You are viewing mariness

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Ok, let's talk BASIC ACCESSIBILITY

xmas me
Imagine my surprise when I arrived Monday night and found only stairs -- three steps -- leading up to the front door. The taxi driver and I looked for a wheelchair entrance and couldn't find one. I was too dizzy to stand so I crawled up the steps and got into my chair. That was fun. This was also during the height of the storm.

The front desk then pointed out the wheelchair entrance -- to the side and through heavy glass doors that are very difficult in a wheelchair. The automatic doors lead to steps.

After clearing up the hotel bill Tuesday morning I casually said that I would be off to the Starbucks in the convention center/hotel. Which is when I got my next bit of news:

This two story Best Western hotel does not have an elevator.

Able bodied guests may easily access the Sheraton lobby, hotel restaurants and the convention center by going down a short hallway and a flight of stairs.

Wheelchair users have two options:

1. They can stay in a wheelchair accessible room on the second floor, where I initially
was staying, and access the convention center and Starbucks by going out the wheelchair entrance (and the heavy doors -- I have needed assistance.) and then going
through the parking lot and over several speed bumps to the Sheraton lobby.

2. They can go to the first floor where I am now, and access the Sheraton through a very long and steep ramp. To get to this floor from the Best Western front desk they
have to go through the wheelchair entrance and through the parking lot. The rooms on the first floor are not wheelchair accessible. Because I have limited mobility I will be
able to use them but someone completely unable to walk would not be able to use this bathroom.

I was also offered a room at the Sheraton for an additional cost. However, I had budgeted for the Best Western, which is listed as a convention hotel. When I booked this room, I told Best Western that I was coming for WFC and that I would be using a wheelchair. They did put me initially in a wheelchair accessible room, but failed to tell me that this room would not be fully accessible to the convention. That information was
also not on the WFC webpage. In any case, I should not have to pay more just because I use a wheelchair.

Let me be blunt: World Fantasy Convention, you booked a hotel without an elevator. I
do not know why anyone concerned thought this would be acceptable. This would be bad enough in your overflow hotel. For your room block it is wrong. You also failed to
make this clear to attendees. To repeat, when I checked, I was told this would be fine. And it is not.

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
switchknitter
Oct. 31st, 2012 04:20 pm (UTC)
That's horrible of them! D:

Mike now needs a wheelchair for long events (like, say, doing Halloween Horror Nights this last Sunday), and I'm getting a taste of what you go through. It's terrible. You've always had my sympathies on this shit, but I have a better appreciation for it. ((hug))
jcbemis
Oct. 31st, 2012 04:29 pm (UTC)
yeah, you really tend not to notice the details until you are actually in a wheelchair trying to use it. That's why when checking a facility for accessibility, I try to make sure I (now) or a friend (before I became this disabled myself) wheeled through any prospective facility. The Peabody Hotel on I-Drive added a ramp from wheelchair parking to sidewalk in 1991 when we pointed out to them that someone in a wheelchair would have to fight with cars to get into the hotel front door.
amberfox
Nov. 1st, 2012 08:22 am (UTC)
I never really noticed how much difference the little things made til I screwed up my knee really well the week before I went on vacation. Curbs everywhere, slopes I couldn't do with a cane (and trying to do it in a wheelchair would have been nearly suicidal), uneven pavement to trip on while just walking along, and why aren't there more benches?

But I also found out that federal employees have a really good grasp of accessibility problems and will discreetly point out alternatives, in addition to making general announcements to make sure everyone knows their options. Even better was the absolute lack of argument with my judgement when I decided I was in good enough shape to do one of the non-accessable trails at Carlsbad Caverns. (I had been mildly worried about being treated like a child, but it never happened.) Mind you, my knee was pretty cranky after 8 stories of up and down steep ramps and occasional stairs, but it was glorious, and I'm not sorry I did it.
mariness
Oct. 31st, 2012 05:01 pm (UTC)
On the bright side this has put my angsting over the Universal Studios parking lot into perspective.
tithenai
Oct. 31st, 2012 06:08 pm (UTC)
Signalboosting the heck out of this. I'm appalled you have to go through this AGAIN with the SAME BLOODY CONVENTION.
tithenai
Oct. 31st, 2012 06:18 pm (UTC)
Also. I know there's very little that can be done when the CHOICE OF HOTEL is the main problem, but -- if there's anything at all I can do to help out as a fellow attendee, please let me know? I'm leaving Ottawa tomorrow morning around 10:15, should hopefully be arriving at hotel by 6:00 PM -- could email you room number as soon as I have it for ease of calling from your room and stuff?
mariness
Oct. 31st, 2012 08:10 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately yes I will need to call on people for help. Returning to the hotel room will be very difficult.
tchernabyelo
Oct. 31st, 2012 08:38 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately, not there this year, or you know I'd do what I can :( Hope you get through it.
sasha_feather
Oct. 31st, 2012 07:59 pm (UTC)
Hi, I've linked you at access_fandom at Dreamwidth.
mr_perker
Nov. 13th, 2012 06:19 pm (UTC)
OMG, you were in Toronto! If only I had been reading LJ more frequently.
mariness
Nov. 14th, 2012 12:36 am (UTC)
I suspect I'll be back some day. Probably not at that specific hotel, but in Toronto, at least.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

Profile

xmas me
mariness
Mari Ness

Latest Month

September 2014
S M T W T F S
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
282930    

Tags

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Tiffany Chow