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 [email protected] and we’ll respond within 48 hours.
DISABILITY & ACCESSIBILITY SERVICES FAQ
What disabilities qualify for assistance?
Fan Fest does not have a set definition of what is or is not a disability. Instead, all attendees who have challenges that would make an area of the convention inaccessible to them can receive help from Disability Services. A partial list of covered conditions is below, but this is not an inclusive list. Other conditions may qualify.
- Wheelchair 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
- Autism and related disorders
- Downs’ Syndrome and other developmental disorders
- Deafness or hard of hearing
- Blindness or low vision
Do I need to apply for assistance before the event?
No. There is no registration needed prior to attending the event for any attendee. If you have a need that isn’t met by standard accommodations, or if you need additional assistance, you are more than welcome to email us and let us know how we can help.
If you are requesting a sign language interpreter, we do ask that you 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 at US or UK-based shows. In accordance with HIPAA, ADA law, and the Equality Act of 2010, no proof of need is ever asked for or required at a Fan Fest event. Accessibility Services team members may ask questions about your needs to help determine which onsite accommodations will best serve you, but any information given will be kept confidential and not recorded from show to show.
Attendees at Australian or German events only need show proof of need when requesting a free Caregiver ticket. Attendees in Australia will need to show a valid Companion Card to receive a free Caregiver ticket, while attendees in Germany will need to present a valid B-status Disability ID card. These can be presented at Will Call on the day of the event. No pre-registration is needed for these.
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. Please see below for more information.
For US shows, all venues do have handicapped parking onsite. Permits will be required to be displayed, and parking is often first come, first serve on the day of the show. Parking may be subject to a standard fee, but will never be more than a non-handicapped spot in the same deck.
For UK shows, the London venue also has disabled spots available in the onsite parking deck. These are subject to the same tariff as non-disabled spots, require a Blue Badge to be displayed, and are given on a first come, first serve basis.
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 disabilities. 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 [email protected].
How can I rent a wheelchair or other mobility device at the event?
Many Fan Fest events will have wheelchair and mobility device rentals onsite, but the prices, policies, and availability will vary by venue and by city. Please check the venue website or email [email protected] 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 and UK-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.
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) 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.
Germany and Australia-based 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-based shows, BSL for UK-based shows, GSD for Germany-based shows, and AUSLAN for Australia-based 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 [email protected].
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 [email protected].
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” disability access pass in order to use them. Attendees with these access passes will be able to bring one (1) companion 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’ needs are met 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 request a time to return to an autograph line rather than waiting in the physical line. This return time is based on the attendee’s admission pass type, and will be the same wait time as if the attendee waited in the physical line. The system does not guarantee a short wait. It simply allows an attendee with a disability to wait for their turn away from the physical line.
Every attendee who gets a disability access 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 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 may be active at any given time.
Return Times are not guaranteed to be available for all lines. If an autograph line is currently closed due to pre-sold autograph vouchers only, specific admission pass types only, current demand and space constraints, or celebrity guest schedules, a return time may not be given. An attendee with a disability cannot be turned away from a line due to their disability, but the disability access pass does not grant entry into an otherwise closed autograph line.
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 disabilities, must have a pre-sold ticket in order to enter the autograph line at the event. The disability access pass does not grant entry into a pre-sold line without a ticket.
Those with disabilities who have a pre-sold ticket can bring one (1) companion through the line with them. This companion must have a “Personal Aide” disability access pass and will not be allowed to purchase an autograph of their own (unless they have a pre-sold ticket of their own).
*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 [email protected] to discuss possible alternative to access.
Are there accommodations at the photo op area for those with disabilities?
Yes. There will be a reserved seating area in the photo op area for attendees with disabilities. Attendees should plan to be at the photo op area no more than 30 minutes before their scheduled photo op time, but no later than 10 minutes before the scheduled time.
The attendee with a disability plus anyone in their photo (or one (1) companion if the attendee is taking a photo by themselves) will be allowed into the seating area. When the photo op begins, a Disability Services team member will escort the group into the correct photo booth to get their photo.
Are there reserved seats for those with other disabilities at panels?
Yes. There will be end of row seating in all admission sections for attendees with disabilities. 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 30 minutes early for a panel. There will be a separate line for those with disabilities at each panel and seating will be available in this line.
Companions and those accompanying an attendee with a disability 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. Companions or caregivers with a “Personal Aide” disability access 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 disabilities may be seated further back in their admission section in order to seat them as near an exit as possible.
Yes. Attendees who need to leave the panel area during a panel due to a disability 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.
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.
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 disabilities or other needs. This room is open to all attendees, regardless of their disability status. In times of heavy demand or special circumstances, access to the room may be limited to just those with disability access 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 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 special experience 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 [email protected].
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 [email protected] 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.