by Crystal R. Mendoza Paulin
As a Texan, I am no stranger to large and crowded State Fairs. However, in spite of living nearly 6 years in upstate New York, I never had the time or opportunity to make it down to the NY State Fair. So when a good friend of mine (and Syracuse native) offered to show me around, I immediately said yes!
While many things impressed (and confused) me--- like the frankly alarming large percentage of livestock present--- nothing impressed me more than the services New York State provided for individuals with disabilities. From wheelchair and scooter rentals to interpreters for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, it seemed as though Fair planners had thought of everything.
As I walked through the streams of people, I frequently saw all kinds of people in wheelchairs and scooters navigating about the fairgrounds. Signs indicating wheelchair ramps and exits adorned most entrances and walkways typically seemed wide enough for a chair to navigate through. (As easily as can be expected with such large crowds.)
All in all, I was excited to see such brilliant efforts towards accessibility. Of course, it's hard for me as an able-bodied person to judge the effectiveness of said efforts. Perhaps next year, if I have the chance, I'll attend the Fair in a chair and judge it for myself.
The New York State Fair runs until September 4. For more information on their accessibility services, click here.