Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas With The Sesame Street Gang

One of Ashley's Christmas presents this year was going to the Sesame Street Live show at our Coliseum. She went two years ago and really, really enjoyed it, so today's trip was much anticipated by Ashley and I and Amy, Ashley's aide. But, our excitement was slightly dampened when we arrived at the Coliseum.

Although there was plenty of handicapped parking in the parking deck across the street from the Coliseum, there was no ramp or safe access from the parking deck to the facility. Amy and I had to push Ashley in her wheelchair up the entrance ramp to the deck. And then we had to travel a bit in the street just to reach the curb cut.

When we entered the Coliseum, a helpful worker directed us to the elevator which would take us to the floor level seats. I wanted Ashley to be as close to the stage as possible given her significant vision impairment, but when I ordered the tickets through TicketMaster, there was no way for me to request accessibility. I just hoped for the best.

Unfortunately, when we arrived on the floor level, the barrier around the seats had several openings to walk through, but a wheelchair couldn't be pushed through because there was a curb height barrier. The Coliseum workers tried to be helpful and said they would lift Ashley's chair over the barrier. But, as I mentioned before, Ashley doesn't like strangers touching her chair. So, Amy and I got Ashley to stand and step over the barrier, and then we lifted her chair over. Needless to say, I wasn't real pleased about this.

Then we found our seats. There were several rows back from the stage, and in the middle of the long row. I mentioned to another worker that we would need one of the chairs moved so Ashley could sit in her wheelchair. The worker said she couldn't do that. At that point, I was getting real annoyed, and Amy was even more annoyed. But, to the credit of the worker and the facility, they moved quickly to make things right.

After some back and forth conversations on walkie talkies, three manager-types showed up, told us they had another set of three seats for us, and that Ashley's chair would fit nicely on the end of the row. The seats were actually better than our original ones. The manager-types also told the worker to let them know when the show was almost over and they would set up a ramp to get Ashley's wheelchair over the barrier at the entrance. And finally, the worker stopped back by and said, "I think the characters will be stopping by to see Ashley!"

So, Ashley thoroughly enjoyed her Christmas gift as evidenced by the photos below!


Casdok said...

Her face says it all! :)

Anonymous said...

What a great Christmas gift! Worth the trouble of lack of access I am sure.

Ashley looks like she had a blast.

MMC said...

Aww, that's so sweet.
Maybe, just maybe, all that grief was worth it, to get Ashley some facetime with her friends.

little.birdy said...

Aw, I'm so glad that they worked to make things right. Yay for good times!