Ah, Spring. When a young man’s fancy turns to…BASEBALL (of course). Is there any better time to renew our love of things that are simple and timeless and perfect in their execution? Spring and summer afternoons spent in front of the TV or by the radio taking in the glorious sights and sounds of this magnificent game, or, better still, being out at the old ballpark to see your favorite team up close and personal.
Talk about your experience of the holy.
Of course, for people with disabilities, going to see a baseball game can be as arduous a task as the Mets bullpen holding onto a lead. So I decided to do some searching on the web to see what major league baseball is doing to accommodate the needs of people with disabilities. Some of the newer ballparks are doing a more than credible job of accommodating people. Some of the older parks barely address the issue. But the one team that I found to have the most information about services to people with disabilities and the greatest emphasis on accommodating people with disabilities was (are you sitting down?) THOSE HATED NEW YORK YANKEES!!!!
That’s right, those Bronx Bombers of Bubble Bursting; those perennial pinstriped purveyors of (nearly) perfect seasons. Those…well, you get the idea! Say what you will about this franchise of evil, but you can’t say they’re inconsiderate of people with disabilities. Consider these amenities:
· Wheelchair accessible and designated aisle seats including premium seat locations
· Printed materials available in large print and braille
· Assistive listening devices available at no charge
· Two open caption video boards and on televisions located throughout the stadium
· 16 public elevators with operators stationed in each one
· Induction loops installed at approximately 50 locations
· Accessible restrooms located on all levels
· Electrical outlets available throughout the park for recharging wheelchairs, scooters and other medical equipment.
And there are lots more. Now that’s impressive. You couldn't ask much more from an organization, other than to have a losing season.
Why not check out your favorite team’s commitment to accessibility? It’s one way to find out if they’re a winner.
CERG Growth Consultant and UUA Liaison to Equual Access