Accessibility for wheelchair and scooter users

Accessibility for wheelchair and scooter users (and their companions)

Accessibility in Program Spaces

All program rooms have a minimum door width of at least 32″.  None of them are power assisted. The larger ‘city’ function rooms as well as the ballrooms are double doors and we usually open both at the start and end of sessions.

We have open space in each of the programming rooms for those of you with mobility devices such as wheelchairs or motorized scooters. The exact space available will vary as we have a wide variety of spaces and layouts that we use throughout PantheaCon but we hold at least two spaces for assistive devices users and their companions per room.

The seats immediately adjacent to those open spaces should be held for any able-bodied companion of those who need assistance to get around the convention.

Aisles will be as wide as possible (almost always at least 40″) to allow people and wheeled people to pass each other freely within function rooms. Please be aware that standing or sitting in the aisles is not permitted.

Many of our rooms have the doors closed until shortly before the presentation time is due to start. Starting in 2016 we have Assistance Stickers available – please see that FAQ for details around seating, lines, and companions.

Please be aware that we cannot guarantee that there is space for you and/or your companions in every event. PantheaCon is frequently overfilled and we will do our best to accomodate everyone.

Currently none of our stages are wheelchair-accessible. We are working with the hotel to remedy this.

Video content is not common. We ask that presenters provide closed captioning but it is not always possible. We encourage you to reach out to the presenter after the presentation as well as let the programming department know so we can help in the future.

ASL is available if requested at least two weeks before the conference. If it is requested by someone we will also indicate it in the program.

Lighting is always kept at a level high enough to sight read lips for workshops and lectures. Occasionally it is a bit lower for some rituals but it is never completely dark. If this is a need for you, please let the programming staff or the presenter know so we can make adjustments for you.

Fire alarms throughout the hotel are audible as well as visual.

Elevators and rooms have Braille characters.

Accessibility in the Public Hotel Spaces

The hotel’s main function space is spread across 4 areas. All of them are accessible by elevator (you may have a wait) or stairs.

The dealers room, registration, info desks, green room and ‘City’ (San Jose, Santa Clara, Monterey, Carmel, San Carlos, San Simeon, San Martin) programming rooms are on the ground floor.

The upstairs ballrooms (Pine, Fir, Oak, Cedar and Silicon Valley) are accessible by a spiral staircase as well as a public elevator. They can also be reached along the ‘overland route’ which is outdoors and on the multi-level roof of the public areas of the hotel but there are a large number of stairs and landings and should not be considered an accessible route if you have any mobility issues.

On the second floor of the hotel, reachable by the public elevators in the hotel tower are the following convention services and rooms: some hospitality suites, Gryphon’s Lair, Convention Operations (including lost and found), the Pagan Youth space. There are also a few programming rooms, most of which are the size of hotel rooms and may be allow larger chairs and scooters to fit through the standard sizes doorways: The Boardroom and Reisling.

There are also suites on the 10th floor of the hotel. A number of the suites have larger double doors and more clearance space. Some however, are regular hotel rooms, so please be aware of that when you visit them.

All the public bathrooms in the hotel (outside the Bayshore ballroom near the dealers room, upstairs near the Tree ballroom, and at both ends of the City Room programming space have accessible stalls. The doors are not assistive however, so be aware of that limitation.

Exterior doors to the hotel are mixed as to whether they have power assist or not. The main doors to the hotel entrance, are double sliding doors that open when there is someone passing in front of the motion sensor.

None of the doors to the pool deck are power assisted due to safety issues required by California state law to protect minors in a potentially dangerous area. The only accessible entrance to the pool deck is opposite the entrance to the Monterey room. All the other entrances have at least a half flight of stairs.

This is a first step towards making the convention easier to access for everyone. Thank you for understanding as this is our third year with these seating arrangements and no doubt there will be education and learning involved for everyone as we continue to refine our process. Any programming staff you see at the convention will be happy to answer questions or help you as best we can as our process evolves.