PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- October is Disabilities Awareness Month, and the Independence Visitor Center Corporation (IVCC) continues to set an example about the importance of valuing accessibility and welcoming all visitors to the Philadelphia region by providing special services for guests. Located on Independence Mall in Independence National Historical Park, the Visitor Center has many existing accessible features and has recently made two new additions designed to provide a positive experience for our hearing-impaired visitors. These new additions include a portable loop system and a mobile application which will be available for download in American Sign Language.
Our hearing-impaired visitors now have the opportunity to utilize a portable loop system, available at the Concierge Desk, which is compatible with telecoil-equipped hearing aids, cochlear implants and induction loop receivers. Visitors who do not have a compatible hearing aid device may benefit from an individual receiver with headphones.
The Visitor Center will also launch Philadelphia History This Way, a mobile application that will guide visitors along Philadelphia's historic square mile. This interactive tour will feature 24 sites and will be available in six languages, including American Sign Language.
These recent additions are a direct result of an ongoing partnership with Art-Reach, a local non-profit that advocates increased accessibility at cultural venues. Art-Reach advises the Independence Visitor Center on programs and equipment that will further enhance the accessibility of its facility.
Since its opening in 2001, the entire Visitor Center has been wheelchair accessible, including the restrooms. Wheelchairs are available for rental all year-round upon request. In addition, open captions have always been part of the two films shown in the Visitor Center's theaters.
"As the first stop for many visitors during their stay, the Independence Visitor Center plays a significant role in shaping first impressions of the Philadelphia region," said James J. Cuorato, President & CEO of the Independence Visitor Center Corporation. "The guidance we have received from Art-Reach has contributed greatly to designing services that meet the needs of our visitors and improve their overall experience."
"The Independence Visitor Center is one of the most important gateways to our region's rich array of cultural assets and they have demonstrated a real commitment to being welcoming to all guests," stated Art-Reach Executive Director Michael Norris. "We are thrilled to be advising them on their accessibility enhancements."
Art-Reach enriches lives by connecting underserved audiences to cultural experiences so that they may enjoy and benefit from the transformative powers of the arts. Each year, Art-Reach enables more than 15,000 people of all ages, economic backgrounds and abilities to experience the richness of the arts. Art-Reach is dedicated to creating proactive relationships with organizations in Philadelphia to ensure opportunities are readily available for those who may be at a disadvantage.
Additional information and details pertaining to services provided by the Independence Visitor Center can is available at: www.independencevisitorcenter.com/special-services
Visit www.art-reach.org for additional information about Art-Reach.
Information regarding the accessibility of Independence Mall is available at: www.nps.gov/inde/planyourvisit/accessibility.htm
SOURCE Independence Visitor Center Corporation