Shanghai Disney Resort has partnered with a third-party social enterprise to offer sign language interpretation services. （Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn）
Shanghai Disney Resort announced on Wednesday it has partnered with a third-party social enterprise to offer sign language interpretation services.
The free service must be booked at least seven days ahead of the visit, the company said.
Upon purchase of tickets, booking the service for a maximum of five shows can be made separately via email or phone. Each show requires a separate reservation. The interpretation service spans the entire duration of the show.
The addition of the latest sign language service is in line with the company's commitment to fostering an accessible environment for all guests and employees, said Joe Schott, president and general manager of Shanghai Disney Resort.
"We hope that this week's unique celebration will further raise awareness of the importance of inclusivity in all aspects of our lives," he said.
Tang Wenyan, 36, the lead interpreter under this partnership, estimated the country to have just over 200 general sign language interpreters, while interpreters specialized in theatrical performances are even more scant.
"It's a very meaningful cause for the Shanghai Disney Resort to launch such a service," she said. "Sign language interpretation for shows requires more spontaneity, engagement and a sense of story-telling."
The launch of the service on Sept 23 coincided with the International Day of Sign Languages. The resort has also been providing sign language lessons since Sept 21 to teach visitors the basics of the discipline. The lessons will be available until Sept 27.
Huang Yijun, a medical industry employee from Shanghai and a father of two, said the service would greatly "add substance" to the experiences of his seven-year-old daughter who is hearing impaired.
"Through vivid gestures, my daughter will get to understand what is being performed and related better to the Disney fairytales she has read," said Huang.