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SpoCon Accessibility Page 20170811h

by Hawke Robinson published Aug 30, 2017 12:30 AM, last modified Aug 30, 2017 12:28 AM
Created by RPG Research for SpoCon.

SpoCon Accessibility Document

  1. Will the venues be accessible?

Briefly stated, “Reasonable Accommodation” may be thought of as: efforts made to remove barriers which prevent or limit participation by persons with disabilities in a program, service, or activity.

 

Accessibility means a range of things, and we might not be able to think about everything, so do not hesitate to get in touch if you think you might need to be accommodated – it is a priority for us to do what we can, and at the very least make sure you get clear answers to your questions.

  1. Accessibility

Spocon is serious about doing everything we can to provide a welcoming, accessible environment for all participants. This page is a general overview of the accessibility services and facilities offered by the convention.

 

Spocon’s staff are volunteers. 2017 is the first year that Spocon has an Accessibility Advocate for the convention. Every effort is made to address as many accessibility issues possible, but we know there is always room for improvement, and are constantly striving to improve your experience.

 

Unfortunately, we cannot make every aspect of of Spocon barrier-free. We are limited by finances, logistics, facilities, and limited volunteer staffing. Please contact Spocon's Accessibility Advocate if you have any questions, or if you can offer suggestions or resources to help make Spocon more accessible.

 

Spocon seeks to do its utmost to provide equal access to its participants with disabilities in accordance with State and Federal Law. Due to the convention's limited resources, convention staff may be required to discuss your reasonable accommodation with you in order to attempt to meet your needs. Seating is limited, and available on a first come, first serve basis. We ask that you be cooperative and prompt, for seating times for events you would like to see.

 

One important thing to remember: we will do our best to make sure events are accessible to you, but that does not mean we guarantee you a front row seat, or head of the line privileges. If you are going to a very popular event, you must get there extra early to get a good seat, just like everyone else. The accessible seating will not be in the front row. We follow the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which specifies the number and arrangement required for accessible seating. If you arrive late, or in some cases even "on time" for an event, you may not get the seat you would prefer, and in some cases you may not be able to get in at all.

 

People who think they will need assistance at the convention can contact Accessibility Services in advance. We are available via email at accessibility@spocon.org.

 

  1. Volunteers

If you would like to volunteer to help with Accessibility Services (we are always on the lookout for those that can help staff the Accessibility Table, American Sign Language signers, trained sign language interpreters, and those experienced/comfortable in dealing with people who have accessibility needs), please contact Spocon’s Accessibility Advocate at: accessibility@spocon.org.

  1. Accessibility Table

Located within the Double Tree Hotel’s Lobby, the Accessibility Table volunteer staff are available to answer your accessibility-related questions in person and provide resources to make your Spocon experience great!

    1. Accessibility Table/Staff Hours

  • Friday 1:00 pm – 9:00 pm

  • Saturday 8:00 am - 8:00 pm

  • Sunday 8:00 am– 4:00pm change to 8:00 to 1:00 pm.

 

If you have accessibility needs outside of these hours, or if a volunteer is not available at the table during these scheduled hours (they may be away helping others), please ask the Double Tree Lobby staff, or the SpoCon Security volunteers for assistance.

    1. Accessibility Table Resources

The Accessibility Table has many resources available, including but not necessarily limited to:

  • Paddle/sign to hold up that says “Use the Mic” on one side and “Show your Mouth” on the other side. We have a limited number of these available.

  • Information on the nearest drugstores, ER, and walk-in clinics.

  • Copy of the SpoCon Harassment Policy

  • Accessible Restroom Tip Sheet.

  • List of wheelchair/scooter rental venues (also updated online).

  • Large hotel maps specifically marked with:

    • Accessible Entrances.

    • Best areas for service animal toilet breaks.

    • This year we do not have: Sensory Break Room, First Advisors Room, and Parenting Lounge. We hope to offer these is coming years.

    • Elevators for accessibility use.

    • Diaper changing stations.

  • Large print grid schedule.

 

 

  1. Panel Rooms

Each Spocon panel room has reserved wheelchair/scooter seating available on a first-come, first-served basis. Each panel room also has a reserved area for setting up camera tripods. Tripods should not be set up in aisles.

 

  1. Event Seating

Main Stage = Salon V (Large Programming).

If you need accessible seating for an event at Spocon, please alert a volunteer and they will do everything they can to get you accommodation. Accessible seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

For those who need accessible seating at the main stage (including members with visual impairments, hearing impairments, wheelchairs/scooters, or with other mobility issues), please arrive 20 minutes before showtime. The main stage has a reserved section of priority seating for those requiring assistance or accommodation. Once the doors have been opened for all to be admitted, the main stage ushers cannot guarantee anyone—even those with special needs—a seat.

 

Unfortunately, there is no room for storage of unused scooters or wheelchairs within the main stage space. If you want to transfer from your scooter or wheelchair to a stationary chair, your scooter or wheelchair will have to be stored outside of the main stage. The main stage ushers will assist in relocating and returning your mobility aid to you after the show. Please contact Spocon main stage volunteers if you have any questions.

  1. Scheduling

All Spocon panels and events are scheduled with at least one half hour break between them in order to allow everyone ample time to use the restroom and to travel to their next destination.

  1. Elevator Access

If you need reliable access to elevators in order to move around the hotel for reasons including difficulty riding escalators or climbing stairs, please stop by the Accessibility Table by the Double Tree's front desk when you arrive at the convention.

  1. Waiting in Lines

If you have physical challenges with standing in lines, please alert a Spocon volunteer and they will ensure you get accommodation. Ask for a security person/red shirt. for assistance.

 

If you have limited mobility or you use a mobility device such as a scooter, a walker, crutches, or a wheelchair, you may wait near the front of the line so that you will be able to take advantage of the accessible seating.

 

  1. Maps

Maps showing accessible paths in each of the Spocon hotels are available on the Maps page.

Plain text maps for Spocon 2017 are below.

These maps were designed to help visually impaired members navigate the convention and should be compatible for all screen reading software.

 

  • Spocon 2017 DoubleTree Text Map

  • Spocon 2017 DoubleTree Text Map (Accessible Path Version)

 

  1. Captioning

Unfortunately Spocon is not able to offer captioning at this year’s events. We hope in coming years to be able to offer such services.

 

  1. ASL Interpreters

While Spocon would love to be able to afford to offer free American Sign Language interpretation services, it is unfortunately beyond our budget this year. We hope in future years to have the resources available to offer such important services.

This page: https://www.dshs.wa.gov/altsa/odhh/contractor-wa-state Provides information about available services you may contact.

 

  1. Parents

Need a space at Spocon to feed your infant or toddler, change diapers, or express milk? This is usually available at a Parenting Lounge. Parents and caregivers with infants, toddlers, or children with special needs, as well as mothers and female-bodied people who need to express milk, are welcome in the Parenting Lounge. Unfortunately Spocon is unable to provide this dedicated space this year. We hope in future years to be be able to provide this space.

 

Restrooms with diaper changing tables are available, please see the map for the locations.

 

  1. Sensory Break Room

A sensory break room is a dedicated are available for the elderly, expectant mothers, parents with small infants, and people with disabilities including sensory sensitivities. Unfortunately Spocon is unable to provide this dedicated space this year. We hope in future years to be able to provide this space.

 

Service Animals

Service Animals as defined by the Federal ADA are welcome at Spocon and a special badge is available for your service animal if you would like one.

  1. Medical Needs

The Medical Needs room is offers both a refrigerator to store your medication for the day and a controlled space to see to your own medical needs. It is available at all times during the convention.

Unfortunately Spocon is not able to provide such a dedicate room this year. We hope in future years to be able to provide such dedicated space. However, if you have a room, and a medical need, you can request from the hotel a refrigerator for your room. The hotel has a very limited number, first come first serve.

 

 

  1. Hotels & Facilities

If you need an ADA compliant/accessible hotel room, please indicate that when you are booking your room and when you enter the Spocon hotel lobby. If you need other special hotel room accommodations, please contact the Hotel Room Allocations directly. Call the hotel reservation desk in advance. Tell them that you are attending Spocon, to get the special discount rate, and specify the accommodations you need. Availability is first come first serve.

 

Maps showing accessible paths in each of the Spocon hotels are available on the Maps page.

 

The Double Tree Hotel offers the following:

  • Accessible parking spaces for cars in the self-parking facility.

  • Van-accessible parking in the self-parking facility.

  • Accessible transportation with advance notice: Spokane Transit Authority Paratransit: https://www.spokanetransit.com/paratransit/what-is-paratransit

  • Accessible public entrances.

  • Accessible registration desk and concierge desk.

  • Accessible business center and hotel restaurant.

  • Accessible exercise facility and swimming pool.

  • Accessible guest rooms with mobility features, entry, or passage doors that provide 32” of clear width.

  • Accessible route from accessible public entrance to the accessible guestrooms.

  • Accessible route from accessible public entrance to the registration area.

  • Accessible route from accessible entrance to the meeting room/ballroom area.

  • Accessible route from accessible public entrance to at least one restaurant.

  • Accessible route from accessible public entrance to the business center.

  • Accessible route from accessible public entrance to the exercise facilities.

  • Accessible route from accessible public entrance to the spa.

  • Accessible route from accessible public entrance to the swimming pool.

  • Assistive listening devices for meetings upon request.

  • Closed captioning on televisions or closed captioning decoders.

  • TTY for guest use.

 

 Potential Barriers

Spocon strives to be accessible to all members. Due to financial, logistic, facility, and volunteer staffing limitations, some barriers still remain.

 

  • Public areas can get very crowded.

  • Not all of the Airport/Hotel Shuttles are always wheelchair/scooter accessible.

  • Valet parking is not available at the Double Tree during the convention.

  • Most of the programming rooms are illuminated with fluorescent lighting.

  • Some parties, events, or spaces may utilize strobe lighting and/or black lights.

  • Not all events offer captioning, assistive listening devices, or ASL interpreters.

  • Most convention signage features regular-sized print. If you have questions about signage during the convention, please visit the Accessibility Table by DoubleTree's front desk.

  • Spocon is not scent-free.

  • SpoCon does not have a Sensory Break Room this year.

  • SpoCon does not have a Parent Room this year.

  • SpoCon does not have a Medical Needs dedicate room this year.

  • SpoCon may have some events/locations with balloons.

 

Does Doubletree have any of the following accessibility equipment?

  • Audio enhancing headsets (like the INB)? Not at this time. They are open to possibly adding such items in the future.

  • Captioning projection/ equipment? Not at this time. They are open to possibly adding such items in the future.

  • Any contracts with ASL interpreters? Not at this time. They are open to possibly adding this in the future.

Business center accessibility

Narrow 33” doorway. If using a wheelchair, ask someone at the Doubletree Lobby front desk to remove one, or both of the office chairs in the small space, to allow wheelchair access.

Gym accessibility

Narrow 33” doorway, and be careful just inside the door, the space between an Eliptical and cabinet is very tight, and if someone using eliptical at the time, be careful of the back wheel from eliptical.

Pool and hot tub accessibility

Both very accessible! Both the pool and the hot tub have their own hoists!

 

Restaurants Accessibility

There are two restaurants inside the DoubleTree hotel, Spencer’s and Shadows.

Spencer’s entry

The main entrance is fine. As you proceed farther in, past the bar, heading to the restaurant seating, the Hostess stand makes for a tight 32” fit. However that stand is easy for them to slide to the side about 6”. I pointed this out to them, but just so you know to watch your fingers there.

Spencer’s Restrooms

The side hallway just inside the main Spencer’s entrance, branches left to the Men’s room, and right to the Ladies room. There is a long, thin table in this small hall, that makes a very tight 32” pinch point.

The doors are just wide enough.

There are accessible stalls in the rest rooms.

Shadows entry

Plenty of room for entry, though one side is a little bit of a 34” pinch point with rack of items, just be careful about bumping the rack. There are tables with removable chairs, so they can readily accommodate you, though you may have to deal with center posts.

Bathrooms

Yes there are accessible stalls throughout the hotel in the main rest rooms. The smaller side restrooms scattered throughout the hotel still need to be checked out for accessibility.

 

Diaper changing Stations

Diaper changing stations in all (most) ladies rooms.

 

Yes there is a diaper changing station in the Men’s room in Spencer’s bathroom.

 

There is NOT a diaper changing station in the Men’s room in the hally by Shadow’s Restaurant.

 

 

 

  1. Accessibility Advocate Contact Information

Spocon welcomes suggestions for making our convention more accessible! If you have a comment or suggestion about accessibility at Spocon, please contact Spocon Accessibility.

 

Accessibility Support Phone/Text:

 

Accessibility advocate(s) Email: accessibility@spocon.org

 

 

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