[Ohio-Talk] Ohio State Fair More Accessible Than Ever Before

Eric Duffy peduffy63 at gmail.com
Fri Jun 28 17:57:03 UTC 2019

This is from the OOD Newsletter


Ohio State Fair More Accessible Than Ever Before

A crowd gathers at the Ohio State Fair to listen to the All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir.
This year’s Ohio State Fair will be more accessible and inclusive for everyone!

Three new efforts will provide fairgoers with improved accessibility when the Ohio State Fair takes place July 24 - August 4: wheelchair/mobility charging stations, technology to connect people who are blind or have low vision to an agent who can help with navigation, and a dedicated sensory-friendly morning.

“I am pleased that Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities is helping to expand access to the Fair by providing wheelchair/mobility charging stations and navigation aid technology. The Fair also will offer a dedicated sensory-friendly time to visit,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. “These resources will help even more people celebrate Ohio’s products, businesses, people, and history. Whatever you are looking for, you can Find It Here at the Ohio State Fair!” 

Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities teamed up with the State Fair to make complimentary wheelchair/mobility charging stations available this year. The stations are in marked areas in the Bricker MarketPlace Building, Kasich Hall, Lausche Youth Center, Natural Resources Park Pavilion, Taste of Ohio Café, and the WCOL Celeste Center.

“The Ohio State Fair is a great way to recharge from work and enjoy the summer,” said OOD Director Kevin Miller. “Since visitors usually spend the entire day at the Fair, it’s important that charging stations are available to keep wheelchairs, scooters, and other mobility devices going strong.”

Also made available with support from OOD and the National Federation of the Blind <http://links.govdelivery.com/track?type=click&enid=ZWFzPTEmbWFpbGluZ2lkPTIwMTkwNjI4Ljc0ODk2OTEmbWVzc2FnZWlkPU1EQi1QUkQtQlVMLTIwMTkwNjI4Ljc0ODk2OTEmZGF0YWJhc2VpZD0xMDAxJnNlcmlhbD0xNzQ4ODA0MCZlbWFpbGlkPXBlZHVmZnk2M0BnbWFpbC5jb20mdXNlcmlkPXBlZHVmZnk2M0BnbWFpbC5jb20mZmw9JmV4dHJhPU11bHRpdmFyaWF0ZUlkPSYmJg==&&&102&&&https://www.nfb.org/>of Ohio, fairgoers who are blind or have low vision can use Aira <http://links.govdelivery.com/track?type=click&enid=ZWFzPTEmbWFpbGluZ2lkPTIwMTkwNjI4Ljc0ODk2OTEmbWVzc2FnZWlkPU1EQi1QUkQtQlVMLTIwMTkwNjI4Ljc0ODk2OTEmZGF0YWJhc2VpZD0xMDAxJnNlcmlhbD0xNzQ4ODA0MCZlbWFpbGlkPXBlZHVmZnk2M0BnbWFpbC5jb20mdXNlcmlkPXBlZHVmZnk2M0BnbWFpbC5jb20mZmw9JmV4dHJhPU11bHRpdmFyaWF0ZUlkPSYmJg==&&&103&&&https://aira.io/> – which stands for Artificial Intelligence Remote Assistance – to connect, for free, to a remote agent via a cell phone or through specially fashioned glasses. Both the application and the glasses allow the agent to access visual information, which is especially helpful for navigating a large, unfamiliar area. The agent is also able to locate users through GPS and direct them to places of interest.

“Thanks to the efforts of OOD and the Ohio State Fair, people with disabilities will be able to enjoy the fair in a way that has not been available to us before,” said Eric Duffy with the National Federation of the Blind of Ohio. “We hope this is only the beginning of an effort to build a more inclusive Ohio."

In collaboration with the Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI <http://links.govdelivery.com/track?type=click&enid=ZWFzPTEmbWFpbGluZ2lkPTIwMTkwNjI4Ljc0ODk2OTEmbWVzc2FnZWlkPU1EQi1QUkQtQlVMLTIwMTkwNjI4Ljc0ODk2OTEmZGF0YWJhc2VpZD0xMDAxJnNlcmlhbD0xNzQ4ODA0MCZlbWFpbGlkPXBlZHVmZnk2M0BnbWFpbC5jb20mdXNlcmlkPXBlZHVmZnk2M0BnbWFpbC5jb20mZmw9JmV4dHJhPU11bHRpdmFyaWF0ZUlkPSYmJg==&&&104&&&https://www.ocali.org/>), the Ohio State Fair is turning down the lights and volume in an effort to host a sensory-friendly morning event on July 31 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fairgoers will have an opportunity to ride the rides with no flashing lights or music, visit the Fair’s educational activities, take a break in the OCALI Quiet Room, and explore the many activities in the shade of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources <http://links.govdelivery.com/track?type=click&enid=ZWFzPTEmbWFpbGluZ2lkPTIwMTkwNjI4Ljc0ODk2OTEmbWVzc2FnZWlkPU1EQi1QUkQtQlVMLTIwMTkwNjI4Ljc0ODk2OTEmZGF0YWJhc2VpZD0xMDAxJnNlcmlhbD0xNzQ4ODA0MCZlbWFpbGlkPXBlZHVmZnk2M0BnbWFpbC5jb20mdXNlcmlkPXBlZHVmZnk2M0BnbWFpbC5jb20mZmw9JmV4dHJhPU11bHRpdmFyaWF0ZUlkPSYmJg==&&&105&&&http://ohiodnr.gov/> Park.

“We know the Fair can be a bit overwhelming for some people,” said Ohio State Fair General Manager Virgil Strickler. “By offering some quiet opportunities and soothing activities, we’re supporting an enjoyable morning for all families.”

These additions build on efforts the Ohio State Fair has already had in place:

Buildings and most restrooms are accessible
Motorized and non-motorized wheelchair rentals
Sign language interpretation (by advance request)
Free assisted listening devices for use at the WCOL Celeste Center, Main Street Stage and the UnitedHealthcare Gazebo Stage
Accessible seats for concerts in the WCOL Celeste Center (purchase directly from Ticketmaster by toggling the switch with the wheelchair icon or selecting a seat with a wheelchair icon)
“We’re thankful for partnerships with Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities and OCALI to make the Fair an inclusive and welcoming space,” explained Strickler.

During the Fair, conveniently-located guest information services booths offer daily schedules, maps, and directions. For additional information, contact info at expo.ogio.gov <mailto:info at expo.ogio.gov> or call 614-644-4000.

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