Due to HIPAA laws, we cannot give your sticker to anyone but you. The questions that we ask to determine your reasonable accommodation include private, legally protected, information. If you are physically unable to make it to the Sheraton, and have someone else picking up your badge, we have a satellite location in the Marriott where you can get your sticker. Please note: This is one of the reasonable accommodations we provide; this is NOT for those who would simply prefer not to make the trek to the Sheraton. It is not there for convenience sake. But if you NEED it, we are there for you. On Thursday we have a volunteer in the Eternal/VIP badge pick up room, L507. For Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, this same person is in the Marriott Atrium Ballroom. If you can't get to the Atrium, go to Information Services in the Marriott, they can also help.
The biggest category of people we serve have disabilities that limit the amount of walking they can do, and/or the amount of time they can spend standing. People with this type of disability will receive the “Seat in Line/End of Row” sticker, and are entitled to a seat in line, and an aisle seat. If you are the last one in before they close the door, you will get the end of row seat in the very last row. If the room is full, you get turned away, same as anyone else. Our goal is to allow equal access, not to allow special privilege.
'While staff will always do their best to make accommodations, once *General Loading* begins in a ballroom, disability seating is NOT guaranteed'.
The second sticker we offer is for people in wheelchairs or scooters. People who receive this sticker will be seated in wheelchair cutouts spaced throughout the room. One chair next to the cutout should be reserved for a companion.
Each person with a disability, no matter what sticker, is entitled to ONE companion that can stay with them.
The next sticker is Proximity 50 Feet to Screen. This is designed for people with visual impairments, or hearing impairments that require lipreading. In Main programming areas people with this sticker will be seated within 50 feet of any one of the big screens. In smaller track rooms, you should be seated within the first 5 rows, near the center. Please keep in mind if you arrive after the room is full, it is extremely difficult to move people who have waited in line for however long out of primo seats; especially for you, coming in so much later. YOU HAVE TO GET THERE EARLY.
The next sticker is Sightlines Front Row Seating. This is for people who need clear sightlines to the interpreter, people who need safe space for working animals, and a few other special cases. In the case of service animals, the goal is safety for the dog. The dog needs to be out of the flow of traffic, safe from getting stepped on and tripped over. The front row is generally the best place, but you do not necessarily get front row center. If the room is full, and there is an aisle seat to one side available, as long as the dog is not in the main flow of traffic, it is acceptable. For Deaf people, if an interpreter is coming they will choose which seats to reserve. It is important that you put down how many people are in your group, so they reserve the correct number of seats. If you are not in line when it starts to move into the room, the interpreter will only hold seats for a short time. Anyone with this sticker, for the same reasons as mentioned with the Proximity sticker above--- YOU HAVE TO GET THERE EARLY.
The medical sticker is for people with medical conditions. This is merely a place to put information for emergency personnel, such as the names of medicines taken, or emergency contact numbers. The logo on this sticker is the red cross and caduceus, not the blue wheelchair alien. This sticker does not confer ANY accommodations, unless there is an additional sticker. If you have a medical condition AND need an end of row seat (for example) you will have TWO stickers. The medical sticker alone gets NO accommodations.
Lines are a fact of life at Dragon Con. There is really no way to avoid them entirely. We try to make them manageable for our DS consumers by providing chairs, either full time, or upon request. Main programming should have a separate area for disabled con-goers to line up, and it should have chairs. This line will enter the room first, before the main line. Please note: this is not a Disability Services decision, it is a security decision, but it is pretty much standard procedure now. Please also note, that you guys ARE a line, and should not jump in front of people who have been in the disability line longer than you. The DS staff in a ballroom may call in certain categories of stickers in before others, as a way to expedite the “load in.” Please be cooperative with DS staff, security and room staff.
If there is a line to get into one of the smaller track rooms, go to the door and ask for room staff to bring you a chair. They may pop a chair into the hall, or they may let you into the room early, whichever is more convenient for THEM. If they let you into the room early, please do not waltz up the front row and plop yourself down. The reason you are in the room early is because you can’t STAND in line. It doesn’t give you head of the line privileges, or the right to jump in front of all those people who are out there, standing in line. In fact let me just say this: You are NEVER entitled to head of the line privileges in ANY venue at Dragon Con, even though it kind of works out that way in SOME areas. In those areas where you appear to have head of the line privilege, it is for safety reasons, or for the convenience of that specific area and how they manage their line. Do NOT expect just any line to allow you to the front. Be grateful for those few places it does happen.
Track rooms may not have permanent wheelchair cutouts or marked seats, but as long as they move chairs when you show them your badge, they are fulfilling their obligation.
If you go to ANY area of the Con and are not accommodated, please let us know immediately! Go to the nearest main ballroom (Hyatt Centennials, Marriott Atrium, Westin Peachtree, Hilton Salon East/West or DS registration table in the Sheraton) and ask to speak to the captain. They have complaint forms you can fill out, but they need to relay it to the Director, Cherie Wren, as soon as possible so we can address it. If we don't know till after Con is over WE CAN'T FIX IT, until next year anyway.
A newer issue we have begun to tackle is seating for concert events. The standard concert set up, to my understanding, is band at the front of the room, standing spectators/dance area, and some seating in the back for people to take breaks. We have asked all directors to ensure that all parties and concerts have a seating area WITH A SCREEN, so people with disabilities can see the show without having to wade through gyrating bodies. Please let us know if/when/where that doesn’t happen so we can follow up.
We are aware of elevator issues. If you wait more than a reasonable amount of time at an elevator, please contact HOTEL SECURITY (white phone somewhere in/around the bank of elevators), not Dragon Con security. The Hotel can commandeer elevators, Dragon Con cannot.
We are aware that the Dealers and Exhibit areas are issues. We welcome any feedback (complaints or suggestions) that you would like to give us on that issue.