Friday, November 27, 2009

Access is Mile High at Invesco Field in Denver, CO

Although we checked out the NFL stadium Invesco Field in Denver, Colorado soon after it opened, we hadn't been back for a game or an access report in years, until last night.

For this year's Thanksgiving celebration, eight of us visited Invesco Field for the Broncos-NY Giants game (5 NYG fans and 3 Broncos fans among us). As always with most new, public facilities - especially those with fat wallets funding them - we were impressed with last night's access in general, but have a minor complaint about guidance and way-finding.

Let's get this out of the way first (before we boast about the access here- which really is excellent), we're used to being pointed out the access, and when we aren't and have to go out of our way to look for it, we have to report that. The ticket office gave us a head start when we purchased the tickets (excellent), by telling us where we'd be seated, and giving us a parking pass that got us closest to our seats. When we arrived, finding the G lot was easy, as was the stroll from lot to entrance. Look for the big wheelchair sign, and enter at the gate nearest your seats- again, easy enough. But from there no one showed us the elevator and before we knew it, we were rolling uphill to the 3rd deck. Craig is strong and fit, and we're all young and able - and perhaps he wasn't offered help because he was coated in Giants gear - but either way, we weren't lead to the easiest route for a wheelchair, but then we didn't sign up for the tour like we did at Yankee Stadium! The flow of a mob is forceful, so this is the only reason I point this out, and at least one of the SIX individuals taking our tickets, checking our bags, and sorting our group could have pointed the elevator or access route out to Craig.

Being that is our only complaint, once inside, the accessible seating is endless. We were on the upper deck which is level with the ramp entrance to it; the accessible seats right there at the bottom, with the rest of the upper-deck seating stretching above it, and the entire circumfrance of the field. The views from here were excellent, and its location to the restrooms perfect.

In the lower decks, the seating is more covered and protected, also right up against the bannister in clustered sections stretching the length of the field. All disabled sections offer power outlets, cup holders, vacant spots for visitors with their own chairs and scooters, and permanent accompanying seating for their companions.

Get there between 10am and 2pm and get a full tour of the stadium that includes the museum, store, media center, TV area, champions club, visitor's locker room, field and club levels.

Visit their website's ADA Access page for more information on ordering tickets, parking, power, closed captioning, and shuttle service. Seating isn't mentioned here, as tickets are sold through brokers, so make sure you are looking at a map of the arena when booking online or with an agent to know the best option for you.

Friday, November 13, 2009

@CaptionFish expands for the Blind

A revolutionary new website makes finding movies with captioning easy! As part of a massive effort to support entertainment accessibility for all people with disabilities, Captionfish launched in Beta format in May of this year with the goal of providing captioned film results for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. Some highlights of the first beta release included:
  • Effortless Searching: Using its Instant CC Film Finder, Captionfish offers the easiest way for visitors to find captioned movie results within 30 miles of their location.
  • Comprehensive results: Captionfish's Instant CC Film Finder results can be customized for up to 7 days in the future or up to 60 miles away from a specified location.
  • Open Captions and Rear Window® identification: Captionfish provides easy to identify icons that distinguish between an Open Captioned or Rear Window® Captioned showing.
  • Mobile edition: Captionfish provides a mobile website optimized for mobile phones so deaf and hard-of-hearing visitors can find captioned movie results while they are on the go.
  • Closed Captioned Trailers: Captionfish links to a growing list of closed captioned movie trailers so the deaf and hard-of-hearing visitors can enjoy previews of current and upcoming movie releases.
  • RSS Feed for custom results: Captionfish enables an RSS feed so each visitor can check for the latest captioned film results using their preferred RSS reader wherever they like.
In August they improved upon their platform with these additions:
  • Theater Directory: Captionfish shares all its theater information with you. This allows you to discover theaters around you that are currently providing or have provided captioned showtimes. This also gives you an opportunity to let us know about theaters that we don't know about.
  • Movie Directory: We've opened up access to all of the movies and captioned trailers in our system. You're no longer limited to the titles that are playing in your area. We also give you early access to captioned trailers for upcoming movies, sometimes even those a few months out, like The Twilight Saga New Moon.
  • Map/Directions: Found in the Theater Directory pages, Captionfish provides maps and directions to help all visitors plan their trip to the movies!
  • Simplified Searching: The ability to change locations is now the most prominent feature. All visitors can search ANYWHERE in the USA to their heart's content!
And even more in October:
  • Blog: Follow Captionfish updates on our new blog.
  • Captioned Trailer Updates: Follow @cctrailers on Twitter or subscribe to our Movie Directory RSS feed to stay on top of all of the new captioned trailers that we're putting up.
  • Caption Type Filtering: Filter the showtime listings to movies that are being shown using your preferred caption type (Open Captioned, Rear Window® Captioned, or Show All, if you don't care).
  • Share Captionfish With Others: Let your family and friends know about Captionfish! Hand out flyers or place a badge on your blog and/or website!
This month they expanded yet again to include helpful information and now supports DVS (Descriptive Narration) in movie results! So now additionally people who are blind or have low vision can now filter their movie results to show just DVS movies by clicking the DVS only filter option. They hope this will help make finding movies easier, and empower them to make more informed consumer decisions to support theaters that proactively provide accessible solutions for the blind/low vision community.

  • E-mail notifications: Get e-mail notifications when Captionfish finds captioned showtimes in your area for the movie(s) that you want to see! Look for this feature in the sidebar next to every trailer that you view.
  • Revamped Movies Directory: We redesigned the movies directory page (now called trailer directory) to better organize and display all of our captioned trailers. New releases, upcoming movies, current showings, and previous showings are all listed separately in an easy to find format.
  • Captioned Movie Indicator: There are times when Captionfish has shown captioned trailers for movies that are released without captions, leading the visitors to think that movie will be released with captions. To prevent confusion, we now tell you which movies are, or will be captioned in the theaters. Each of the individual trailer pages has a note on the right sidebar under the movie poster that lets you know if captions will be, are, or were available for the movie in theaters.
  • Descriptive Narration Movies: Beginning Friday 11/13, Captionfish will start pulling in and listing movies that have descriptive narration (also known as DVS) which will benefit viewers who are blind or have low vision. You will also be able to filter on this on the results page!

Please pass this great service on to your list! Hurray for our friend Brendan in Seattle who has been helping CaptionFish to develop and grow! Please Tweet about them: @captionfish

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Colorado's Nine National Parks, A Closer Look

We've diligently spent the last 2 weeks building an online database for you of the nine National Parks in Colorado at our article hub on Examiner, and we're eager to share them with you! First, check out our article on the how-to's of National Parks for PWD where we discuss web information, discount passes, and the basics of this all-inclusive system in the U.S.

If you're anywhere in the state of Colorado, one of these national gems is near you. They're all accessible, some more so than others, so we've broken them all down in one place. See the rating system below.

1. Bent's Old Fort - moderately accessible, for the history and Old West buffs

2. Black Canyon of the Gunnison - greatly accessible with trails, campgrounds, and vistas

3. Colorado National Monument - moderately accessible with one campground and great views

4. Curecanti National Recreation Area - poorly accessible because the boat tour is the key component of this park, and having it not accessible is a bummer

5. Dinosaur National Monument - fully accessible, even the flight seeing off-site is! Awesome park!

6. Florissant Fossil Beds - moderately accessible, for the rock and fossil buffs

7. Great Sand Dunes - greatly accessible, dunes with assistance only, raised tent beds in campgrounds, awesome park

8. Mesa Verde - greatly accessible, most dwellings are viewable from a wheelchair

9. Rocky Mountain - greatly to fully accessible, some trails aren't but the options are plentiful

Access Anything's Rating System:

Not Accessible
- Really, just not.
Poorly Accessible - Doable with help, but poor access- meaning the bathrooms aren't accessible, or the parking isn't... it's missing something major, but the main site is ok.
Moderately Accessible - Most of it's accessible, but a few things (trails or campgrounds) aren't.
Greatly Accessible - 90-99% accessible, usually just one thing is missing.
Fully Accessible - Go looking, you won't find anything without universal design. Think Disney.