Housing - just a suggestion...
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Posted by ytuni

I do not use the housing block since I live 1 1/2 hours from Indy and only get a hotel for Friday night. I do, however, see a lot of people complaining about the process, especially those with disabilities. Though some people feel that they NEED a connected hotel room for cosplay and whatnot, I would suggest that the only people who really need one are those with disabilities who cannot get between the ICC and a disconnected hotel without true difficulties. My only suggestion for future changes is to allow people with documented and verifiable disabilities which preclude them from attending without a connected hotel to gain early access to the housing block. Now, I know that this would add another burden onto Gen Con staff to verify attendee's early access requirements but it would just make the con so much better for a lot of people and may be worth it to the con in the long run.

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Posted by halveric

You make a great point about "need". Unfortunately, I'm not sure the ADA laws would allow GenCon to even ask about someone's disability. I could be wrong, since I don't know the details about it.

Anyone have any insight?

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Posted by ytuni

That's a good point, I just wonder if there's a difference in them asking and attendees offering the information freely. 

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Posted by jigreene

It is a noble idea, but ripe for abuse.  Google Disney disability pass abuse to see just how bad people can be.

Plus, even in a perfect world where people aren't horrible, how would they manage it?  What disabilities warrant a connected room?  Who is the arbiter?  I can't see a good outcome for GenCon.

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Posted by lordnlkon jigreene

jigreene wrote:
It is a noble idea, but ripe for abuse.  Google Disney disability pass abuse to see just how bad people can be.
Plus, even in a perfect world where people aren't horrible, how would they manage it?  What disabilities warrant a connected room?  Who is the arbiter?  I can't see a good outcome for GenCon.

This. Plus going to gencon is not a need, it’s a want. And it’s not like there are not transportation options for people who are disabled. Uber has wheel chair accessible vehicles, there are taxis with the same thing, there’s wheel chair accessible car rentals and they could always drive their own vehicle in. Look I know it’s not easy and I do sympathize that life is more difficult with mobility issues but it’s not I have to stay downtown or I can’t go. There are a lot of options.

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Posted by jde9942

completely disagree with this.  Gencon is everyone's vacation, and everyone deserves a shot at having a downtown room, regardless of your situation. 

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Posted by squirecam ytuni

ytuni wrote:
I do not use the housing block since I live 1 1/2 hours from Indy and only get a hotel for Friday night. I do, however, see a lot of people complaining about the process, especially those with disabilities. Though some people feel that they NEED a connected hotel room for cosplay and whatnot, I would suggest that the only people who really need one are those with disabilities who cannot get between the ICC and a disconnected hotel without true difficulties. My only suggestion for future changes is to allow people with documented and verifiable disabilities which preclude them from attending without a connected hotel to gain early access to the housing block. Now, I know that this would add another burden onto Gen Con staff to verify attendee's early access requirements but it would just make the con so much better for a lot of people and may be worth it to the con in the long run.
what disability would qualify? That's the issue.

although anyone taking an ADA room without a disability should be banned from using the portal in the future.

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Posted by selene314 lordnlkon

lordnlkon wrote:
jigreene wrote:
It is a noble idea, but ripe for abuse.  Google Disney disability pass abuse to see just how bad people can be.
Plus, even in a perfect world where people aren't horrible, how would they manage it?  What disabilities warrant a connected room?  Who is the arbiter?  I can't see a good outcome for GenCon.
This. Plus going to gencon is not a need, it’s a want. And it’s not like there are not transportation options for people who are disabled. Uber has wheel chair accessible vehicles, there are taxis with the same thing, there’s wheel chair accessible car rentals and they could always drive their own vehicle in. Look I know it’s not easy and I do sympathize that life is more difficult with mobility issues but it’s not I have to stay downtown or I can’t go. There are a lot of options.

This is the one case where I am inclined to grant preference for downtown rooms. 

I don't know much about Uber, but their business model does not seem like it would attract as many accessible vehicles as traditional taxis have, which is not many. I would hesitate to make travel plans that depend on several other people having an appropriate vehicle.
Bringing your own vehicle works if you have one, live within driving distance, and have a companion to drop you off and go park. It does not work if you fly in alone. And then there are people with minor mobility issues, who don't normally need a wheelchair but rent a scooter because Gen Con is too big to walk.

On the other hand, if you don't have a wheelchair/scooter, then an Uber dropping you off at the door might be better than a hotel 5 blocks away. I don't see any reason why mobility problems would specifically merit a skywalk-connected hotel. 

Unfortunately this discussion is probably moot, because privacy laws prevent Gen Con from asking about the nature of anyone's disability.

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Posted by hendelbolaf

From personal experience it is easier to get dropped off by taxi or Uber near a door than walk from a connected room if mobility is an issue. If the issue is the need for a quiet resting place, those are offered in the convention center. I am not sure of any case where a disability of any kind warrants a “connected” hotel room.

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Posted by garhkal jigreene

halveric wrote:
You make a great point about "need". Unfortunately, I'm not sure the ADA laws would allow GenCon to even ask about someone's disability. I could be wrong, since I don't know the details about it.
Anyone have any insight?

IIRC, by law, they can ask for sevice animals "what service does the animal provide"..  BUT not sure what it is concerning actual disabilities..
jigreene wrote:
It is a noble idea, but ripe for abuse.  Google Disney disability pass abuse to see just how bad people can be.
Plus, even in a perfect world where people aren't horrible, how would they manage it? 

Yea, i read about that whole disney issue..  AND i really hate how its gotten, to where you can't check, cause someone "might be offended"...
jigreene wrote:
What disabilities warrant a connected room?  Who is the arbiter?  I can't see a good outcome for GenCon.

Well, to ME, if you have a physical disability, such as in a wheel chair, that should be obvious..  BUT i can see those who would then cry foul that its discriminating against those with just mental disabilities..

 

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Posted by ploveking

 There are a lot of disabilities that have no visable indications. Sometimes they also have no clear diagnosis. And no, you don't get to ask, that is between the disabled person and their doctor. 

  If disabled people got priority for downtown, then we would just be reserving all of downtown for disabled people. In an event with 60,000 people if one in ten is disabled that's 6,000 hotel rooms for disabled people. Because tabletop gaming is accessible to people with physical limitations, it's reasonable to expect that we have slightly more incidence of disability than the general population. And because we are gamers, we would find ways to subvert that system. Reserved room downtown for disability? Great, hey Steve, we will pay for your badge, come to gencon with us! 

 Also, that would mean selling regular rooms to people with disabilities. You can't just call a room ADA compliant, it has to actually be ADA compliant.

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Posted by bithlord ytuni

ytuni wrote:
My only suggestion for future changes is to allow people with documented and verifiable disabilities which preclude them from attending without a connected hotel to gain early access to the housing block. 
This sounds like a good idea, until you try and implement it, and suddenly the proportion of people who "have a disability" is way higher than it statistically should be.  And you have to decide which person actually needs the room closer (hint: nobody *needs* it, because nobody needs to go to GenCon).

I'm actually of the opposite opinion to a lot of people (shocking!).  I think GenCon should get out of the housing block business entirely.  Let market prices and practices prevail, and only provide a housing block for GenCon employees.  

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Posted by rayken

One year I saw someone saying they were blind so they had to have a downtown room for navigation reasons.

Like, I was just very confused for many reasons.

And I also saw another person posting five or six times about needing a room because she was disabled (overweight and had anxiety I think?) and already booked a really expensive room out of downtown and was trying to trade it for a downtown room in block and was acting like it was a great deal.

I definitely predict major abuse of this system if it's implemented. This shouldn't even be a question, honestly. You have to be able to take care of yourself in certain circumstances, and this is not an event anyone is forcing you to go to. You should have, essentially, outside of the ADA rooms, the same chances as everyone else. 

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Posted by garhkal ploveking

ploveking wrote:
 And no, you don't get to ask, that is between the disabled person and their doctor.

BUt if, one has to prove disability to get those special license plates (or hanging tags) from the DMV, via certified doctors paperwork, WHY can't a hotel merely ask for proof?? 

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Posted by ytuni

I suppose I'm too hopeful that people would be descent enough to not abuse a system set up for the truly disabled... Upon reviewing your points I see that this would not work but it would be nice if people who needed a downtown/connected hotel in order to be able to attend were able to have a better chance at getting one. I'm a dreamer, what can I say... ;-)

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Posted by squirecam ytuni

ytuni wrote:
I suppose I'm too hopeful that people would be descent enough to not abuse a system set up for the truly disabled... Upon reviewing your points I see that this would not work but it would be nice if people who needed a downtown/connected hotel in order to be able to attend were able to have a better chance at getting one. I'm a dreamer, what can I say... ;-)
Do they set aside the ada rooms?
 

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Posted by garhkal ytuni

ytuni wrote:
I suppose I'm too hopeful that people would be descent enough to not abuse a system set up for the truly disabled...

I've unfortunately, seen imo way too many people who DO abuse it..
Such as fully capable 20-30 yr olds, who drive grandma's car, and willfully park in disabled spots, just 'cause they can'...  all cause granny does have disabled tags..

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Posted by indytechguy jde9942

jde9942 wrote:
completely disagree with this.  Gencon is everyone's vacation, and everyone deserves a shot at having a downtown room, regardless of your situation. 

I would tend to agree with this but it is not the most compassionate stance to take. I do believe there are (many?) people who abuse the system, but obviously there are those who need close access and a connected hotel is the best way to accommodate them.

I didn't realize, and now I'm confused, that ADA rooms could be sold to anyone once the "regular" rooms are sold out. Did I read that correctly? To me that doesn't make sense at all, especially the way the lottery system is setup. I guess in my mind, those rooms that have been certified ADA compliant should only be available to ADA folks. 

And I realize it is no one's business, but maybe there should be a way for hotel's to verify that someone does have a valid ADA need for a room and get them to the front of the queue, as in earlier or even first access in the queue. I know if I had a disability, and needed to be in a close hotel, I would be fine sharing my disability information to make sure I would have a chance at getting proper accommodations. Otherwise, can't anyone just say they have ADA needs? I get it though that some don't feel comfortable disclosing that information, or having some proof (a doctor's note?) but I can' think of any other way to make sure the people who definitely need close proximity get their needs met. So I agree with the OP. 

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Posted by roundtop

So adding some points for consideration.

1) the con does not have an Ada block. Each hotel has Ada rooms (by law), and once the block is submitted to the hotel, anyone that marked Ada will have an Ada room assigned (eg: king at jw becomes Ada king at jw) until the individual hotel is out of Ada rooms.

2) you cannot ask for "proof" of Ada status due to health privacy laws, Ada rules, and asking the question of where you draw the line of which disabilities qualify (against ada)

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Posted by indytechguy roundtop

roundtop wrote:2) you cannot ask for "proof" of Ada status due to health privacy laws, Ada rules, and asking the question of where you draw the line of which disabilities qualify (against ada)

I am not an attorney, but I believe regulations such as HIPAA are used protecting personal health information. If someone asks you for proof of ADA status, I don't see how that is a violation, because you can refuse to give them access to that information. In this situation, you are agreeing to share your personal healthcare information in exchange for a service designated for those with disabilities. And since I am not an attorney, there are probably laws/codes that cover why this would be wrong too and I'm over simplifying it. 

But I will assume you are correct and that I am incorrect. With not being able to ask for proof, there is no way to ever make this setup work as anyone could take advantage of the situation (not having to prove they have a disability that requires them to be in a connected room, etc.).

I guess, I sincerely feel bad for those who can't attend who were not able secure a ADA room nearby due to a system that is probably easily gamed (for lack of a better word). 

 

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