Being physically disabled forces one to consider things most people don’t even think about when planning an outing, whether it be a shopping trip, carnival, fair, dinner at a restaurant, etc.
For example, I really want to attend an outdoor concert at a fair. Before going, it’s important for me to gather crucial information about the fair grounds, seating, etc.
I contacted the fair grounds and asked them about seating. They indicated that everyone has to bring their own chair. I asked about tickets, they said the concert is included in the price of entry at the gate. I asked them if they had an accessible seating area designated, because when sitting in general seating in a wheel chair, when people in front of you stand up, you can’t see the stage. They told me they did have an accessible seating area so I can see the show.
I had to check to see how far from parking the stage area is located. They indicated that they have two teams of staff on two golf carts to transport people with disabilities to the stage.
I went online and found pictures of the stage area to determine if the seating area was paved, gravel or grass and it appears the seating area is grass, but there are gravel walkways in a grid pattern that create sections, aisles. This is important because it’s difficult to use my manual chair in thick or uneven grass, loose gravel, etc.
There are so many things to consider, to think about. It’s not as simple as just arriving, parking the car, walking the fair grounds, getting to the stage and watching the show.
I’ve been told by other folks who have attended shows at this fair that they don’t know anything about an accessible seating area, so that I shouldn’t count on such a thing because the people from the fair might not want to tell me something that would prevent me from attending, as their revenue is generated primarily from gate admission.
I know this to be true, as my husband and I attended an outdoor concert last year. I made all the same inquiries and was guaranteed there were two accessible parking areas right at the gate, that someone would help me get inside to the field and locate me in front of the sound man’s table so I would be slightly elevated and be able to see over people standing, dancing, etc. None of those things turned out to be true.
I’m planning to attend, hoping to get close enough to the stage to be able to see the show and get some good pictures. I’m hoping I can buy some memorabilia and perhaps get an autograph. There are two shows, one at 7 pm and one at 9 pm, I’m hoping to stay for both.
I’m hoping for the best, that we won’t have made a wasted trip and that I’ll be able to enjoy the show without a lot of pain or inconvenience. Wish me luck!