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  1. Tyro Kathar
    Tyro Kathar November 16, 2015 at 11:30 pm | | Reply

    Well written and thought provoking. Thank you for writing this. As an Autistic crip access issues are very important to me.

    Would you be interested in writing about access for neurodivergent people? I’m following replies, so just do that if got want to get in contact.

    By the way, minor typo near the end – I’m guessing “hep out” was meant to be “help out”.

  2. Line Monkey
    Line Monkey November 19, 2015 at 9:41 pm | | Reply

    I do similar things at the conventions that I volunteer for. I’m usually “Security”, but I do a lot of staff training, as well as helping to ensure that spacing for lines/events/concerts are usable by wheelchairs/service animals/other mobility issues.

    One of the things that I’ve noticed is that ASL interpretors are usually provided by the convention center itself, not by the individual conventions. There’s a lot of digging, and it could be made a lot easier to access, but the services are usually available if notice is given that they will be required.

    This is something that I have discussed with several of the conventions that I work with, but no satisfactory conclusion has ever been reached; which is incredibly sad/frustrating.

  3. C. Mullican
    C. Mullican November 21, 2015 at 4:04 pm | | Reply

    My experience is that interpreters are _expensive_, enough to be a problem for a small and / or start-up event, especially one that doesn’t know if anyone who would use it will be attending.

    Do you know of any resources that would make that service – or CART, or something else – easier to provide? Right now, sometimes all we know we can do is reserve some front row seats.

    1. Line Monkey
      Line Monkey November 21, 2015 at 4:25 pm | | Reply

      The hotel conventions may have those issues (although even -that- can be handled if advance notice of actual attendance is given), but convention centers are required to provide interpretors to events. Although, again, the requirement must be known in advance. I’ve advised friends to contact the convention directly,to inquire about what steps need to be taken to assure accessibility.

    2. Jesse the K
      Jesse the K November 23, 2015 at 6:48 pm | | Reply

      Howdy! I’ve worked on access provision for my local 900-person volunteer-run SF convention, and I knew that we couldn’t pay for interpreters or CART for the first few years. (As a former interpreter myself, I believe it’s important to hire qualified workers.) As we continued to provide access, more and more disabled fans contacted us. Our positive experiences with access—which made the con work better for all members—made budgeting for our department more popular among the coordinating committee. That’s an internal source of funds.

      Externally, there may be state or local city/county funds for “supporting the arts” or “Deaf access to the arts.” Sadly arts funding has been slashed, so there may no longer be a contact person. We obtained a grant from our state department for hearing-impaired services in the third year, when we introduced CART, and had 6 hours of interpreter time available. We reserved the CART for the ballroom-size speeches, and everyone liked it a lot, especially the folks who have hearing loss but don’t think of themselves as “disabled.”

      The Facebook group Fans for Accessible Conventions includes many interpreters, and they may be able to point you to more resources.

  4. Terry Gray
    Terry Gray November 25, 2015 at 2:42 am | | Reply

    I am not disabled, not am I a con-goer. None-the-less I found this blog to be very informative because as I read it, my thoughts were about how everything said can be applied to my work as an AV tech for live events. Case in point, the last show I did was a medical conference with NO ADA ramp to the stage, despite the final event being an awards presentation. While there are events I work that do meet or exceed all ADA requirements, they are the exception rather than the norm. Most of the time I have no input or control over how access issues are addressed, but from this point forward I will be much more conscious of what’s being done — or not done.

    In 1980 I asked someone how long they had been confined to a wheelchair. His response has stayed with me as poignant reminder that my perception of the world isn’t the only one, or even a correct one.

    “I’m not confined to a wheelchair. If I didn’t have the wheelchair, I WOULD be confined to bed.”


  5. anonymous
    anonymous November 25, 2015 at 7:38 pm | | Reply

    The person writing this comment actually *would* like her mental and developmental issues fixed, not “worked with.” The social model doesn’t work for everyone, and I’m tired of the loudest voices against “ableism” claiming that it does.

Please comment politely with a regular pseudonym or real name.

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