Accessibility Adventure at 2014 Fan Expo Canada

Cat Bus costume
 923535_10152266616784647_856044409_nThis was my second year going to Fan Expo Canada at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on August 28-31. Fan Expo is one of North America’s largest fan experiences featuring Comics, Sci-Fi, Horror, Anime, and Gaming. Last year I dressed up as Cat Bus, a character from my favorite Miyazaki anime, My Neighbor Totoro, which was a lot of fun.

I was not planning to go this year because last year I had to pay for both me and my friend, and it can be hard for persons with disabilities to pay for two people. This year when I found out that Fan Expo decided to allow attendants/caregivers free complimentary admission to attend the convention with a people with special needs I immediately decided to go. It also helped that stars from my favourite movies and TV shows were going to be there including the Lord of the Rings, Elijah Wood and Matt Smith from Doctor Who.

My friend and I found there were more people with disabilities than last year, and that means there needs to be some improvements to make the experience better.

What needs to improve:
1. Elevators: There were long line ups at the elevators especially in the South Building and people who may have used the stairs or escalators were using the elevators as well. There has to be someone directing traffic at the elevators.
2. Wheel Trans drop off: It was hard for Wheel Trans to stop on the street, especially when dealing with the coach buses from the Blue Jays game. Fan Expo and Metro Convention needs to let Wheel Trans drop off and pick up in the roundabout at the South Building entrance.

What worked well:
1. Photo Op Area: The volunteers were friendly and guided me to the front of the line of where my photo op with Elijah was taking place.
2. Auditorium for Panels: The auditorium where the Q&A panels with Elijah Wood, Matt Smith, and Arrow’s Stephen Amell was perfect. The area was spacious for people in wheelchairs, and the volunteers guided my friend and I up to the front where we could see well.

After four fun and tiring days at Fan Expo, it was well worth it. Everyone should experience it at least once. All you need to be prepared for is dealing with large crowds, which my friend and I have become professionals through previous experiences with other conventions.

Torrance Ho
About Torrance Ho 190 Articles
Power Hockey Athlete with TPWHL, Passionate Sports Writer, Huge supporter of the Paralympics and para sports, Accessibility Ambassador, Co-Founder of Equal Grounds.

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