Dear Editor: A few weeks ago, the Cap Times published my letter to the editor, "Abysmal accommodations for disabled at Breese Stevens." It turns out that the accommodations are very good. They've just done a very bad job telling disabled people about them. But it seems like that's about to change.
I was impressed when Conor Caloia, chief operating officer of Big Top Sports and Entertainment, which runs Breese Stevens Field, reached out to me to talk about it. I told him the whole story — not just about abysmal seating for disabled people, but for the trouble I went to just to obtain a ticket for the ADA section. He seemed genuinely surprised. Breese Stevens offers folding lawn chairs and stadium seats, and they bring disabled people onto the field to sit on the sidelines for sports events. Before the concert I attended, I had specifically asked a staff member if I could bring my own lawn chair. I was told that only wheelchairs were allowed in the ADA section. No one on the Breese Stevens staff — including the box office manager — would help me get an ADA ticket. Caloia seemed genuinely surprised.
He invited me to meet with him and the Breese Stevens general manager. I asked them to provide information for disabled people on their website, so we know what to ask for and where. Having an actual policy in writing will help. Obviously they need to train their staff so disabled people get the same response to questions and a helpful attitude. I explained that we need a separate entrance because most disabled people cannot wait in line.
I now look forward to the next time I attend an event at Breese Stevens field. I trust that I'll have a different experience.
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