[identity profile] cheriedcds.livejournal.com
This is a friendly public service announcement from Dragon*Con Disability Services.

The elevators in the Hyatt and the Marriott are a problem every year for people with disabilities.   For people with difficulty walking, the elevators are not a convenience, they are a necessity.  Please be considerate; if you CAN take the stairs or escalators, please DO.  If you see someone in a wheelchair, with a cane, or otherwise mobility impaired, please understand that they can’t move as fast as you can.  If they were waiting before you arrived, let them go before you.  That's called fairness.  When the elevator doors open and able bodied folk rush in, the person with the disability is stuck and may end up waiting a VERY long time.  Please understand that just because a person does not have an obvious -visible- disability, this does not mean that they have NO disability.  Many disabilities are invisible.  They are no less disabling.

If you are a person with a disability stuck in an elevator bank and unable to get onto an elevator, please look around the elevator bank for a phone-- this will connect you to hotel staff.  Let them know where you are and what you need.  They can help you get where you need to go.

Thank you,
cherie
Dragon*Con Disability Services
For information on all the services we can provide and how to access them, please check out our wiki at http://dragonconds.wikia.com/wiki/Disability_Services_Guide_to_DragonCon_Wiki
[identity profile] cheriedcds.livejournal.com
58 days till Dragon Con!! Anyone have any questions on what Disability Services can do for you? You have three options to get your answers: you can visit our Wiki at http://dragonconds.wikia.com/wiki/Disability_Services_Guide_to_Dragon_Con_Wiki, you can email disabilityservices@dragoncon.org, and you can ask here,(please minimize personal information in this public space).
[identity profile] cheriedcds.livejournal.com
This is a friendly public service announcement from Dragon*Con Disability Services.

The elevators in the Hyatt and the Marriott are a problem every year for people with disabilities.   For people with difficulty walking, the elevators are not a convenience, they are a necessity.  Please be considerate; if you CAN take the stairs or escalators, please DO.  If you see someone in a wheelchair, with a cane, or otherwise mobility impaired, please understand that they can’t move as fast as you can.  When the elevator doors open and able bodied folk rush in, the person with the disability is stuck and may end up waiting a very long time.  Please understand that just because a person does not have an obvious -visible- disability, this does not mean that they have NO disability.  Many disabilities are invisible.  They are no less disabling.

The elevators seem to be the place where many tempers get very short…  Even when someone loses their temper, please don’t respond to rudeness with more rudeness.

If you are a person with a disability stuck in an elevator bank and unable to get onto an elevator, please look around the elevator bank for a phone-- this will connect you to hotel staff.  Let them know where you are and what you need.  They should be able to help you.

Thank you,
cherie
Dragon*Con Disability Services
For information on all the services we can provide and how to access them, please check out our wiki at http://dragonconds.wikia.com/wiki/Disability_Services_Guide_to_DragonCon_Wiki
[identity profile] cheriedcds.livejournal.com
We are looking to add a page to our wiki with helpful tips for people with disabilities coming to DragonCon.  If you are one of our more experienced consumers, could you let us know a few things you do to prepare for the crowds, the hill, the heat, etc.  I am really looking for help, not just "the elevators are terrible" type comments.  So how do you manage the awesomeness that is DragonCon with a disability?
[identity profile] zombiash.livejournal.com
Hey guys and gals! I am so excited to be going this year after a three year absence. I've been unemployed for just as long and was getting pretty depressed, especially since my mom died in November. So I re-enrolled in college and am waiting to hear if I was accepted into the program I applied to. As a sort of reward and a gift from my father, he bought me a ticket to this year's convention.
 
So I have a few questions since some things have changed since I last attended. The registration line has been moved correct? And is no longer at the Hyatt? Was it different last year and how did everyone find that experience?
 
I had surgery on my knee a few months ago and I am doing much better, but it still hurts if I sit at certain angles for too long. Standing doesn't really bother me too much. Would it be a bother to make an inquiry to Disability Services about seating on an end seat so I can shift my leg if I need to? Sitting in the middle of a row sometimes locks up my legs and they can become very painful. I don't want to bother them for something that might not seem to be a big deal. I would even be fine with sitting in the back, but I know that they usually try to push everyone as close to the front, which squashes us all together.
 
Also, when I went there was a vendor that sold Lovecraft inspired items, such as books, toys, games, and art. Does anyone remember what their name is and if they are going to be there again?
 
Finally, I noticed Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab (BPAL) is going to be there as a vendor! Did anyone from this community visit their booth last year and did you notice if they were selling any of their shirts that they usually sell through the Trading Post?
 
Thanks for any replies! Also if I don't answer right away, it's because I have a test in the morning (which I should be studying for), but I will be back in the afternoon.
 
-Ash
[identity profile] siredgar.livejournal.com
I have two friends who will be coming this year who are likely to need disability services. One has hip problems, and the other will be post-surgery by a few weeks. Neither need wheel chairs or any overt assistance, but will have difficulty standing/walking for long periods. Last year while in line for a panel they wanted to sit in chairs that were available outside, but were told the chairs were reserved for those who had gone through disability services. This year they plan to do so, but particularly in light of not having obviously visible signs were wondering what documentation was required. Doctor's notes? Something else? Any input appreciated.
[identity profile] rooneym.livejournal.com
Lookin at the map it looks that there's a habitrail from the main hotels to the new Vendor rooms. So my question(s) is: Is it a wheelchair accessable route? Or go by way of the streets the only way? Is it possible for a video showing the routes?
[identity profile] cheriedcds.livejournal.com
Just want to say thanks to the Disabilities Services team, who did an awesome job, as always.  I recieved a lot of kudos and compliments about you from people both during and after the convention... you guys Rock!

For anyone who used our services you can go to this page:
http://dragonconds.wikia.com/wiki/Disability_Services_Guide_to_DragonCon_Wiki
and look for the link to RATE YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH DCDS.  You can provide detailed feedback on every aspect of your DragonCon experience.

cherie
[identity profile] glasscannon.livejournal.com
After running across a couple of frankly horrifying stories of people attempting to deal with Disability Services for this year's Con, I thought it was time to reach out to the broader community and see if this is a trend that other people have noticed, or if it's just a few isolated incidents that could be resolved by having the bright light of the community shined on them.

As a bit of background, I live with several invisible illnesses that have progressed over the last decade to the point where I am no longer able to work, need help with household chores, etc.  This is the first year I'll be using Disability Services at DragonCon, after years of making-do at Con, skipping large events, and trying to get by on the life adjustments I use to cope at home.  And last year I missed almost all of Sunday because of it, so this year I'm forcing myself to suck up my pride and plan to make Disability Services my first stop when I get to DragonCon.

Knowing that I'm going to be using DS for the first time this year, I've kept an eye out for mentions of it online.  First I ran across this worrying story of an attendee whose father has been hospitalized for diabetes being told that Disability Services can't do anything for him, as hospitalization-level diabetes isn't a "real" disability, and they aren't there to make anyone comfortable.  Next I happened to meet someone on Tumblr who is chronically ill to the point of needing assistance to be able to manage the con, but has been told that her assistant's first-time-going-to-a-con girlfriend is on her own as DS can't allow two companions to sit with a woman who needs assistance -- and told again, this time by the DS director. 

Then I worked my way through the Disability Services wiki and found myself scratching my head at the tone.  This is a department whose sole purpose is to provide help and services to those who would otherwise be prevented from going to DragonCon, but there's more in there about all the things that DS can't or won't do to help you.  Some sections, like the bits about being your own advocate and the frequent admonisions to arrive early (which, of course, is just so easy for anyone dealing with a disability at DragonCon) are flat out rude, and seem to willfully ignore the social and emotional barriers many people dealing with long-term illness and disability often face on top of the physical barriers (ie, sometimes being forced to discuss your illness/disability with a total stranger is as detremental as being forced to climb that flight of stairs).  There's a tone of "stupid you for getting sick and/or injured, now you're stuck with whatever scraps we feel like throwing your way, be thankful you get anything at all" that seems to me to leap out from every page.

I get that Disability Services needs to have rules in place to make sure people aren't abusing accommodations they don't genuinely need.  I get that anyone who uses DS needs to be their own advocate -- but trust me when I say that anyone who has gotten to the point of needing Disability Services is more than familiar with the trying, tiring, soul-destroying, never-ending task of being one's own advocate.  What I don't understand is the attitude.  What I don't understand is saying that a man who has been hospitalized for diabetes doesn't qualify for a teeny tiny sticker that would make an event he paid to attend marginally less painful.  What I don't understand is the complete and utter inflexibility to allow even one extra companion, on a case by case basis.  What are they going to do when a disabled woman wants to keep both her husband and their child with her in line?  What are they going to do when someone they could have helped but turned away passes out in line and seriously complicates an already life-altering illness?

Guys, help me out here?  Are these a few isolated incidents that need to be escalated up the chain of command?  Or is the attitude and tone I've witnessed again and again any time I run across Disability Services the attitude and tone I should expect to greet me at my first stop at DragonCon?  And if that's the case, what can be done to fix it?

[identity profile] cheriedcds.livejournal.com

Disability has heard your request for lots of information about accessibility at the Con in one convenient location.  We have begun a Wiki-style website "Disability Services Guide to Dragon*Con."  It is not yet 100% complete, My staff and I will continue to add information between now and the Con, and ongoing beyond that.  BUT, the basics are there.  Come check us out!  There is a forum attached to the Wiki, but we are looking for something a little more robust.  We'll point you at it when we get that set up.  If you have specific information you need but do not see, let us know.



main page:
http://dragonconds.wikia.com/wiki/Disability_Services_Guide_to_DragonCon_Wiki

Self advocacy:
http://dragonconds.wikia.com/wiki/Self_Advocacy-_Your_Key_to_Con-Happiness

The shuttles:
http://dragonconds.wikia.com/wiki/The_Shuttles

Navigating the con:  (Maps WILL be added)
http://dragonconds.wikia.com/wiki/The_Secret_Ninja_Way;_Navigating_the_Con

guide to accessible dining:
http://dragonconds.wikia.com/wiki/A_Service_Dog%27s_guide_to_DragonCon_Dining

[identity profile] cheriedcds.livejournal.com
I want to thank my staff, who as usual, gave WAAAY over their required hours so that the few of us could cover the humongousness that is DragonCon.  You all rock. 

Registration on Thursday started out rough, but once the new system got worked out, everything went so smoothly!  My registration crew is the bestest evar. 

For our consumers, If you voiced a concern either here or to us directly during Con, we have it and are working on several different things to address your issues.  Some of the issues raised require coordination among departments, and those may take longer.  Please know we are working to address every issue.

Thank you
cherie
Cherie Wren
Disability Services
[identity profile] paidiraiompair.livejournal.com
Wondering if

A) If there going to be a "Handicap Services" Registration area for Thursday and if so, where will it be and when will it open.

B) If there is a separate registration area, do we/must we bring our "assistant" so they can get the shiny sticker on their badge too??

C) If there IS NOT going to be one, where is THAT one going to be on Thursday and when will it be opened??

thank you and can't wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
*insert fan girl squeel*
[identity profile] xiandesi.livejournal.com
I apologize if this has already been answered, but I had a question concerning kids and badges. I understand we're going to be sorted in some way by our barcodes in order to make registration easier. I'm very happy if it leads to lesser registration lines :).

As I understand it, we're to stand in line with our postcard and ID. My only issue is that my kids don't have any ID and I wouldn't want them to stand in a separate line from me. Can they stay with me in my line or can I just leave them out of the line and pick up their badges for them?

I will also be traveling with someone in a wheelchair. It's going to be their first D*C. Is there a separate disabilities line as well?

Thanks for any answers you're able to provide, they're very much appreciated.
[identity profile] paidiraiompair.livejournal.com
 I know this should go to handicap services, but I couldn't figure out how to get it there, so mods please forgive.

Is there ANYWAY to ask the Hyatt NOT to force all those in wheelchairs to use the bridge entrances.  I went to the old entrance on the street level (beside the parking garage entrance) and they had closed it, EVEN when the bridges were shut down due to overcrowding.  It is RIDICULOUS to ask chair bound folks who are already on the street to go BACK to the Marriott, UP in over crowded elevators, and then be smoosed in the bridge ways, or worse TRAPPED when they get shut down.  We are NOT asking them to invent anything new, just OPEN THE BLOODY DOOR!!!

Sorry, as you can see, it made myself and my gimp girl friends REALLY mad.

thanks for trying
[identity profile] belisamadesigns.livejournal.com
I saw a post somewhere about requesting large print programs for DC and my friend who is legally blind will be attending for the first time so I wanted to reserve one for him.  For the life of me, I cannot find where I saw this information - can anyone help?  I know it said there was only a limited number being run and I wanted to make sure he got one.

Thanks!
[identity profile] cheriedcds.livejournal.com

This is a friendly public service announcement from Dragon*Con Disability Services.

The elevators in the Hyatt and the Marriott are a problem every year for people with disabilities.   For people with difficulty walking, the elevators are not a convenience, they are a necessity.  Please be considerate; if you CAN take the stairs or escalators, please DO.  If you see someone in a wheelchair, with a cane, or otherwise mobility impaired, please understand that they can’t move as fast as you can.  When the elevator doors open and able bodied folk rush in, the person with the disability is stuck and may end up waiting a very long time.  Please understand too that just because a person does not have an obvious -visible- disability, this does not mean that they have NO disability.  Many disabilities are invisible.  They are no less disabling. 

The elevators seem to be the place where many tempers get very short…  Even when someone loses their temper, please don’t respond to rudeness with more rudeness. 

If you are a person with a disability stuck in an elevator bank and unable to get onto an elevator, please look around the elevator bank for a phone-- this will connect you to hotel staff.  Let them know where you are and what you need.  They should be able to help you.

 

Thank you,

cherie

Dragon*Con Disability Services

[identity profile] cheriedcds.livejournal.com

This is a friendly public service announcement from your Disability Services department.    disabilityservices at dragoncon dot org

We can offer a variety of services to help you enjoy your Dragon*Con experience, including:

  • Wheelchair accessible bus service between the Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton, Sheraton, Westin, and other Con hotels.  
  • Audio description for events upon request.
  • Sign Language interpreters upon request.
  • We will have the Con schedule in electronic format for you to print or download to your screenreading device.  We can print a copy for you upon request.
  • We will have staff working all areas of Main Programming in the Hyatt, Marriott, and Sheraton, keeping them accessible for people with disabilities.
  • Con-goers with medical conditions can get a sticker to put on their badge that gives directions for emergency contacts. (no other services go with this sticker)
  • We can run registrations for people who can’t maneuver the tight turns or long lines. 
  • We provide stickers for your Con badge based on accessible seating requirements.

 Please let us know if you will be using any of the ‘upon request’ services.

If you are an eternal or VIP badge holder, please contact us so we can get the correct stickers and information to your registration area.     

 If you will be needing a large print program, please let us know as soon as possible.  We will only be printing as many as we have requests.  If you do not request one in advance, you will NOT get a printed copy.  You WILL be able to get an electronic version that you can print yourself, or access with your screenreading device.

If you have any questions about the services we offer, please contact us.

cherie

Disability Services

[identity profile] hellodali.livejournal.com
My partner is disabled and we are staying at the Westin this year, is there any place I can see the shuttle bus schedule? How often does it run etc? How long does it take to make its rounds. Where all does this bus go? Where to you get on?

Thanks in advance!

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