January 5th, 2012
|selkiechick||04:38 pm - Packing for the convention? Tips from Access Services|
Things to leave at home:
- Please consider going scent free for the convention, or at least limiting your use of perfumes. Perfumes are a very common allergen. I do understand that there are people who manage stress and anxiety with scents, but please keep in mind that what may be a lovely fruity scent to you, may make someone else quite ill, especially in enclosed spaces like elevators and panel rooms.
- If you have cats or dogs or ferrets or other furry family members, take the time to give your clothes a quick once-over with a lint brush to remove what excess hair you can. Con Attendees with allergies will be grateful for your thoughtfulness.
Things to make room for:
- If you do have allergies, please bring your medication. There will be service animals in attendance, and many other potential allergens, like perfumes, dusty books and a wide variety of foodstuffs.
- Arisia is a big convention- and the events are spread out, there may be much more walking than you are used to, and the floors are stone, concrete, or concrete with a little carpet. Bring some comfortable shoes, preferably with a little arch support! If you occasionally use mobility aids, seriously consider bringing them, to maximize your enjoyment of the convention.
- Bring a water bottle- stay hydrated. You'll feel better, and it will help keep away the con crud!
I hope everyone has a safe, enjoyable, healthy convention! If you have any questions or suggestions, please email access (at) arisia.org
|Date:||January 5th, 2012 10:15 pm (UTC)|| |
I second the fragrance free thing. If you need a certain scent to sleep or relax, keep it in your room and shower before going out into the con and making the elevators unusable for some people. Don't forget, if you touch something your fragrance lingers, sometimes hours later. Fragrances give me bad headaches and make it hard for me to breathe. I know several people that get debilitating migraines from fragrances.
But remember, unscented does not necessarily mean fragrance free. Many cosmetics and lotions say unscented but they use a masking fragrance. (I happen to react to the masking fragrance some products use as well.) Unless it says "Fragrance Free" it is not necessarily unscented.
I promise that my clothing and person will be as free of cat hair/dander as possible. :)
Thirded. And if you must use perfume, get someone else to do a sniff test. If they're more than a foot away from you, they shouldn't be able to smell you -- if they do, you've used too much. (I just wish more people on the shuttle I ride to work would do that...)
agree with this so much. Also just because its a natural scent doesn't mean it won't cause issues (I have a mild lavender allergy as an example).
As an occasional cane user I heartily endorse the idea of erring on the side of caution and bringing what you "might" need. Most years I don't need my cane on Friday, but inevitably need it at some point later in the weekend even if only to let my joints rest up during the day for easier party-hopping at night.
On the dehydration issue -- no matter how cold it gets outside, Arisia, like most cons, often gets quite warm. It helps to be able to dress lightly.
Also, use the stairs if you can - and remember that some people have invisible disabilities, so don't give someone a hard time if they *are* using the elevator and you don't think they're visibly disabled.
And please please PLEASE be reasonable about potential offenses to your own requirements or preferences! I have no idea what your allergies or disabilities are and I don't really need to know. But if you see me wearing a flower behind the ear, don't assume it's there intentionally to cause YOU grief. If you need a place to sit and all the chairs are taken, politely ASK for a seat. Who knows, maybe someone will offer first. OTOH if you -demand- that I take off that flower or stand up for you to sit, well, do you really expect a kindly response?
I'll try not to offend as long as you don't offend back :).
(NB- 'you' and 'I' not directly at any specific person, they're just convenient words)
While you might not be wearing a flower behind your ear as a personal attack, I will still go into anaphylaxis shock
My body can't tell the difference between the two. So if I say "I am super allergic to X" please understand I don't want to end up in an ambulance. My options are leave the area or ask you to remove the allergen so we can both enjoy the event.
After all, you want to enjoy the con, and me, I don't want to die. So yes I might be a bit rude in letting you know I can't breath and am about to collapse.
Let's understand the difference between a civil "Please remove the flower" and shouting from 20' away "Why Are You Wearing a FLOWER?? Don't you know that -I'm- allergic to them??". The former is much more likely to get a pleasant result. Unfortunately, a minority of fans tend towards the latter. These thoughts are aimed that direction. (Of course, they're probably not reading this, anyway.)
The entire point is that, while Arisia may request that people leave their perfume/flowers/flashing-lights/etc behind, it's unreasonable to expect that everyone gets the memo or complies with it. So the options are to leave the area, to nicely -ask- me to remove the flower, or to -demand- that I remove it. As long as it isn't the third, we're both OK. However, "I might be a bit rude..." might be met with rudeness and bad feelings, and there's really no excuse for either.
It's a two way street. Nice begets nice and rude begets rude.
I know I am going to regret this... Some times I wonder why people just don't understand food allergies are a matter of life and death. Honestly, no
I do understand that at best 5% of the people at Arisia know me well enough to know I have food allergies. So expecting any one to "know" I am allergic is to inflate my own importance to the point of narcissism. Having conceded that point, I also need you to understand my point of view. There exists in this world food that can kill me. If I am sitting on a bench and you sit down next to me with one of the foods that can kill me I will say thus ---"I am very allergic to X could you please not eat that near me?" Or as much of that sentence I am able to get out before needing my emergency inhaler an epi pen for emergency medical care. Since we are discussing rudeness, is it rude for a simple action on your part to send a fellow convention goer to the hospital? I am really at a loss trying to explain to you how dangerous food allergies are. You will be inconvenienced by not being allowed to eat peanuts. If you demand your right to eat peanuts near me, my body will shut down. Thus becoming a bigger inconvenience to me. I, nor anyone one else with food allergies should not have to give their life to be polite. I will never expect every one at the convention to know of my allergies, or for that matter the allergies of any one of the 5000+ people who will be at the Weston next weekend. Just meet me half way. I might have to raise my voice from 20 feet away because with my food allergies I can not get closer without risking an allergic reaction. When (if) you do remove the allergen I will become ever so grateful and treat you as someone who has saved my life. Because in a way you have, by inconveniencing your self just a tiny bit allowed me to live without an unpleasant experience.
I have a service dog, he is very sweet and has saved my life on many an occasion. I can only assume the percentage of people allergic to or afraid of dogs at the convention is equal to the percentage of people out side of the convention. So, having said that, if someone is so allergic to dogs that they can not be in the same room as my service dog without an unpleasant effect I will do my very best to remove the allergen, or item of fear. Now my service dog will get a bath and full blow out groom on Wednesday. In the hope that by Friday and through out the entire week he will be as close to dander free as he can be. I know that people who are afraid of dogs will never be able to deal with any dog, and my service dog, while being a special and well trained service dog is still, in the eyes of some, just a dog. I don't consider anyone telling me from 20 or even 30 feet away that they are afraid of my dog, and I will without argument remove both of us from the area.
I prefer to take on the lesser inconvenience of not hearing a panel, or getting a book signed, or watching a video, or what ever in exchange for not causing a medical emergency to a total stranger. You must be one of the lucky few who are blessed with excellent health, I envy you and hope you always will.
For what it's worth, I am allergic to tree nuts and tree fruits. My service dog is a keeshound named Byron
. I look forward to sitting down with you during the convention, purchasing you a beverage and having a conversation about anything other than food allergies.
I don't think nohwhere_man is being out of line at all.
I have panic attacks, sometimes I have trouble telling I am having them. Sometimes I act rude when I have them. There is no else to blame when I am rude but myself. This is an issue I have, which I have to deal with. I should not be placing on everyone else to put up with me being an ass just because I have this problem. It's not a free ride to be rude. If you panic and say "OMG PLEASE PUT THAT AWAY OR I COULD DIE!" You might be well to realize that is a rude response to holler at someone, and then say, "I'm sorry for freaking out at you, I just sort of panicked."
And if one can- it would be best to know ahead of time you will likely be walking into an environment where you will face these problems, and when people don't do things you'll be allergic to, it is done as a convenience to you. So when they are, they are just being themselves.
When you ask someone to do something for you, who is a stranger, you are in some ways asking them to inconvenience themselves on behalf of a stranger, who is either being kind or rude. You'd be better off to be kind, is really the only point.
If you're not kind, then you'll find that while what you want may not be unreasonable, not everyone is going to take kindly to a rude or panicky individual they do not know.
I can't yell for a room to clear out because I feel like I can't breathe. You can't EXPECT the world to bend to your will because you have issues most people don't. You have to also have some respect for that you are asking people to do something that maybe they don't want to do, or they feel like is ruining their fun. This is just life.
All Nohwhere_man is asking is that from both sides, we take a look at how each other are being perceived so that everyone will get along swimmingly.
Edited at 2012-01-06 09:43 pm (UTC)
Helping people be prepared is what I was hoping for with my post, both in letting people know about minimizing a common allergen, as well as letting people with allergies know what they are likely to encounter, so that they can make informed decisions about attendance, and prepare with medication or whatever else they will need.
Courtesy and understanding is key, but I hope most people would understand that if they are asking someone to do something, they get best results if they ask nicely, and, in turn, that people in the throes of a medical emergency may be terse.
Yup yup! Makes sense to me.
Nippy_frog- you have it exactly. This is nothing to do with making reasonable accommodations and everything to do with how we ask for them. We aim to have a civil society in fandom.
Thanks for the don't pet the service dogs note.
Please remind the people who do not have allergies that when someone with allergies requests they item they are allergic to that we might not be asking in the sweetest voice. That is because we are about to stop breathing. It's kind of hard to stop having allergies.
As to medications and specifically allergy medications I have learned it pays to overestimate how much to bring. It's better to return home with some left over in the pill case than to run out a T or taxi ride from the nearest CVS. Since my most severe allergy is to canines and service animals clearly and rightly trump my problems I will be doubling up on the drugs and armed with an emergency inhaler.
Edited at 2012-01-06 04:49 am (UTC)
I promise that if Byron and I can do so, we will remove ourselves. Your right to breath is more important than my right to see a video or attend a panel.
I understand the fragrance issue, but there's another odor issue that really needs mentioned. This is a large convention and had many people in small areas. There is no way to put this delicately - shower and use deodorant or anti-antiperspirant. Even just a daily shower with soap and water will make your fellow con-goers much happier.
|Date:||January 8th, 2012 06:04 am (UTC)|| |
Anonymous Coward here,
Regarding the Fragrance issue vs. the Body Odor issue
Please look up "The Hygiene Ninja", who attempted a humorous approach to this problem a few years ago, and the resultant flame war on these very pages.