GAC's and daughter

Discussion in 'disABILITIES!' started by tigger2on, Mar 1, 2001.

  1. tigger2on

    tigger2on <font color=6699CC>I can't believe I read this WHO

    Jun 8, 2000
    I have a 4 yr old child with severe brain damage who is non-verbal and non-mobile. She is in a wheelchair all the time pretty much. She does however also have a seizure disorder which can be caused by overheating and / or dehydration. She is not the best child for getting fluids in top either. How do I get a card-thing to let us wait in the shaded areas. We are going May 13-May20th.
    Does she even qualify for this? And what is it anyhow?
  2. teri

    teri DIS Veteran

    Aug 22, 1999
    No problem. You go to Guest Services at the front entrance of the park. You may have to advocate a bit, they may see the wheelchair and try to tell you that you don't need a Guest Assistance Pass because the wheelchair will be enough, but don't settle for that. Even the mainstream lines are sometimes hot and sunny, and your child needs to be in the shade - so that should be noted on the GAC. If your child tends to have tantrums or cannot wait in lines for medical or psychological reasons (not just your convenience, real reasons) then you should advocate for being allowed to use alternate entrances in case of mainstream lines.

    Feel free to ask questions, and look through some of the excellent discussions we have had on this board about wheelchair tips, the GAC, and other issues. I am sure you will find lots of help here.

    WDW is a great place for a vacation... sounds like you all really need one! :)

    "My brain takes a vacation just to give my heart more room..."
  3. saymama

    saymama Mouseketeer

    Dec 29, 2000
    that's when we're going. Have fun. I'll be the frazzled mom running after the crazy boy that will
    be overstimulated!!!!
  4. SueM in MN

    SueM in MN combining the teacups with a roller coaster Moderator

    Aug 23, 1999
    Welcome. I'll add a little to what was already posted:
    Guest Assistance Card (or Pass); also called GAP; Special Assistance Pass; also called SAP. All refer to the basically the same thing. The card that used to be called the Special Assistance Pass was changed to Guest Assistance Card earlier this year. You can do a search for any (or all) of these
    names to get more information. Here is some basic information:
    How do you get one? You can go to Guest Relations in any of the parks and request one. You don't need a doctor's letter or any evidence to shop you need one. You do need to be able to explain what your problems are and what assistance you need; like do you have a problem with being in the sun, etc.
    How long is it valid? If you are given a pass, it will be good at any park for the length of your vacation. You don't need to get one for each park or for each day. You do need to get a new card on your next vacation to WDW; it's not good for more than one trip.
    What does it allow you to do? The cards all look the same, but each card has different instructions
    stamped on. I am aware of 4 different messages; there may be more.
    1) Allows a stroller to be used as a wheelchair. ECVs and wheelchairs can be taken into any building or line without having any pass or card. This allows strollers to use the same entrances.

    2) Allows a waiting spot shaded from the sun if the line is "in the sun for an excessive amount of
    time." Most of the lines the largest part of the line inside a building or under a roof or shade. One CM posted on the board that some of the outdoor lines are even airconditioned to avoid getting too hot.

    3) Allows an alternate entrance waiting area for people who can't wait in line. This one is mostly used for children/adults with conditions like autism, ADD or other health problems that make waiting in line difficult or dangerous for them or the people with them.

    4) Kids at WDW thru the Make A Wish or similar organizations. This card allows "front of line" access because these kids are very fragile and have a life threatening condition. These cards are arranged thru WDW and Make a Wish or Give Kids the World as part of their visit.
    For the first 3 categories, you will be asked to use fastpass if available and you are told that the card will not allow immediate access to rides/attractions. You will still need to wait; it just may be in a different place.
    Just explain your child's problems the way you did in this post and you hopefully will do well. Like teri mentioned, they are likely to look at her wheelchair and tell you that she doesn't need any card (this has happened to us). Just emphasize that she becomes dehydrated easily and may have a seizure if she has to wait in the heat and sun. y

    SueM in MN
    Co-Moderator of disABILITIES

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