ACCESSIBILITY SERVICES FAQ

Below are the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Accessibility Services. Feel free to click on the headers below to jump to the section for your question. If your question is not addressed here or if you need more information, please email us at disabilities@fanfest.com and we’ll respond within 48 hours.

What disabilities or access needs qualify for assistance?

Fan Fest does not have a set definition of what is or is not a disability or access need. Instead, all attendees who have challenges that would make an area of the convention inaccessible to them can receive help from Accessibility Services. A partial list of covered conditions is below, but this is not an inclusive list. Other conditions may qualify. Specific questions can be sent to disabilities@fanfest.com.

  • Wheelchair, electric scooter, crutches, walker, cane, or other mobility aid use
  • Broken bones
  • Recent surgeries
  • Joint or muscle damage or disorders, including temporary and permanent conditions
  • Breathing or lung disorders, including but not limited to Cystic Fibrosis, Emphysema, and COPD
  • Mental health disorders, including but not limited to Generalized Anxiety Disorder,
  • Social Anxiety Disorder, PTSD, Bipolar Disorder, and OCD
  • Heart conditions
  • Pregnancy
  • Autism and related disorders
  • Downs’ Syndrome and other developmental disorders
  • Deafness or hard of hearing
  • Blindness or low vision

Are there discounted or free tickets for support persons?

Attendees with a disability or access need who require the support of another person to attend the event can apply for a free general admission ticket for their support person. To qualify, the support person must be trained to provide vital medical, physical, or psychological support to the extent that an attendee with a disability or access need could not attend the event on their own.

Approved support persons will be issued a general admission ticket for each day that they will be attending. They may also get a “Personal Aide” Accessibility Pass at the convention, which will allow them to accompany an attendee with a disability or access need, regardless of the admission ticket that the attendee with a disability or access need has purchased. (If the attendee with a disability or access need has a higher level admission ticket, the support person will not receive or be able to use any of those perks, including any autograph, photo op, and t-shirt vouchers, and the ability to purchase an autograph in a presold line.)

There is a strict limit of one (1) support person per attendee with a disability or access need. All other members of a group will have to have the same admission ticket level as the attendee with a disability or access need in order to enter the same lines and areas of the convention.

To apply for this ticket, an attendee with a disability or access need may be asked to provide documentation as outlined below. Attendees must apply for this extra ticket BEFORE the event. This will allow the extra ticket to be issued when an application is approved, or allow the attendee to purchase an extra ticket in the event that an application is denied. All supporting documentation can be emailed to disabilities@fanfest.com.

US Residents: Attendees must submit one (1) of the following forms of documentation:

  • Letter confirming level of need from appropriate professional OR
  • Detailed description of support needed from the proposed support person

 

UK Residents: Attendees who have a current and valid Access Card with a “+1” symbol may show this card as their sole form of proof of need.

Attendees who are not Access Card holders must submit one (1) of the following forms of documentation:

  • Copy of current benefit entitlement (DLA or PIP) OR
  • Letter confirming level of need from appropriate professional OR
  • Detailed description of support needed from the proposed support person

 

Australia Residents: Attendees who have a current and valid Companion Card may show this card as their sole form of proof of need.

Attendees who do not hold a Companion Card must submit one (1) of the following forms of documentation:

  • Letter confirming level of need from appropriate professional OR
  • Detailed description of support needed from the proposed support person

 

Germany Residents: Attendees must present their current and valid Disability ID card with a B-status. Attendees without a B-status are not eligible for a free support person ticket.

 

Other Countries: Attendees must submit one (1) of the following forms of documentation (documents should be submitted in English):

  • Letter confirming level of need from appropriate professional OR 
  • Detailed description of support needed from the proposed support person

What if my support person does not qualify for a free ticket?

Attendees with a disability or access need who do not qualify for a free ticket for a support person may still designate one (1) person to accompany them at all times at the convention.

This person needs to purchase a general admission ticket for each day that they will attend, and may get a “Personal Aide” Accessibility Pass at the convention. Personal aides do not need to purchase the same admission pass type as the attendee with a disability or access need that they are accompanying, unless the aide wants to take advantage of VIP or higher-level perks.

When accompanying an attendee with a disability or access need, an attendee with a “Personal Aide” Accessibility Pass may enter all lines and areas that that attendee with a disability or access need may enter, but the aide cannot receive or use any of the perks of the attendee with a disability or access need’s admission pass. This includes autograph, photo op, and t-shirt vouchers, and the ability to purchase an autograph in a presold line.

There is a strict limit of one (1) personal aide per attendee with a disability or access need. All other members of a group will have to have the same admission ticket level as the attendee with a disability or access need in order to enter the same lines and areas of the convention.

Questions about this policy, including applications for an extra support person or personal aide if needed, should be sent to disabilities@fanfest.com.

Do I need to apply for assistance before the event?

Only if you need to apply for a ticket for a support person, need to request a sign language interpreter or other service, or have any questions about the policies.

There is no registration needed prior to attending the event for our standard accommodations, but we do encourage everyone to email if you have any questions. If you have a need that isn’t met by standard accommodations, or if you need additional assistance, please email us at disabilities@fanfest.com and let us know how we can help you.

NOTE: if you are requesting a sign language interpreter, please make sure to email us ahead of time with the number of people attending with you so that we can be sure to have enough interpreters on hand.

Do I need to bring proof of need with me to the event?

Not for our standard accommodations. If your needs are met by our standard accommodations packages, then you do not have to bring any proof of need with you. Accessibility Services team members may ask questions about your needs to help determine which on-site accommodations will best serve you, but any information given will be kept confidential and not recorded from show to show.

NOTE: If you are requesting special accommodation beyond our standard plans, including a free ticket for a support person or applying for a Wish request, you need to apply for these before the convention. You may be asked to provide documentation of need for non-standard accommodations.

Acceptable forms of documentation include the following:

  • A current and valid Access Card with the appropriate symbol (UK residents), Companion Card (Australia residents), or Disability ID with a B-Status (Germany residents) OR
  • A letter confirming level of need from appropriate professional OR
  • A detailed description of support needed from the proposed support person

How do I obtain a disabled or handicapped parking spot?

Parking at all venues is controlled by the venue itself, not by Fan Fest. Parking information can often be found on the venue website, or on our website under the “Venue” tab for each city.

Keep in mind that permits and decals will be required to be shown for handicapped or disabled parking spots, and parking may be subject to fees or tariffs.

Is the venue wheelchair-accessible?

Yes! All Fan Fest events, regardless of location, are checked for wheelchair-accessibility. All venues will have ramps or elevators available at main entrances, between rooms on the same floor, and between floors.

If needed, alternate access paths will be labeled and available to all attendees with a disability or access need. All US-based venues are ADA-compliant.

If you have questions about a specific venue, please check the venue’s website or feel free to email us at disabilities@fanfest.com.

How can I rent a wheelchair or other mobility device at the event?

Many Fan Fest events will have wheelchair and mobility device rentals on-site, but the prices, policies, and availability will vary by venue and by city. Please check the venue website or email disabilities@fanfest.com with questions about rentals in specific cities.

Are service animals permitted at the event?

Yes! Service Animals are permitted at every Fan Fest event. Please see below for details for each country:

US-based shows: In accordance with ADA law, Fan Fest defines a service animal as a dog or a miniature horse that is trained to perform a task or tasks to mitigate a handler’s disability or access need.

Providing companionship is not a recognized task, and Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) are not permitted at any Fan Fest event. Service animals do not have to show proof of registration or certification, and may be either owner or professionally-trained.

Service animals do need to be leashed (unless prevented by their handler’s disability or access need) at all times and under handler control. Service animals who are aggressive or uncontrolled may be removed from the event. In those cases, additional accommodations may be available to the handler and will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

All other shows: Service animals are subject to the above training and behavior guidelines, but must also show identification and registration of the dog, in accordance with local law.

Only dogs are recognized as service animals, and ESAs and other species are not permitted at the events.

Can I request a Sign Language Interpreter?

Yes! Fan Fest will provide sign language interpreter teams at all events. The interpreters will be certified in that country’s sign language (ASL for US shows, BSL for UK shows, GSD for Germany shows, and AUSLAN for Australia shows). Interpreters will be able to assist attendees in all areas of the convention.

Requests for interpreters should be made a minimum of three (3) weeks before the event, to ensure availability. Requests can be sent to disabilities@fanfest.com.

Tactile or transliteration interpreters can be provided with additional advance notice. Attendees should request these specialized services a minimum of five (5) weeks before the event.

Can I request live captioning or CART services for panels?

Yes. Fan Fest will do our best to provide live captioning or CART services where available. This service is not guaranteed, as availability and compatibility varies by city and venue.

Requests for captioning should be made a minimum of six (6) weeks before the event, to give us the best chance to arrange for it. Requests can be sent to disabilities@fanfest.com.

Are there reserved seats at panels for those with visual or hearing needs?

Yes. There will be seats reserved in the front two rows at all panels for those with visual or hearing needs. These seats will be given on a first come, first serve basis, and attendees will be required to have either a “Blind/ Low Vision” or a “Deaf/ Hard of Hearing” Accessibility Pass in order to use them. Attendees with these Accessibility Passes will be able to bring one (1) person with them.

Additional seating near speakers or with direct sight lines to video screens or the stage may be provided for larger events. Some seating may be prioritized based on need (access to a sign language interpreter vs proximity to a speaker, or sight line to read lips vs sight line to a video screen) to ensure all attendees with a disability or access needs are accommodated as fairly as possible.

Are there accommodations for standing in autograph lines?

Yes. Fan Fest uses a return time system, which lets an attendee with a disability or access need request a time to return to an autograph line rather than waiting in the physical line. This return time is based on the attendee with a disability or access need’s admission pass type, and will be the same wait time as if that attendee waited in the physical line. The system does not guarantee a short wait. It simply allows an attendee with a disability or access need to wait for their turn away from the physical line.

Every attendee who gets an Accessibility Pass will be given a special card for collecting return times. This card will be filled out by the ambassadors running each autograph line. Attendees can have two (2) active return times at a time. There is no limit on the total number of return times over the course of an event, but only two (2) may be active at any given time.

Return times are not guaranteed to be available for all lines. If an autograph line is currently restricted to just pre-sold autograph vouchers or specific admission pass types, or because of current demand or celebrity guest schedules, a return time may not be given. An attendee with a disability or access need cannot be turned away from a line due to their disability or access need, but the Accessibility Pass does not grant entry into an otherwise closed autograph line.

Note: return times are not guaranteed for any actor, just as standing in the line does not guarantee meeting an actor. In rare cases, sudden celebrity schedule changes may mean a return time cannot be honored. Fan Fest will do our best to ensure all return times can be honored, but we ask for your understanding when schedules must change.

Do those with disabilities need to purchase a presale autograph ticket?

Yes. While most autographs are not pre-sold before an event, there may be times that autographs for a very popular or limited-appearance celebrity guest are pre-sold. In those cases, all attendees, including those with a disability or access need, must have a pre-sold ticket in order to enter the autograph line at the event. The Accessibility Pass does not grant entry into a pre-sold line without a ticket.

Those with a disability or access need who have a pre-sold ticket can bring one (1) person through the line with them. This personal aide must have a “Personal Aide” Accessibility Pass and will not be allowed to purchase an autograph of their own (unless they have a pre-sold ticket of their own).

Are there accommodations at the photo op area for those with a disability or access need?

Yes. There will be a reserved seating area in the photo op area for attendees with a disability or access need. Attendees should plan to be at the photo op area no more than thirty (30) minutes before their scheduled photo op time, but no later than ten (10) minutes before the scheduled time. Only those who will be in the photo with the attendee with a disability or access need (or their one (1) support person/ personal aide) will be allowed into the seating area. When the photo op begins, an Accessibility Services team member will escort the group into the correct photo booth to get their photo.

*TRIGGER WARNING* The photo op area will have frequent flashes of light due to photography. The flashes will be concealed behind curtains, but may be visible to attendees both before and during photo op sessions. Those sensitive to light flashes should take care in this area, or contact staff ahead of time at disabilities@fanfest.com to discuss possible alternative to access.

*For information on visual and hearing accommodations in the panel room, please see our Visual and Hearing Need Accommodations section.*

Are there reserved seats for those with other disability or access needs at panels?

Yes. There will be end of row seating in all admission sections for attendees with a disability or access need. Attendees will be seated in their admission section. All reserved seats will be given on a first-come, first-serve basis, so attendees are encouraged to arrive at least thirty (30) minutes early for a panel. There will be a separate line for those with a disability or access need at each panel and seating will be available in this line.

Those accompanying an attendee with a disability or access need can sit with the attendee as long as they all arrive together and have the same admission ticket type. Seats cannot be saved by any attendee for any panel. Those with a “Personal Aide” Accessibility Pass can sit in the same section as the attendee they are assisting, regardless of their admission pass type.

Attendees with sensory needs may ask to be seated near an exit in their admission section. Attendees with medical conditions that may require exit and reentry during a panel can also request these seats. As these types of seats are limited, attendees with a disability or access need may be seated further back in their admission section in order to seat them as near an exit as possible.

Can I leave and re-enter a panel?

Yes. Attendees who need to leave the panel area during a panel due to a disability or access need may do so at any time. Please be sure to check with an ambassador before leaving to ensure you can easily re-enter the panel when you return.

If a panel was separately ticketed, you may be asked to show your ticket at the door when you come back.

Do you have a Quiet Room onsite?

Yes. Fan Fest provides a Quiet Room at every show. This is an area away from the main convention floor that provides a private place for attendees with a disability or access need or other needs. This room is open to all attendees, regardless of their disability or access need status. In times of heavy demand or special circumstances, access to the room may be limited to just those with Accessibility Passes.

All attendees using the Quiet Room are expected to follow all posted rules at all times. These rules include, but are not limited to, no eating, drinking, or sleeping, no audible music or sound effects, no photography or videography, and no loud conversations. These rules are intended to preserve the calming and quiet nature of the room.

Attendees who do not follow the rules may be asked to leave the room. Alternate locations for eating, drinking, and general relaxation can be suggested by the ambassadors working the room.

Can the Quiet Room be used for medication?

Yes. The Quiet Room is a private place, and can be used for medication administration. Medicine and medical supplies cannot be stored in the Quiet Room, however. This includes storage of wheelchairs, walkers, and other mobility devices.

Can the Quiet Room be used for breastfeeding and infant care?

Yes. The Quiet Room is available to use for breastfeeding, pumping, and bottle-feeding, as well 
as for changing infants. The room may also be used for feeding and changing older children and adults with disabilities, if other facilities are not available.

Can I request a Wish for myself or someone else?

Yes! Fan Fest is proud to have helped grant over two dozen Wishes for children and adults with terminal or chronic medical conditions. These Wishes are tailored to the recipient and those who attend with them to ensure a truly unique experience for everyone.

Each Wish request is evaluated on an individual basis before being granted, and there are no set guidelines on which conditions qualify for a wish. Requests are often made by an official charity, but requests from individuals are also accepted for consideration.

Due to the resources and time needed to grant each Wish, requests must be made at least six (6) weeks prior to an event to be considered.

While proof of need is never required for basic accommodations, those requesting a Wish are asked to provide documentation of need for the recipient. All those interested in learning more about the Wish program, or those wishing to apply for it, should email disabilities@fanfest.com.

I work with a charity. Can we request autographs or other donations?

Yes. Fan Fest does arrange for donations of autographs, photos, and other items to qualifying charities.

To be considered for this, please email disabilities@fanfest.com with the name of your charity, your most recent 501(c)3 letter (or other supporting official documentation for non-US-based charities), the mission of your charity, what show(s) you would like to attend, what items you would like to be donated, and how those items will be used by your charity.

Due to demand, all requests must be made at least three (3) weeks prior to the event. Charities may only attend two (2) events per year, and may be asked to reapply each year.