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Old 04-06-2013, 10:47 PM   #16
SueM in MN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaoslobster View Post
Just to make sure it's clear, a doctor's note is not necessary to receive a GAC. Typically the CM will not even look at the note if you try to hand one to him or her. I have no idea if that's official policy or not (perhaps they're not allowed to read doctor's notes?), but I know that it won't be useful.

If you're worried that you're going to freeze up when asked or not be able to clearly explain what your needs are, what you could do is ask your doctor to clarify in writing the activities that might give you trouble, such as walking up stairs. Then you can read off that information to the CM. But it won't matter if your note's written on a legal prescription pad or a piece of looseleaf.
From what I have been told by Guest Services CMs, it is their policy not to read the letters.
One of the reasons is that the ADA says that a person can't be forced to provide proof of a disability - which reading a doctor's note could be seen as.
The other reason is that most of the notes are not helpful in determining what the person needs.

I have heard people read letters they got from the doctor at times while we have been waiting in Guest Relations (it's hard not to listen if you are waiting your turn and someone is talking very loud). It usually starts out with the person saying, "My doctor wrote me a letter," and trying to hand it to the CM, who says they are not allowed to read them. When the CM won't take the letter, the person usually starts reading.
The things I heard were not very helpful - one went into exact information on how Grandma should transfer (Max assist of 2), her dietary needs and her medical diagnosis.
Another just gave the diagnosis and said to give him "As much consideration as possible."
Those types of things don't tell the CMs what they need to know. They really need information of the type that chaoslobster mentioned.
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Old 04-06-2013, 11:17 PM   #17
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It can be helpful to sit down and think about exactly what you want to do in the park but are prevented from doing by your disability. Pinpoint exactly what ways your enjoyment is impaired and what reasonable accommodations can be made.

(Reasonable- "I have panic attacks in close quarters and sometimes need to wait in a separate area for a ride." Unreasonable: "My autistic 2 year old gets overwhelmed by loud noises, the volume on Fantasmic needs to be turned down.")

By having a good grip on what you're missing out on (I cannot ride Star Tours at DL without my GAC because there's a point where the queue is too terrifying) and how it could be put in reach (maybe I can use an alternate entrance that doesn't put me in that spot) you can prepare yourself to articulate to the CM what your needs are- and can determine if a GAC is the right tool for you. Some things are really better handled with a good touring plan.
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Old 04-07-2013, 04:06 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama Who View Post
It can be helpful to sit down and think about exactly what you want to do in the park but are prevented from doing by your disability. Pinpoint exactly what ways your enjoyment is impaired and what reasonable accommodations can be made.

(Reasonable- "I have panic attacks in close quarters and sometimes need to wait in a separate area for a ride." Unreasonable: "My autistic 2 year old gets overwhelmed by loud noises, the volume on Fantasmic needs to be turned down.")

By having a good grip on what you're missing out on (I cannot ride Star Tours at DL without my GAC because there's a point where the queue is too terrifying) and how it could be put in reach (maybe I can use an alternate entrance that doesn't put me in that spot) you can prepare yourself to articulate to the CM what your needs are- and can determine if a GAC is the right tool for you. Some things are really better handled with a good touring plan.
Excellent explanation!

This is exactly what you need to explain. BTW, I have used pretty much that exact sentence about the Star Tours queue - there is one section that I did ONCE and it was so bad I had to leave and it gave me night mares. Now I have a GAC which tells the CM I have a need so I don't have to go through that part of the queue again, and we make it work.

I will say this - if you need is anything like "I cannot stand for more than a few minutes without pain," or "I have trouble walking long distances," CMs WILL tell you to rent a wheelchair or scooter. There is simply no way to shorten the amount of walking (even with every GAC stamp they have, the rides will not get any closer together!) or standing - unless of course you have a wheelchair.

I will say this, there are some slopes that I doubt even a strong 13 year old can push a chair on, so if you get to the point you need wheels, you may need to consider getting an ECV.

One thing to consider -there are some queues where you not only have to climb stairs, you have to stand and wait on them - I know a lot of people with knee problems who do not do well with this, so speaking to a CM about a GAC which would re-route you around stairs may be helpful. There are not many queues like this, but for the few there are, a GAC can be helpful.
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