My friend who went to the fest said she did not see any way for a person w/ physical disabilities to get in. I see on this website: http://www.yelp.com/biz/brooklyn-lyceum-brooklyn that it is NOT wheelchair accessible. What's up with that? It's a good thing I ended up not going; if I had shown up with all my zines, I would have been so. pissed.
A lot of places in the US have "grandfather clauses" that allow for only new construction or public buildings to be accessible and older buildings don't necessarily have to comply.
That being said, at the second Portland Zine Symposium we had it at a University and in basically a cafeteria. The University was obviously accessible but in the cafeteria there was a step up to some of the area....and as organizers we were taken to task for it. It was totally ignorant of us not to think about it and for me I would think that not having an accessible space would totally be a deal breaker for a zine fest space.
I will be completely honest in saying that the Gallery we are having the Richmond Zine Fest in this year is not 100% wheelchair accessible, but the downstairs portion is. This is because it is a building that is over 100 years old and is a historical landmark. The gallery is currently raising $$ to put in a lift to the upstairs but they do not know when it will be done. We do have volunteers who are willing to assist anyone up the stairs if needed.
This was a really tough decision for us to make. Of course, we've changed venues each year and may do it again in 2010 if need be. The reason we chose this gallery was size, cost and community involvement. The space last year was nice, but very very $$$. The space the prior year is too small since we have grown.
Regardless of how old a building is, I don't think it's at all acceptable to hold a community event that certain members of the community can not attend. And it's doubly wrong to not even tell people ahead of time that they will not be able to get in. To me, the NYC zine fest had no excuse, especially after charging a huge amount for tables. Certainly, there had to be other options. I mean, NYC is huge.
We'll Never Have Paris, that is really shitty - I wonder who they were and if they post here. I actually e-mailed the organizers yesterday, but have yet to hear back. I'd really like to hear what they say.
Hi Erin, Thank you for your message. At this time, the Brooklyn Lyceum is not officially wheelchair accessible, but I saw at least two people in wheelchairs visiting the tables
at the Fest, so they must have been assisted in entering the lower level of
the building.The building is gradually being improved over the years, and the money put into it is going into many things, one of those being wheelchair access.
We could not provide a perfect event, but we did our best to meet as many needs as possible.
Susan Thomas, on behalf of the NYC Zine Fest Organizing Committee
Some people are able to be lifted with their wheelchairs upstairs (although this is very dangerous), or even walk a bit unassisted. But for many wheelchair users, such as myself, this is not an option. It is very uncomfortable for me to be carried up stairs - also, my wheelchair weighs 300+ pounds.
I hope they don't have it at the same place next year - that would be very disappointing.
Hi, this is Susan Thomas, one of the organizers of the NYC Zine Fest. My understanding is this: At this time, the Brooklyn Lyceum is not officially wheelchair accessible. It is a hundred-year-old building that is gradually being improved, and one of the goals for the future is wheelchair accessibility. It was important to find a huge, affordable venue in New York City willing to take a chance on the event, and the Brooklyn Lyceum was the venue available to us. On a positive note, I did see at least two people in wheelchairs visiting the tables at the Fest (downstairs), so they must have been assisted in entering the lower level of the building. We did our best to meet as many needs as possible this year, and we are collecting and saving all feedback, positive and negative, before we decide if we will attempt this again next year. I will suggest that the Lyceum post the lack of wheelchair accessibility on the Lyceum website (it is found on Yelp). Sincerely, Susan