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Disabled People Don’t Belong In Music Venues, Apparently
Disabled People Don’t Belong In Music Venues, Apparently

Disabled People Don’t Belong In Music Venues, Apparently

 Ace RatcliffGuest Writer from Huffington post

Frequent ADA noncompliance means I have to physically and emotionally prepare before I see (or try to see) live music ― becau
Frequent ADA noncompliance means I have to physically and emotionally prepare before I see (or try to see) live music ― because it’s always a fight.

I used to see live music at least once a week, where I’d bathe in the colorful glow of stage lights while bass rattled my heart inside my rib cage. There is something transformative and healing about music ― you can almost reach out and touch it.

As a music lover, I scan Coachella’s lineup every year. The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is held every spring in Indio, California. The list of musicians gets more and more incredible each year, and 2018 is no exception: Beyoncé, Chromeo, Flatbush Zombies, Hayley Kiyoko, Ibeyi...

The longer I look at the list, the more frustrated I feel.

Music isn’t so easy to see live anymore. Five years ago, I was diagnosed with an incurable degenerative disease called Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. EDS is a collagen disorder that causes a slew of symptoms and comorbidities, including random joint dislocation.

My wheelchair ― my disability ― isn’t what prevents me from living my life to the fullest. Other people do that.

There’s no warning before it happens; most mornings, my hands are fully dislocated from my wrists when I wake up. A hiccup or a sneeze can dislocate my ribs, and I deal with incredible daily pain as a result. I can no longer stand for hours at center stage under the glow of the lights without dislocating my hips; I use a wheelchair to get around. I’m able to walk without the chair, but never for very long.

Concerts are expensive when you’re chronically ill and constantly paying medical bills, but beyond this, many music venues aren’t wheelchair accessible ― even if they claim to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA is a civil rights law that was passed in 1990. It prohibits discrimination based on disability and provides mandatory guidelines that businesses must follow in order to be physically accessible to disabled staff and patrons.

Frequent ADA noncompliance means I have to physically and emotionally prepare myself for a night out to see the musicians I love ― because it’s always a fight.

The battle often starts before I even get into the building, because I can’t buy handicapped tickets through Ticketmaster the way everyone else does. I have to get in touch with the venue to confirm accessibility options. Have you ever tried to get someone on the phone at a box office? It’s nearly impossible.

Then, I have to actually get myself inside the venue. This February, I waited at the foot of a set of steep stairs at The Fillmore in San Francisco for an employee to take my phone away (out of sight, with all my personal information unlocked) so he could scan my tickets. The entrance was located up that same long flight of stairs, so I had to go around back into an alley to get into the building.

The ramshackle elevator that would normally get me inside was out of order; the employees had me wheel up a ramp onto a freight elevator. The thing swayed back and forth the whole ride up.

“This is how we get the equipment upstairs,” an employee said, trying to encourage me through my reluctance. “We... send… multimillion dollars’ worth of equipment [up this way].”

But I am not equipment. Olen henkilö. Still, though our courts decided years ago that separate is not equal for anyone else, I don’t get to enter the venue with everyone else. I am treated the same way we treat drum kits and other inanimate objects.

If I want to see live music (even though I rarely see anything from my blocked view), I have to suck it up and deal.

Accessible areas within music venues often aren’t any better. The Fillmore has an upstairs balcony with a decent view and tables with cushioned chairs ― but no elevator to get up there. Downstairs, a row of uncomfortable wooden pews line the wall. Since they’re on the same level as the rest of the crowd, without any extra incline, my view of the stage was completely blocked by the audience.

By the time that night’s opening comedian closed his act on an ableist joke infantilizing wheelchair users, I couldn’t stop the tears streaming down my face. I’d been humiliated enough, and I left. Too terrified to use the freight elevator again, I walked down the steep staircase on a dislocated sacroiliac joint as my fiancé carried my wheelchair.

This is what passes for accessibility in the U.S. This is what businesses like Live Nation have determined is an acceptable experience for disabled people, who pay the same price as nondisabled patrons. If I want to see live music (even though I rarely see anything from my blocked view), I have to suck it up and deal. 

As desperately as I want to attend music festivals like other music lovers, I’ve come to accept it’s not going to happen. Most concerts aren’t designed for disabled people, and music festivals are just concerts turned up to 11.

Take the festival grounds, for example.I know from experience it’s nearly impossible to wheel my chair over polo grass without help. Other festivals I’ve attended claimed they were “fully navigable,” but the people who chose those adjectives apparently have never tried to navigate over puulastut or broken sidewalks.

Many music festivals claim to have ADA parking located near the entrance, but I have horror stories about so-called accessible parking. If you’re lucky, you often only have to deal with a lot that’s half a mile (or more) away from the main entrance. If you’re unlucky, you have to deal with this distance ja navigating through lotsovergrown with weeds or around concrete sidewalksbroken by tree roots. (BottleRock Napa Valley, I’m talking about you.)

Venues are supposed to have accessible viewing areas. Me, I’ve experienced cordoned-off folding chairs slapdash grouped in twos and stuffed in the far back corner of the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco, with barely enough room to navigate the narrow path between them without having to reorganize the entire section. I remember the accessible viewing areas at BottleRock, so far from the stage I couldn’t actually hear the band play, much less see them perform, atop a ramp that was literally made with plywood and duct tape.

Even if we’ve managed to successfully purchase tickets, get inside the venue and make it to the ADA viewing area, disabled people may not be able to watch the concert with our friends. On more than one occasion, I’ve only been able to bring one other person with me into accessible areas; staff members lifted their eyebrows as they informed me there simply wasn’ttarpeeksi tilaa for others to join me, as if my disability means I’m not allowed to have friends.

Onneksi jotkut musiikkifestivaalit tarjoavat Avustetut kuuntelulaitteet festivaalin kävijöille; Tämä vain saa minut ajattelemaan Kaikina aikoina olen luottanut captiview -laitteeseen Elokuvissa ja sai ne fyysisesti rikkoutumaan tai akku kuolee - ja kun sitä ei tapahdu, ne väistämättä ohittavat valtavia vuoropuhelun paloja.

Vammaiset eivät voi edes luottaa esteettömiin kylpyhuoneisiin konsertissa; Olen tarkkaillut pitkiä linjoja ei -olemattomia käärmeitä nurkan takana ja saavutettavissa oleviin kylpyhuoneisiin melkein jokaisessa paikassa, jossa olen ollut . Olen käyttänyt "saavutettavissa olevia" kylpyhuoneita rikkoutuneet lukot ja saippuan annostelijat ja uppoamiset liian korkealle, jotta voin saavuttaa. Koska kyllä, maailma tekee meidän nöyryyttävän tehdä jotain niin yksinkertaista kuin pissaa.

Itsepäisenä vammaisena, joka rakastaa elävää musiikkia, olen osallistunut (tai yrittänyt osallistua) kohtuulliseen osaan festivaaleista ja konserteista. Olen myös saanut liian monia tyhjiä anteeksipyyntöjä, leveyksiä, palautuksia ja tositteita, jotka "tulevat kokeilemaan meille uuden yrityksen", myös Live Nationilta. Minua on nöyryytetty, hajotettu, hämmentynyt ja uupunut monta kertaa. Loppujen lopuksi ainoa jäljellä oleva turvautumiseni on oikeustoimenpiteet - ja siihen liittyvä emotionaalinen työ ja rahallinen sitoutuminen.

Usein ADA: n noudattamatta jättäminen tarkoittaa, että minun on fyysisesti ja emotionaalisesti valmistauduttava yöhön nähdäkseni muusikoita, joita rakastan.

Pyörätuolini - vammaisuuteni - ei estä minua elämästä elämäni täysimääräisesti. Muut ihmiset tekevät niin.

Ihmiset, jotka suunnittelevat rakennuksia, joihin en voi päästä yksin.

Ihmiset, jotka kieltäytyvät korjaamasta rikki hissiä, koska heidän on väliaikaisesti sammuttaa tapahtumapaikka tehdäkseen niin.

Ihmiset bändeissä, jotka varaavat näytöksiä tarkistamatta, onko tapahtumapaikka saavutettavissa.

Ihmiset, jotka suunnittelevat festivaaleja ja konsertteja olettaen, että vammaiset eivät saa olla kiinnostuneita elävästä musiikista, koska olemme vähemmistö osallistumisessa.

Kun vammaisten on fyysisesti mahdotonta päästä rakennukseen tai matkustaa festivaalialueilla ilman apua, syrjäytymisemme on tosiasia. Se on syy siihen, että olemme niin harvoin väkijoukossa. Mutta kukaan ei pysähdy ihmettelemään, miksi emme ole rakennuksessa - tiedän, etten varmasti ennen kuin tarvitsin pyörätuolia autonomian saavuttamiseksi.

Saavutettavuus ei vaikuttanut minuun ennen kuin minulle todettiin rappeuttava sairaus; Nyt kun kiinnitän huomiota, ymmärrän, että olen vielä yksi vammainen musiikin rakastaja, joka ei näe elävää musiikkia, koska kokemusta ei ole suunniteltu läsnäolooni.

Ace Ratcliff elää hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos -oireyhtymän, dysautononomian ja syöttösolujen aktivaatiooireyhtymän kanssa, jotka kaikki tekevät erityisen kapinallisesta lihankadusta. Hänen puolustautumisensa keskittyy risteykseen feminismiin, jossa keskitytään erityiseen vammaisuusoikeuksiin.

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