinee is definitely enhanced for people with disabilities. That may be the particular time that they also have people signing as they go along, and I love going to those performances and watching them sign through, especially when they're singing.

But that makes it easier, also, to get closer seating. They have a section of the seats reserved so that people with low vision can sit closer to the stage at no extra charge. Along those same lines, once in a while, they might have a pre-show exploration of the stage. We went to see a play about Helen Keller and got to go up onstage. They got to touch and see how it was arranged and where things were.

The one thing I remember was where they had the water pump with the bucket. They got to actually maneuver that and so that when it came time to see the play and go through it, they had already touched her doll and already seen the pump, the water pump, etc.

There's one more hand up?

Debbie Good: Yes. Let's hear from Luiz.

Luiz: Yes. To add with audio description at museum took place, but I'm not sure if anybody is aware that national parks now do it through a... [ACV] offers an app, a national park app. And, that way, you can take hikes and go to landmarks. There's landmarks in each park. They will have audio description, and all you need to do is walk up to it. And it's based on GPS, so it will detect where you're at and it will give you the information of the site that you are walking towards.

Ginger Irwin: Wow. That's great. That's great.

Debbie Good: By the way, you can email us if you want to offer suggestions or comments or whatever, As you know, you go by the last name of the presenter, and then I have the "good" email. It's just G-O-O-D., or Irwin, I-R-W-I-N, for Ginger. So, area code 575, go ahead.

Maya: Hello again. I was just interested in the trail, like what they were talking with the national parks. I'm very interested in that topic, how to navigate and navigate yourself because those parks are way bigger than a normal park and much more difficult to navigate. You can easily get lost.

Debbie Good: Okay. All right. Thank you. And then we're going to go to area code 970.

Zubie: Hi. This is Zubie again. She just mentioned my topic was the national parks. I got one of the senior citizens cards to go, and I'm hopefully going to go next month.

Debbie Good: Wonderful.

Zubie: I'm hoping that if you have this travel program, we'll have it before I go. If not, I'll join in anyway.

Debbie Good: Okay. I'm going to mute you. So just to remind.... Wow, Elyse, you're going to have lots of people.

Ginger Irwin: All right. We'll work on that.

Debbie Good: Elyse is going to have lots of people come to her Get up and Go. Okay. We have area code 813. Go ahead.

Speaker 12: Yes. I just wanted to make a few suggestions to check with your local Lighthouses or centers for the blind in your area. Many times... I'm in Florida, and they will take you to certain festivals or the state fair, things of that nature. You go with the O&M and chauffeur at the Lighthouses or the centers.

The other thing is we talked about the descriptive video. There's a headset product that goes with most things called Actiview, A-C-T-I-V-I-E-W. That way, when you go to the movies, you have your own device. You don't have to worry about putting on others' headsets. You'll have your own, and it also works at home as well. It's called Actiview.

Debbie Good: We have two more very quick comments from Carl and Luiz. Go ahead, Carl.

Carl: Can you hear me?

Debbie Good: Yes.

Ginger Irwin: Yes.

Carl: Okay, y'all. We have got braille trails. We have botanical gardens here. I think I know about right around three or so available where blind people can walk on their own, where the parks are designed and there's braille write-ups at some of the plants where you say scientific names and so on. And then, also, what I would like to have discussed is with these discussions, where one can actually find those stuff around. We are traveling to Germany and the Netherlands in September, and I would like to go and maybe... I normally like to buy something from a country when I travel there.

Thank you so much for the opportunity to listen to the Travel Talk tonight, and I know I didn't make a huge contribution, but I enjoyed most of it. Thank you so much.

Debbie Good: Oh, and thank you, Carl. Finally, we're going to have a one-minute comment from Luiz. Go ahead, Luiz.

Luiz: Actually, Carl touched on what I was going to suggest for future topic. And it's, if you're not familiar with a place that you want to go visit, what's the best way to get information that will be blind friendly that you can do while you're visiting that particular city, state, or what have you?

Debbie Good: Okay. Great. I'd like to say to everyone thank you so much for coming. This is our very first one. Ginger and I were a little nervous, but I think we did well. Thank you, everyone, to all of your contributions. We will have the show notes available within a few days, and we will have a few simple guidelines just summarizing deciding on your destination. Research the location on the web. Talk with others who've been there or call the place. Three would be look into accessibility tools. On a webpage, look for special services, or ask for the education department if you call.

Number four would be ask for what you need or want. Maybe you want auditory enhancement, tactile enhancement, or a personal guide. Remember you can always ask for a free or reduced admission for your person, your guide. And remember you don't need to see everything. You can come again. Those simple guidelines will also be under our show notes for Travel Talk.

So, Ginger, any final words from you?

Ginger Irwin: No, other than I thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon with all of you, and I look forward to our next discussion.

Debbie Good: Very good. Everyone, have a great day and travel on. Bye, everyone.