14 July 2017

Dodgers: Wheelchair Royalty

Hi guys!
Hope everyone is having a great 1st half of July so far. Can you believe how quickly this summer/year has gone by? Unfortunately do to the heat and my health, I was not able to post this review last week as I would have liked to but boy are you guys in for a treat now so pull up a chair and lets chat about the fabulous and I do mean fabulous royal treatment accessible patrons receive at the LA Dodgers Stadium!

Buying Tickets:
If you are buying accessible seating at the Dodger Stadium for the first time, please go online to ADA Tickets where you can select which game you want to attend and a standard ticketing "select your seats" page will pop up. Make sure you can see the warning in red about this being for ADA accessible seating! Once all is confirmed, you will have a handful of seating options from around the field (with the majority of the seats being in Loge Box level). Each accessible guest of the Dodgers may choose to sit with family/friends in the accessible seating area but please be mindful that there are only 4 seats in each "box" and seats are limited, especially in the cheaper top deck options.

Navigating the Field/Parking Lot:
Once we arrived at the Dodgers Stadium, my friend and I asked the friendly parking attendant if there was a spot for handicap parking and he said to show our placard to the attendant who would be guiding us as to where to park and they'd help us out. Sure enough, he saw our placard, asked where our seats were (so thoughtful! even I hadn't thought of that as being necessary) and guided us to the front row of the closest section meaning the least amount of walking needed. Thank you friendly Dodgers Stadium parking attendants!

After proceeding to the main entrance, I was amazed by the great service from start to finish. A lady employee spotted me in my wheelchair and told my friend and me to use the first set of metal detectors as that would be easier and what do you know? Within less than a minute (no joke!) a female security guard was there smiling and ready to pat me down so I could move right into the park without further hassle. Incredible service and such friendly attendants! You'll see this is a common trend.
For those sitting in the Loge section, you are directed to go directly behind home plate where you'll find a hallway with ADA elevators and a few staff members on hand to help out. The first time we walked right by it (Oops!) but never fear the signage is excellent and employees are eager to help out when asked questions. We had a decent wait since there were only 2 ADA elevators and both in constant use. But that is no big deal since you'll find yourself smack dab in the art and collectible store with vintage photographs and paintings of all your favorite Dodgers moments so that was a nice treat while waiting.

After the elevator arrives, a smiling attendant asks where you are going to and pushes the button before presto! the elevator is moving on its merry way. Old school service! Very nice. We were quickly let off on the Loge Box level and found our seats immediately, thanks to the help of the friendly EMT team.

More specifics from the website are below:
Accessible ParkingThe accessible parking spaces required by law are located in parking lots B, D, G, L, N, & P and are reserved for those properly holding and using a valid, state-issued disabled parking placard or license plate, whether or not the drivers have paid for preferred parking in any of those lots. Parking cashiers and attendants are happy to direct drivers of eligible vehicles to these areas. Accessible parking stalls are available on a first-come and first-served basis. Once full, fans will be directed to the nearest lot where regular parking stalls are still available. 
The Los Angeles Dodgers offer a courtesy ADA shuttle that is reserved for our guests with disabilities. This ADA shuttle operates from the various parking lots to the areas near the entry gates. In order to arrange for this service once you have parked, you may call the Dodger Hotline at (323) 224-2611 to have the shuttle dispatched to your location. 
Shuttle/Golf Cart ServicesThe Los Angeles Dodgers offer a courtesy ADA shuttle that is reserved for our guests with disabilities. This ADA shuttle operates from the various parking lots to the areas near the entry gates. In order to arrange for this service once you have parked, you may call the Dodger Hotline at (323) 224-2611 to have the shuttle dispatched to your location.

The Boxes:
The boxes are setup with 4 movable chairs (forward to sideways) meaning you can EASILY slide a wheelchair into place without much hassle.
And the best part for me is the ample and i do mean AMPLE leg room for stretching out my legs.
The only negative about the seats, if any, has to be the overhang that can get in the way of your view. I had originally wanted to get Friday Fireworks tickets but my friend wisely pointed out that the view would have been obscured by the overhang. Personally from our seats in 139LG, the American flag and the top portions of the jumbo-trons were partially obscured and the mini television screens above the wheelchair seating only showcased the live television broadcast.

All in all, I was really impressed with the fabulous guest service at the LA Dodgers Stadium and the ample seating space for their accessible patrons. If you are eager to catch a sporting game this summer, I would 500% recommend checking out the LA Dodgers!

For those who are interested in service animals, assistive listening devices and wheelchair assistance, see below:
Hearing and Visually ImpairedAssistive listening devices for fans with hearing and/or visual impairments are available for checkout at any Fan Services Station. 
Service AnimalsService animals are welcome in all public areas of the stadium where the guest using the service animal may go. A service animal shall be under the control of its handler at all times. A service animal shall have a harness, leash, or other tether, unless either the handler is unable because of a disability to use a harness, leash, or other tether, or the use of a harness, leash, or other tether would interfere with the service animal´s safe, effective performance of work or tasks, in which case the service animal must be otherwise under the handler´s control (e.g., voice control, signals, or other effective means). Guests with service animals are responsible for cleaning up after their animals and for their appropriate behavior toward other guests and Dodger personnel at all times. A failure to do may result in the animal's removal from the stadium. The Dodgers are not responsible in any way for the care or supervision of a service animal. 
Wheelchair AssistanceWheelchair and Accessible seating can be purchased by calling the Dodgers' ticket office at 866-DODGERS or online at www.dodgers.com. Guest using wheelchairs (or other mobility devices) who prefer to sit in non-accessible seating may check in and store their wheelchair or other mobility device by bringing them to designated areas on the Left and Right Field plazas on Field level, adjacent to the Fan Services Stations, or behind home plate on all other levels.   
Escorts for those using wheelchairs are available inside the stadium from any gate on a first-come, first served basis by contacting any security personnel or ticket taker.
Guest who use other mobility devices such as Segways are provided escorts to their seats and storage for their devices in the same locations as the wheelchairs. Electric scooters can be accommodated in ADA seating areas or stored in the same manner and in the same locations as the wheelchairs.

I hope you enjoyed this review and are looking forward to enjoying your own royal treatment care of the great customer service at the LA Dodgers' Stadium.

Disclaimer: I received my tickets for review purposes but all opinions and photographs are my own.

08 July 2017

Vlog 002: A day at the doctor's

Follow along as I visit my new Osteopath (Centers for Family Health) and get a ride home with the incredible Ventura Transit Service! Hope you'll enjoy my new foray into the Vlogging world as I give my fingers/hands a rest.

x Joy

05 July 2017

Kingsmen Shakespeare: Love's Labour's Lost

Under the direction of Kevin P. Kern, Kingsmen Shakespeare Company's production of the oft not performed Shakespearean play, Love's Labour's Lost, is a hoot! The ensemble cast, boasting many talented members of the Actors' Equity Association, works well together as they sing, dance (hilariously - and not to be spoiled! - choreographed by Jeff Wallach), snog, grope, exude pathos and come together in this hilarious romp of a comedy by the Bard himself.
Even if you have never seen this earlier comedy by Shakespeare you will surely pick up on key themes that made their way into his later and better known plays such as Twelfth Night and Midsummer's Night Dream. And never fret, if you find yourself drowning in Elizabethan English, Kern expertly uses side splitting comedy, campy sequences, and hilarious dance routines (again, not to be spoiled!) to draw the audience in and even breaks the fourth wall inviting audience participation.
The ensemble cast (whom you will also see in John Slade's later production of Julius Caesar) are all Aces! The stand-outs have to be Louis Jerry Kernion (as the comedic Costard) who had me holding my side from laughing so much, Samantha Eggers & Ross Hellwig as the stunning Princess and her adoring Ferdinand, Todd Lanker as the lovelorn Berowne who makes use of some of the best lines in the play, and Jason D. Rennie & Thuy Duong as the ridiculous Armando and his page, Moth.

The story is set pre-World War I with gorgeous costumes by Howard Schmitt and fantasy-esque sets by Brian Reed.

For those of you who have never been to a Kingsmen Shakespeare Company production, you are in for a treat. The professional cast and crew have certainly worked hard to bring us not one but two productions this summer (the comedy Love's Labour's Lost and the history Julius Caesar). Most performers from this month's comedy will also be featured in the second production opening on 21 July.
There are lawn boxes (room for 4-6 adults) available for purchase meaning you'll have front and center seating ($90-110).
For the general public, individual tickets can be purchased on the night of the performance for $20 per person (minors under 18 are FREE).

Everyone is responsible for their own chairs and/or blankets. Low chairs are required for the majority of the lawn boxes and all chair sizes are allowed in the general public seating behind the boxes.

As someone who was in the rear of the general public seating, I could see perfectly well, heard all the actors nice and clearly (I am thinking they might be mic'd) and enjoyed being in the open night air watching some Shakespeare come to life.

Coming Early is Highly Recommended:
The park opens at 5:30pm to the public. I would suggest doing as my friend and I did in preparing or buying some dinner en route that you can enjoy at the festival prior to the show beginning. There is a pre-show presentation (approx. 6:45pm/7:00pm) that might help anyone who is not familiar with the material in grasping an idea of what you are about to see!

I took my walker to the show on 1 July (Saturday) and felt completely comfortable and safe traipsing over the lawn and to and from the parking lot. The website mentions a "hill" that was a bit scary when I read it but thankfully I think it is nothing to dread or be worried about! For those who want to be in the lawn boxes, there are several boxes ($90 each) that allow regular sized chairs for accessible patrons.

And last but not least there are plenty of handicap parking spaces up front of the parking lot and a concrete walk way that leads straight to the entrance of the festival!

Age Appropriate:
I lost count of the number of references to the male anatomy. While there is no sex, violence and language a contemporary audience would find astonishing, there were definitely a great number of sexual jokes and innuendos and Kern made sure to emphasize those jokes with physical props. I imagine those jokes and references might even go over the heads of the young people in the audience but for families it is probably wise to be prepared should your son or daughter ask about a certain character's sword or why a woman's mark "should have a prick in't, to mete at, if it may be", etc.

Location (Free Parking):
California Lutheran University
60 West Olsen Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360

Directions from 101-South
Exit Lynn Road
Left on Lynn Road
Continue onto Olsen Road
Right on MountClef Blvd.
Parking is in the first lot on the right.

Directions from 101-North
Take Exit 16 for CA-23 North
Exit Sunset Hills Blvd.
Left on Sunset Hills Blvd
Left on Olsen Road
Left on MountClef Blvd.
Parking is in the first lot on the right.

Love's Labour's Lost continues... 7/7-9, 7/14/16
Julius Caesar plays... 7/21-23, 7/28/30, and 8/4-6
All performances start at 8pm

Disclaimer: My tickets were complimentary in exchange for a review but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

01 July 2017

Disney Drama Continues!

After my latest post yesterday about my discrimination by Disney Public Relations because of my disability, I wanted to give Disney Public Relations a chance to respond. Only fair, right?

Here is the e-mail I sent them:
Hi DLR Team,
Ever since ... accepted my media request in 2015 to review the holiday experience on my Vlog, I have had 3 denials from Disney in the last 8 months to review the disability accessibility experience on my blog and I kept asking for a reason but received no reply. I also received no replies to the emails I sent asking for details about accessibility. As a huge fan of Disney I hate to think I am being denied because Disney is anti-disability but what other reason should I imagine when I am receiving no information from your team and my queries continue to not be answered.
Please see my latest Disney post:
Maybe this is something your team should be aware of. Perhaps it is an unintentional slight? As I said, I hate to think anything bad of Disney but what else am I left to think?
And here is the response I received from a Director of Public Relations:
Thank you for your interest in the Disneyland Resort, and the inquiry about the guest accessibility in the parks.

We are happy to share the following information, which is available to our guests and the public. It’s at Disneyland.com, on this link.
Thank you! 
I was shocked and very disappointed when I received this e-mail a few minutes after sending my earlier e-mail. I had explained my "case" and asked for an explanation that would discredit my earlier assumptions. But all I got back from this Director of Public Relations was a form letter. 

Thanks a lot, Disney. :(