Highlights June 2019

Accommodating Valley Spots for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing

The Arizona Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ACDHH) released their official list of the most accommodating “SPOTS” for the deaf and the hard of hearing consumers and travelers

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires places of public accommodation to be accessible to persons with disabilities. People who are Deaf or hard of hearing have a disability and must be given an equal opportunity to participate in programs and services at places of public accommodation, such as movie theatres, museums, and sporting arenas. They cannot provide unequal or separate benefits to persons with disabilities. They must modify their policies and practices when necessary to provide equal access to services and facilities.

In Arizona alone, there are more than 1.1 million deaf and hard of hearing individuals. ACDHH has been serving Arizonans who are Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard or Hearing since 1977 and are dedicated to ensuring these individuals have the proper resources available to make a difference.

ACDHH works with businesses and organizations across Arizona to raise awareness about deaf culture, accommodations for the deaf, hard of hearing and DeafBlind populations to better understand the laws including those of the ADA and the 1973 Rehabilitation Act.

The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act requires devices such as neck loop technology which acts as a remote connection for hearing aids. Closed captioning and telecommunication relay services (TRS) are also helpful for members of the hearing loss community. TRS is a service that provides communications assistants to serve as intermediaries between people who have hearing or speech disabilities.

“The places on our list have really stepped it up to provide accommodations for deaf and hard of hearing travelers,” said Michele Michaels, hard of hearing program manager at The Arizona Commission for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing. “ACDHH is really excited and proud to have advised these venues on how they can become accessible for all destination travelers. I think these travelers will find their experiences to be quite enjoyable due to the accommodations provided.”

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport recently installed tablets video relay services (VRS) and phone captioning that allow deaf and hard of hearing travelers who use American Sign Language to communicate via video call with an interpreter service. The new South Concourse at Terminal 3 has inductive looping installed at every gate.

Here are the accessible places to check out this summer in Arizona:

  • State Farm Stadium
  • Kartchner Caverns
  • Arizona Broadway Theatre
  • Arizona Science Center
  • Arizona Theatre Company
  • Butterfly Wonderland
  • Celebrity Theatre
  • Chandler Center for the Arts
  • Flagstaff Arts Council
  • Gaslight Theatre in Tucson
  • Harkins and AMC Theatres and Cinemark
  • Heard Museum
  • Higley Center for the Performing Arts
  • Legoland Discovery Center Arizona
  • Lowell Observatory
  • Musical Instrument Museum
  • Orpheum Theatre
  • Phoenix Art Museum
  • Phoenix Theatre
  • Pollack Tempe Cinemas
  • Regal Cinemas
  • Talking Stick Resort Arena
  • Tempe Center for the Arts
  • Tempe History Museum
  • Vail Theatre for the Arts

If a venue wants to increase or improve their accessibility for the deaf and hard of hearing community, they can contact ACDHH for resources that are available to assist with the process. More information can be found at www.ACDHH.org.

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