Under the Customer Service Standards of the AODA, service providers must make their goods, services, and facilities accessible to customers with disabilities. This article will outline accessible customer service for amusement parks. Accessible amusement park attractions ensure that guests of all abilities have a fun and exciting visit.
Accessible Amusement Parks
- Accessible Parking
- Ramped or level entrances
- Automatic doors and wide doorways
- Lifts or elevators whenever there are stairs
- Accessible public washrooms and change rooms
- Wide aisles and paths of travel
- Visual fire alarms
- Service counters and line areas that accommodate customers using mobility devices
Furthermore, park restaurants should make their menus and services accessible to all guests. In addition, good lighting will help guests who are Deaf communicate visually. Lighting is also important for guests who are visually impaired. Moreover, additional seating may benefit guests with invisible physical disabilities who cannot stand while waiting in long lines or while being served.
Tickets and Other Purchases
Accessible amusement parks should allow guests to purchase tickets in multiple ways, such as:
- By phone or teletypewriter (TTY)
- In person
If a guest finds one way of buying tickets inaccessible, they should be able to buy in another way. In addition, staff should be available to assist guests purchasing from concessions or gift-shops.
Many of the guidelines for buildings also apply to rides. Whenever possible, they should have wide entrances and pathways, ramps, and good lighting. Parks should also have procedures in place so that guests who cannot stand in line to wait for rides and shows can enjoy attractions without lines. For instance, parks can create systems for guests to arrive at attractions at pre-scheduled times. In this way, all guests wait their turns, but guests who cannot wait in lines can wait elsewhere.
In addition, park websites should list all the attractions, including rides and shows, that are accessible to guests who use mobility devices. For example, websites should state which attractions guests can access:
- While seated in personal or rented wheelchairs or scooters
- While seated in wheelchairs stored at the attraction for guests’ use
- By transferring from their personal or rented devices to attraction seats
- By transferring into wheelchairs stored at the attraction, and then transferring into attraction seats
Moreover, websites should list rides that are accessible for riders with:
- Oxygen tanks
Parks should also inform guests about any attractions featuring flashing lights or loud noises.
Furthermore, parks can offer equipment for guests to use or borrow on-site. For example:
- Assistive listening systems
- Teletypewriters (TTYs) at pay-phone locations
Park websites should also provide detailed information about how to access this equipment. For instance, websites should explain:
- Whether equipment is first-come-first-serve
- Whether guests can book equipment in advance
- Whom to contact
- Whether a deposit is needed, and how much it is
- Where guests can pick up the equipment
Parks should have policies describing how they will arrange to accommodate guests who need assistance evacuating during emergencies.
Finally, parks should provide multiple contact methods for guests to get in touch with them, including:
- Phone and teletypewriter (TTY) numbers
- Email addresses
- Accessible websites, including contact forms and methods for booking visits
In addition, park websites should provide detailed descriptions and pictures of all their amenities and accessible features. These details will help potential guests find out if a park’s rides or events will be accessible for them.
Our next article will cover accessible information in amusement parks.