Tour Guides Serve Up Satisfaction On Food Processing Plant Tours

As an experienced industrial tour guide, Robert Sapien has been taking advantage of tour group communication technology for a number of years. The first system he used worked pretty well at blocking out the din of noisy machinery on the plant floor. However, its clunky design and flimsy nature was undesirable and quickly wore out.
Sapien, who is the administrative assistant for Fresh Express’ flagship plant, tried a second system for his tours. Unfortunately, the system was ineffective with the industrial-strength noise in this exemplary salad processing plant in Salinas, Calif. Sapien reported that the noise-canceling quality was so poor that even with the sound equipment on, he had to shout to be heard. This limitation also meant he could take fewer guests on a single tour because everyone had to be within “shouting range.”
Using his experience with other systems, Sapien knew what he needed, and kept his eyes open for several years to find the right product. While browsing through a catalog from Hello Direct Inc., Sapien found an ideal solution: a Listen Technologies’ Tour Group System. Not only did the features listed in the catalog match his needs, but the free 30-day demonstration of the Listen prod­ucts also would enable him to ensure the product could handle the noisy salad processing environment before he spent any money.
Sapien reported that the demonstration went really well. They made the switch to the Listen LS-07 15-Person Portable FM System, and now his visitors, sales director, and his vocal chords are thanking him for it.
The system Sapien uses includes a portable trans­mitter and 15 portable body pack receivers. Their system also features a noise-canceling microphone that expertly eliminates background noise from the loud machinery on the plant floor.
“We conduct about 60 tours each year, and we get tons of compliments on the quality of the tour. First, the presentations are good and second, they can clearly hear what is being said through their headphones,” Sapien said. “Providing tours period has such a great impact on our customers.”
In addition to great tours, Sapien explained that using Listen’s equipment is another way to convey the plant’s commitment to top quality, an integral element of the Fresh Express brand. The excellent tour experience reinforces the value of the company, its prod­ucts and its professionalism to its clients.
“Using Listen’s tour group system makes it much easier for me to convey the important selling points to customers,” Sapien said. “It’s much more easy and comfortable for the visitors to hear the message clearly.”
From experience, Sapien knows how to serve up satisfaction on his plant tours. Listen-ing.

Disneyland Unveils Enhanced Technology For Guests With Visual Disabilities

Beginning July 6, guests with visual disabilities will be able to explore Disneyland Park in a whole new way through an enhanced Disney-designed device that provides detailed audio description of outdoor areas. This feature compliments the audio description inside Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks’ attractions and theaters that was launched over a year ago. 
“Disney Parks have long been at the forefront of providing accessibility for guests with disabilities,” said Greg Hale, chief safety officer and vice president of Worldwide Standards and Auditing for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts. “We are pleased to build on this legacy with new technology that enables us to do something that has never been done before – provide rich audio description in moving attractions and outdoor environments.”
The enhanced audio description service adds more options to the existing device including:
  • Descriptions of outdoor locations throughout Disneyland Park.
  • An interactive audio menu that allows guests to choose the type of information they would like to receive about outdoor areas – from a description of their surroundings to information about nearby attractions, restaurants, and entertainment.
The 7.2-ounce handheld device continues to offer Disneyland Resort guests:
  • Detailed audio description of key visual elements, including action and scenery, for more than 20 attractions at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks.
  • Assistive listening for guests with mild to moderate hearing loss.
  • Handheld captioning that enables guests to read captions while enjoying specific attractions.
  • Activation of closed captioning on pre-show video monitors.
“I know of no other public space in this country, or anywhere else for that matter, that is as welcoming and accessible to people with disabilities as Disney’s theme parks,” said Larry Goldberg, director of the WGBH National Center for Accessible Media in Boston, which is considered a pioneer in developing multimedia and new technologies that make media accessible for the disabled. “With their captioning systems for guests who are deaf or hard of hearing and now outdoor environmental description for guests who are blind or visually impaired, Disneyland Park is now more inclusive than ever. WGBH is proud of our role in helping make this happen.”
WGBH teamed up with Disney to deliver outdoor audio description, marking the latest collaboration between the two organizations that began with the installation of WGBH’s Rear Window® Captioning system in Disney’s theater-based attractions in 1996.
Disney has patented and licensed the assistive technology that could serve a wide variety of retail, commercial and industrial applications. The technology is already being used at the World of Coca-Cola Museum in Atlanta, The Hall at Patriot Place in Boston and the Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas and was awarded the National Society of Professional Engineers 2010 “New Product Award.”
“We are particularly excited to make this technology available beyond Disney Parks and extend accessibility where it was previously impractical,” added Hale.
Other examples of Disney Parks’ services for guests with disabilities include:
  • Accessible experiences – Disney Parks’ focus is on providing guests with accessible experiences, from vehicles at The Little Mermaid-Ariel’s Undersea Adventure that enable guests to remain in their wheelchair during the ride to American Sign Language interpretation at live shows.
  • Pamphlets for guests with disabilities – Disability-specific pamphlets, including one for guests with visual disabilities, provide an overview of services and facilities available for guests with disabilities. Braille guidebooks also are available to assist guests with visual disabilities during their visit.
  • Resort access – Disneyland Resort hotels offer special equipment and facilities for guests with disabilities such as phone text, visual indicator door knocks and sloped-entry pools.
The handheld assistive device is offered at no cost with a refundable deposit at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort theme parks. For further information about services for guests with disabilities, guests should visit www.disneyland.com  or call 714-781-7290.
*U.S. Patents 6,785,539 and 7,224,967 may apply.
Listen Technologies