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Welcoming to all

GA Disability Task Force assesses, modifies meeting spaces

May 13, 2010

Minneapolis

Many Presbyterians will converge on Minneapolis for the 219th General Assembly (July 3-10), and the Committee on Local Arrangements aims to help make the experience run smoothly for all.

GA participants with special needs are encouraged to visit the special assistance booth near the registration area in the Minneapolis Convention Center.

The booth will offer plenty of resources, such as wheelchair repair information and contacts for medical, dental, pharmacy, grocery, pet care and optical services.

Accommodations for guests with special needs have been part of the planning process for this GA since the beginning. The Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area is privileged to have a Disability Task Force, which toured the assembly locations (the convention center and Nicollet Island) with special needs in mind.

Some of the accommodations:

  • It was determined that the "handicap-accessible" restrooms in the convention center are not large enough to accommodate turning of electric wheelchairs and scooters. All designated family restrooms have been reserved for those with disabilities.
  • Elevators are reserved for persons with disabilities. Those who are able-bodied are asked to use the escalators.
  • Portable restrooms that are accessible to people using wheelchairs will be available on Nicollet Island for the July 4 events.

"Members of all the committees opened their minds and hearts to the needs of people with disabilities," said Linda Wold, co-chair of the task force. "They were shown in concrete and gentle ways the importance of including those with disabilities and how simple it is to make accommodations."

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