Days of Dragon Con 2023 - Day 44 - Disability Services

2023, The Unique Geek
Days Of Dragon Con

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[0:00] Music.

[0:15] No.
You're flying, Hey, 50 days of dragon con the podcast it doesn't know how to count to 50, Is Sorry folks that are listening not, What is the time for it if people are watching wow, A strange just whatever. Okay, cool. We'll call whatever.

[1:23] 9 days yes that is accurate nine, Yeah, well, that's true. I love eight. It's actually eight. Oh, actually, you're ready. 8 hours, 8 hours, or sorry, 8 days, That actually got to my heart because I was like I have not packed one thing if it's 8 hours oh no and I don't even pack that much, So I want to remind people of something because if they've gotten the email that'll be great but if they haven't or if like this is their first time This really is. There's a lot of family friendly programming that is going on.

[2:07] There's a hands on science power hour on Sunday in these, There's an intro to tabletop role playing games. No, my husband is not leading it. He's already done that. No. He's he's already indoctrinated. The children around our ages.
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. There's going to be some kids drawing stuff and there's going to be a creative puppet workshop which is Dragons, I I don't think I can go because not it says it's fun for all ages but, Also and I just thought this was the big one I wanted to tell people about that there is a dragon con kid sketchbook and, They the kids get sketchbook is available for free for kids to take to select comic and art show tables artist tables That have that symbol on the signage and they'll draw in that sketchbook for the kid, I think it's kind of cool, Email has gone out the is the annual email set up by the parade director, It's got lots of helpful info. So if you're in the if you're in the parade is what.

[3:37] Check with somebody. The other thing is just find somebody. Ask your neighbor, go next door, knock on the door. Hey, well, wait until you get a drink, They are serious if you get to the parade and your groups already gone, We're not like stopping the parade to help you get in.

[4:08] People all of a sudden show up and go oh I thought we could be here like right as it started and I'm like your boobs are like lined up and down the road, So That just helps you a lot instead of kind of like trying to run fast, And if you don't want to take Dragon Con bus which my understanding will pick up at the Marriott, You can get on Marta and go to you going to go north on the north south line and you go up to North Ave and then it's like a block and a half to walk, So, that would be a really easy way to get there as well. You're on Marta. You only have to get one-way trip. So, do it that way.
Right? There we go. And and we will be later we'll be talking with the Prairie Director. I think, It is tomorrow. We get to talk to Annie tomorrow about the parade. So, I can't wait to find that out.
It is not. Since, Hey walk in there could be a rock in the car, And do that but.

[5:35] It's coming up on time to get in line because some people like to get in line on that day for registration.
And when you register, there's all this stuff going on. There's a dragon store there. There's also, Sherry who is the new disability services director because Charisa got as I said Sheri Trictor into doing it, And she said no really won that and then we also have Todd.
We have Todd who has been on this so many times before and we love talking to Todd. So, Oh it's a little, Tomorrow, The day okay. Yeah.

[6:43] I gotta get up at the crack of dawn to get on a plane.
Oh, that's that's an early, early flight. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, pay attention to him.
Wouldn't say that one more time. 6 AM. Pay attention to home.

[7:09] Hey, Oh, JFK. It snows 20 in that airport.
That's exactly what I want to know from the world traveler that is Julie. No, I'm not that much of a world traveler but I have been to JFK and it did it. It's more fun.
And left to the next destination on time, Never. Many, many, many a time. I will fly almost through, I will, yeah, I don't like over here. Okay, so we're not going to talk about a report.
And so, Make the con as crappy experience for everyone, It's my favorite line for 50 days of dragon con. It's our job to make sure that people with disabilities have his crappy and experience as any other dragon kind of tent that you can expect.
There you go.

[8:34] You're in register you're with registration which is in the, It's a Brooklyn, It's not even registration anymore though Lee. Number eight.
Take a pick up order, Oh lord I'll never forget all this.
We didn't have the heart to change our department's name with the name of the hotel changing and registration changing it's name, If anybody has any suggestions, My my son's being smandering. I can let him chat when he died. There you go. Now, it would be interesting, For disability services, Four for definitely for Thursday.

[9:52] Any disability services staff who will be there they can do, Excellent. And we'll get into what we do. It's probably one of your next questions.
Well and that that will be a nice question and if people don't know where the eternal badge pickup is it is in the Marriott on the lobby floor So when you come in the lottery you go to the right there's a hallway down there and you'll ask somebody where, Eternal badge pick up is and bingo there you are. So you're all probably at the top of the ramp, Probably at the top of the ramp you're exactly right and one of the questions was just also what are the hours for disability services in any in either the Marriott or the real easy we follow the same hours as registration Slash bad, Hey so you want to make any go get a bagel, Now that's true. And that would be.

[11:13] Request services request disabilities services.

[11:26] We ask you a few questions.
And from there, we try to determine what we can help you with. Maybe, you know, has mobility issues and can't stand in line long or can't.
You know, We can give them a sticker that is seat line and a row, So, they consider the end of any row fifth rower back. Huh. In the large ballrooms, large events.
And while they're waiting to get in they can have a seat in line, Sorry, keep going. That's by sure, by far the most popular.
You know, when we have and then there's wheelchair seating which is pretty obvious. You're in a wheelchair or a scooter.
You get to sit, you know, park your vehicle in one of those cutouts throughout the room.
Maybe a visual issue but doesn't need.

[12:36] You with that badge it's proximity you can sit, Yes and I honestly sometimes those large screens are so much easier to see.
Well, the cameras are supposed to try to follow what's going on. So, you're not looking back and forth and back and forth all over the place Trying to figure out okay who's going to speak next the camera does it for you, How are, One of these different things. How do you all determine that? I know you talked to him but. Well, that's based on the answers to the questions we ask you because we're going to be talking about how we can reasonably accommodate you.
New definition of reason or accommodation is about leveling the playing field. What is the thing that you need that will level the playing field for you to participate?
So, we give you the reasonable comment. We give you the reason about combination. One, that is best to implement.

[13:54] Right?

[14:07] Right?

[14:20] Sherry gave you some examples but we also have blanks, Because believe it or not, everyone's in a while, somebody needs a reasonable accommodation that we haven't planned for a sticker for yet.
They leave but that somebody will tell them that they can't come back in, Hey.

[15:05] I want to say something here too. I go to Disability Service half for the past couple of years. I have some chronic health issues that, You might not see him and do remember that not all disabilities are visual, It was very very helpful for a couple of things when I could be on the enroll and I could sit down if I was waiting in a line or something like that and it really did help. I mean, it it made me so that I didn't want to cry.
At the end of the day on.

[15:52] This is wonderful but I don't need you. This is wonderful.
No, I don't got this. No, I'm done. See, and then you're going to come to this booty services.
And we promise because i won't remember ever having said this we won't stay I told you so, Right right, That's right.

[16:31] There you go. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. No, I know. Sherry needs to talk about the other sticker that we give out for people, Ooh, Say space for service animals and that does not include emotional support animals which are not allowed in constant, If they come through us we ask the questions and there will be a purple wristband, I'm a dog collar leash, That weave already as all the questions that.

[17:27] So there allowed in and we have spaces along the outsides of the the larger event rooms so that the dog can be in a safe space and not be trampled by feet A bat has to be approved by me Todd or some other people that are there and that's no problem, Our senior staff that's right, Sightlines which is usually for people who are deaf and need to be able to have clear sightlines to the interpreter, On occasion other you know there's other, But we you know we want to be, The equal playing field the level playing field and somebody who is totally absolutely what we call normal but who's normal coming to dragon con anyway, Maybe they get a front row seat they should get a front row seat occasionally, So, that one is restricted by and and given permission by senior staff as well. And just to go back to to do the service dog thing just for a minute, Because the people with emotional sport dogs at home.

[18:54] If you're staying in one of our hotels you absolutely can but the dogs can find to the road, Because you are legal protections extend to your housing or dwelling, So we definitely want you to have the same emotional support you would have at home.
We will enforce the ADA with regard to service animals versus emotional support dogs, And we're sorry to say that because.

[19:32] Even though I can't talk to him and I can't distract him because you really shouldn't. But I want to see him anyway. Especially they dress him up, And and i love you.
Hey, The.

[20:10] But There was an article, Grocery stores. That they've had to start putting up signs because that they are only allowing service animals and then they're specifically call out that you know, And I guess it better become probable. So, it's not, you know, it's not something that that dragons do to punish anybody. It's something that that goes across all, Areas and it's unfortunate and it does. Yeah.
It goes, Normal training.

[21:05] Even with service animals, we tell everybody that comes through our department.
Go find a quiet place just you and your dog let them regroup because it's a lot to ask Yeah you think it's a lot to ask if people make a lot of noise yeah yeah if you think it's a lot of to ask us for a human to be walking around in there imagine what the dog is walking right when they're you know at at ankle length or ankle or knee height against me more appropriate and, And I wanted to ask you a question do we talk about, The actual ADA definition I know I had internet issues the ADA definition of a, Support animal.
Definition. Alright.

[22:11] To assist a person with a disability or mitigate a disabling condition, Hey Facebook, Seizure alert dog because she hasn't been trained for that test. Right, The other thing is that a pony can also, That is, No wow. Sebastian from Parker Park.

[23:12] Let me know. The most people support.

[23:24] Right?
Was a bird, The bird would make noise, The bird would make noise. Oh, that's cool. Or or like package cheap.
Hey, Service animals only dogs in miniature versus, That is that's one of the beautiful things, That sounds like a baby bed. Yeah. Oh, Brandon. Sorry. Brandon asked about supposed, How well are they trained?

[24:47] People I can't telling people this they're very cute but do remember they wanted, Yeah, they can do that. Just as long as you don't.

[25:06] You can call him and he'll do the yub nub song for you.
Not not all disabilities affect your physical ability to do things, Last year.
Todd helped the con experience better by helping his pregnant wife with a disability sticker which yeah we can argue that that's that that's also need of a special consideration for all of our folks.
If your doctor identifies that they're maybe a medical problem with pregnancy that can qualifies a disability after coming to the high risk pregnancy but pregnancy buy itself is not a disability. Correct.
No murder bears so she was there.
We appreciate that. They mess up the disability services area. Something awful and we, Latest throw those bones and then beat them with their little other bones. They beat the skulls. It's awesome. I know hotels.
I don't want to clear it up either. Oh lord.

[26:25] Okay, Do your best to plan ahead, Right?

[26:51] Right?
So That people must give up space in an elevator for a person using a mobility device or someone who needs an elevator, However.

[27:25] So I encourage you to plan in advance, I also encourage you to it's perfectly okay to use a wow voice, Right, You don't really need to get too much louder because if they're not going to move, they're probably not going to move.
If you're getting in an elevator and you see somebody that's been waiting, Yeah. Yeah. Just it goes along with the basic.
The basic rule don't be an a hole just don't don't get her, Oh, yeah.
Don't be a jerk.
And and again.

[28:36] It's night.
Don't it just don't.

[29:05] Up until the consuite at the Hyatt hey, Hey Facebook, I also did want to I wanted to ask something else. So now, you're going to make everybody just as, We're going to do our best.

[29:50] Disabilities or service needs are you know you can't always see them is there something else from your both your experience and I've known you both at constance I've been going, Is there something from you that you would say this is something that I wish everybody could kind of keep in their head at, Well, we do once in a while, we have people that come can i pick up my stick, can I get stickers for my husband? I thought as bad, The thing is we can't talk to one person about another person's disability. It's the it's a violation of the Hipaa action. So, But we can't just give somebody else stickers for a person we have it spoken to.
And, Right?

[31:04] Play the worst case scenario for yourself.
And may I give an example of that? Sure.
And he had evident surgery and he.

[31:38] And I said to him very early I was like are you sure you don't want to get into an electric one no I'll be fine I can I can push I can I can do this myself, He wasn't very happy come Friday night because he discovered something that only us long term wheelchair users know. What? Right? Yeah.
Carpet is our mortal anime.
And not to mention that Atlanta sidewalk isn't always nice.
I'm going to tell you the secret though for people that are using wheelchairs and scooters, If you're on the street level let's say on Courtland and there's that parking garage between the Hilton and the Sheridan Portland Grant, There's an elevator in there. If you go to the seventh floor.
Open crosswalk it's covered but it's you know it's open to the weather.

[32:57] To go to the Hilton the Marriott and the Hyatt, And it's if you go through that it's much easier if you go through to get to the high to get to the western, So, you got that. And yes, that is a wonderful, wonderful.
Because again, it's also one that's great to get to your car. Because you're like, I'm worried about XY or Z or whatever. It's great to be able to say, oh, okay, it's fine. I can walk across it. It's well lit.
Usually they clean it up pretty well. It's always a really nice one, It does kind of smell like Atlanta downtown if it's it's really hot and musty but you know that's Atlanta we're all going to smell like sweat trust us.
If you're following my advice and thinking about your worst case scenario yes right?
And there's a question you want to ask or something you want to talk around because you want to figure out how to handle it.
Mm hmm.
That you can go to.

[34:17] That you can join and you can ask question, Will faithfully ping one of the two of us so the Kerry and I will answer it, I love it. That is a there you go. There we go. Right.
What no we're happy to talk to you about what we can tell you about our experiences specifically if you've got a question, The only thing we ask is, Hey Facebook it doesn't work out, Because maybe there's a problem that needs fixing and, They don't. It's a lot of what we do.

[35:21] Was there?
Hey Facebook, About concern over contrast, Oh, great. Okay. Right. Yeah. So, we want to encourage folks to remember that we care about all of that, It's wonderful.
And so that's yes that is very very helpful there's a lot of colors and a lot of contrast and the contrast does even help some of us with hurt that are you know wearing those progressive lenses now yes, The background behind the icons is now black not the unreadable ride of colors it was before.
Hey thank you you're my guy.

[36:39] Yes they do.
John is there.

[36:55] We we've talked about where you're located. We can repeat that again.
Is there anything else that we should keep in mind or or that that you would like us to know about this building services, Here's here's something that i normally should say but sometimes I forget thank you for reminding me John, Is operated by people with disabilities themselves.
And you're mad about something we did, You need to remember that we are you and you are us.
The dogs really don't have a choice, We're in the south that we're a right to work so that we can have, I did want to also say this.

[38:20] When you see the dogs they're working.
If you ask if you can pet the dog and they say no, the dog is working. Don't be a jerk.
Also small children love dogs, Please help let let, Because Sherry and I were talking about this earlier and Sherry, you go on. You give me some more on that because there you go. It's yours. Okay, well, I with my dog, I have a harness rule and I've had it with all of my dogs.
Is if the harness is on the dog is working if the harness is off she can be a real dog, But not everybody has those same rules.
Always ask if you want to interact with the dog, There you go don't walk up and start petting because you wouldn't want that person to walk up and start petting your kid, Very very point very.

[39:40] Be careful guys.
There are espresso.
And it's interesting one. I think we may have addressed it near Spanish but we have tonight. What about companions of disability sticker holders? Are they separated from their friends to stand in line, How does that work? No, we can one companion per person with a disability, And if it's a family with minor children we do not split up the family the family can stay together, Uno, That's great and also can you repeat the days and times that disability services will be in the Marriott we know that there will be in the court, Every time that badge pick up.

[40:53] On graduation nine to nine.
Okay you can either, Go to the eternals area and ask them to page us and we will come we will come there and meet you, Or if you really want it fast, Can do basic stickers?
But they can approve basic stickers.

[41:46] Go to go to the Centennial, If they can't do it right away because we're seeding people in a panel perhaps. Right. Right?
They'll they're going to do it once the panel begins, Excellent.
Hey, Hey, Yes we wait for you too because you always make me giggle You made me giggle like a major giggle tonight.

[42:56] The emotionals of what animals, Hey, Is we're very happy he's a part of our family, The problem is out there. We look forward to seeing you. Would you guess we do? Yeah. Can't wait to see everybody. I get to get hugs.
What we think you guys so much. So John, now this is your part. I'll be quiet. Okay, well, so, we would like to thank you very much again for coming in and just real quick one more time that it's It's at the Courtland, The Courtland Grant, And also on especially on Thursday in the eternals area which is in the Marriott correct?
So either those places you can you can find Disability Services you can find, What? That's like a.

[44:25] That's okay.

[44:37] Very serious. Anyway, let me go through that again.
I'm going to take one of our sticker information sheets, And put your name on it in memorial too. Oh.
Alright so, A leading departments. And we really appreciate it. We appreciate that the service that you all provide, These folks are volunteers, Well actually zan points out the I am getting a streaming membership I guess technically that can keep my streak unbroken.

[45:52] For cherry, Todd, Lee, this is John.

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[46:42] Music.

[46:58] Bye.