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  1. #1
    Player
    Glaschuu's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    2
    Character
    Amerigo Metaxian
    World
    Balmung
    Main Class
    Dragoon Lv 70

    Accessibility Issues At Fanfest 2018 Las Vegas

    (1/2)

    I'd like to begin this thread by commending Square Enix for delivering a much improved experience from the 2016 FanFest in Las Vegas. However, 2018 FanFest still fell short in the area of accessibility, and I'd like to detail the problems I had as encouraged by one of your staff members working the floor this weekend.

    I have a spinal injury that makes standing for long periods of time incredibly taxing. I also cannot sprint or run much at all, or risk injuring myself further. I went into this FanFest full aware of my limitations, and I reached out to Square Enix prior to attending this FanFest regarding my concerns. My email was never answered.

    I chose to leave my mobility device (a cane) at home, as another was stolen at a different event. Because of this I knew I would have to take even more precautions than usual.

    My first complain is of your ADA seating. Only three rows at the front were reserved for ADA, and by the time I arrived at the key note a full hour before it was scheduled to start, all of the seats were taken. Because of this I had to walk around more than I should have to find an empty seat behind these rows, most of which were being saved by people for their friends, which I was told was not allowed but people did anyways. Flagging down a staff member took forever, which meant even more walking. I, and a friend who's also disabled and a blind attendee ended up being seated seven rows behind the assigned ADA seating. A giant set of stage lights blocked most of our view of the nearest monitor.

    My second complain is your lack of transparency when it came to signings. No schedule was offered, and the only way to find out when Koji, Soken and Yoshi were signing autographs was to be right there and then, and by the time I could make my way to the area where they were signing autographs, the line was already capped and your staff members were utterly uncaring when it came to mobility issues. One of your staff members merely repeated, "I cannot do that," over and over again when I explained to him that I couldn't run to the signings, that I was physically incapable of doing so, that I was physically disabled, etcetera. I missed Koji, Soken and Yoshi all in the same manner. After that I gave up on the Q&A and the Primals concert because your staff's devil may care attitude was so humiliating and off-putting.

    My third complaint is of your staff and their lack of training and compassion when it comes to disabled individuals. I must've had to say, "I'm disabled," at least ten times throughout this FanFest, and a lot of the times I was met with clueless stares and, once, a scoff. The situation above was particularly galling to me, as I was no more than mere minutes late to when the lines were being cut off, and no efforts were made to accommodate me or other disabled attendants.
    (6)
    Last edited by Glaschuu; 11-20-2018 at 12:40 PM. Reason: Clarity

  2. #2
    Player
    Glaschuu's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    2
    Character
    Amerigo Metaxian
    World
    Balmung
    Main Class
    Dragoon Lv 70
    (2/2)

    I understand the nature of conventions mean that individuals are served on a 'first come, first serve' basis, but the fact that I had no other problems in other areas like at the games room or the merchandise room—the staffer who was working the merchandise line, by the way, was incredibly understanding and empathetic, and I commend him and he definitely deserves a raise—lets me know that this shouldn't and doesn't have to be the norm.

    Square Enix underestimated the amount of disabled players that would attend this event, and I believe this is an area that could easily be improved with more ADA seating and proper coaching of your staff. I'm still a bit hurt that I missed out on meeting Koji, Soken and Yoshi when they were mere steps away from me, but I'm hopeful that next FanFest will be better.
    (4)
    Last edited by Glaschuu; 11-20-2018 at 05:44 AM.

  3. #3
    Community Rep Luxpheras's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    115
    Greetings!

    Thank you so much for taking the time to detail your experience with accessibility at Fan Fest. We can certainly understand how the impromptu signing sessions can be difficult to attend in these situations, and understand your frustration with that. Though we aim to be as fair and accommodating as possible, there's obviously some room for improvement on our end and we apologize for any inconveniences you experienced at our show! We'll also be sure to look into expanding the ADA assigned seating.

    We value your feedback, and will be sure to use it to improve our event experiences going forward.
    (3)
    Chenin "Luxpheras" Matthews - Community Team

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