My friend is coming this year and he has issues with his legs. Can only walk for a bit before there is a lot of pain. Are there wheel chairs or scooters available for folks on premise? Or do you need to bring something with you?
From our FAQ:
What type of aid do you offer to attendees with disabilities?Gen Con has a Special Services kiosk onsite to service anyone who is disabled or requires special assistance. Attendees visiting this kiosk can purchase badges and event tickets there or have their Will Call packet(s) collected from Will Call and brought to them at this location.When visiting the Special Services kiosk, you will be issued a wrist band to wear throughout the duration of the show. This will notify staff that you have a disability and qualify for special assistance such as expedited admission (bypassing lines) or reserved seating areas for specific events. Simply speak with anyone wearing a staff shirt to request assistance particular to your needs.Where can I get access to a wheelchair or scooter for the convention?Wheelchair loans are available in limited quantities through the Indiana Convention Center. Check out the Indiana Convention Center site or contact them directly at 317-262-3400 regarding wheelchair availability.
+1 for Special Services. As someone who uses a manual wheelchair, Special Services is a lifesaver. Along with Will Call, they take the stress out of getting your badge packets.
I rent a scooter each year for the con and have it delivered to my downtown hotel.
I’ve had consistently wonderful experiences with Indy Scooter Rental.
I just hope they resolve the issues they had last year with Special Services. People in line for 45+ minutes on crutches with no place to sit. At times the regular Customer Service line was moving faster than the Special Services line, since there was often only one person handling it.
I got hit by a car three years ago and needed to navigate GenCon post surgery with a completely reconstructed knee and broken tibia. I rented a scooter and insurance covered the cost. It wasn't cheap (I think it was around $200), but for me it was *well* worth it. I would have paid for it out of pocket if insurance hadn't. The scooter was delivered to my hotel (it was waiting at the bell hop when we arrived) and it literally made the convention possible for me. I used it to rove downtown Indy as well as the Convention for the 5 days we were at the con that year.
1. Plug in ANY time you stop and can find access to power. In the dealer's hall, there are plugs by the end walls that you can take advantage of. In the Convention center you can often find plugs along interior walls. Do not be shy about booting people with cell phones off the juice. Ask at restaurants if you can plug in somewhere as well. My one quibble was running out of juice at awkward moments which would leave me high and dry, trying to come up with a power outlet in desperation before the scooter stopped moving.
2. I brought along some folding crutches that were awesome. I could fold them up and bungie them to the back of the seat, but they only took up a fraction of the space of a full size set and didn't cause traffic problems they way a full size set might have.. This also gave me some mobility when I wanted to go without the scooter. (These were about $35 at Walmart, but I've seen them at Walgreens as well).
3. Order the scooter EARLY. I ordered in early June and was told that they would be out of rentals by the end of the week (and the company carries over 150 machines!). The rental guy said to do the rental as early as you can.
4. The scooter has a little basket in front, but it's worth your while to bring a backpack to throw over the back. I was grateful to have had the forethought to bring a couple of bungie cords and carabiners--they were super handy for jury rigging purchases and costume items to the scooter.
5. Be courteous about roving the Dealer's Hall during peak time slots. Obviously you have just as much right to be there as anyone, but I tried hit the hall on Thursday, a little on Friday and on Sunday afternoon. I avoided it altogether on Saturday, partly because I didn't want to be a road block and partly because I didn't want to get jostled by careless con-goers.
Does having a below the knee amputation count as handicapped under gencon rules. I should have my prosthetic by then., I am not asking for any hand outs, just a place to rest and maybe somewhere safe I can get into the dealers room when It opens.....
Actually, Special Services last year was terrible. There was no place to sit, and people on crutches were standing in line for 40+ minutes. They need to rethink how they do it, provide seats, and have at least 2 people working it at all times.
Maybe it was timing or something similar?
Could be. At the time we were there, they had one person working, and whatever he was dealing with took forever. Timing notwithstanding, not having seats was inexcusable.
Special Services is wonderful! They have helped us so much and make our experience at Gen Con great each year. My wife has Multiple Sclerosis and uses a manual wheelchair that I or my daughters push around. Just be patient getting around and politely ask for assistance when needed. We find Gen Con attendees some of the nicest of anywhere we travel, and the Gen Con staff and volunteers are excellent. They open doors for us, make gaps in traffic in the dealer hall, and will often offer to help my wife reach things she wants to look at. Most publishers are great as well making room in the booths so we can get in and even bringing demos and items down to my wife's level so she can see them. We have attended Gen Con six years now with the wheelchair and have enjoyed each year.
This year, I want to encourage others in wheelchairs and who have caregivers assisting them. I understand and want you to know others care as well. I had badges created that I will be carrying with me at Gen Con. If you want one, contact me via my blog or social media and we can find a time to meet so you can have a badge.